The notion that the world is not as we see it, is as old as humankind. Carvings, markings, pictures, commentaries – these can all be seen as relating to deeper hidden meanings, and for most teenagers this is indeed a fascinating notion.
Indeed the concept that there is more to the world than can be seen, fascinates many teenagers – quite possibly the majority of teenagers.
Whether they have been told of hidden meanings within Renaissance paintings, of have watched the Da Vinci Code or any of its multiple spin offs, the fact that the world is not what it seems is a notion that appeals to many teenagers at a fundamental level.
So when they find that Shakespeare seriously may also have worked with arcane knowledge, and when they hear that some of the mysteries and anomalies in his works can be explained through references to alchemy, Renaissance magic, Celtic mysticism, the Cabala and so on, their interest in Shakespeare and his works, peaks.
Of course this is not to say that the students see the whole of Shakespeare as an elaborate code. But it does mean that when students find that some of the more difficult to understand texts and settings can be explained in different ways, their appreciation of the works can be enhanced..
In this regard “Secret Meanings in Shakespeare” is an excellent source book for any teacher looking to find additional explanations for some of Shakespeare’s more convoluted theatrical moments.
Indeed the incorporation of just a few of the “Secret meanings” into the students’ study of Shakespeare can also give them a sense of holding knowledge that others do not have.
From there on all they need is to practice the introductory phrases such as “It has also been argued that…” and they can show examiners that they not only know the play but also can appreciate that in all things Shakespearean different explanations are possible.
“Secret Meanings in Shakespeare” examines the Shakespearean comedies from the point of view of materials and ideas to which he was most likely to have had access. The exploration of the plays then helps enlighten the students and their understanding and gives them a sense of holding their own inside knowledge.
The book is available both as a paperback for £29.99 and as an ebook for £9.99.
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