Monday, February 18, 2008

And a Fitting Conclusion to Why Study Literature

So after all this discussion of why we ought to study literature, Dana over at Principled Discovery has this excellent post that makes my point about cultural references. (Thanks, Dana!) ;)

When you click over to it, be sure to follow the first link to the article by Katie Criss that's critical of homeschooling. (You will cringe to read it - it's full of errors - but in order to understand Dana's point, you need to see what Katie says first.) Then read Dana's post.

The better you know Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, especially the eulogy he puts in the mouth of Mark Antony, the funnier you'll find Dana's post. Here's just a taste of her parody.

Educators, parents, students, lend me your ears;
I come to bury homeschooling, not to praise it.
The evil that men do makes headlines,
The good is oft interred with their bones.
So let it be with homeschoolers.

The noble Katie Criss
hath told you homeschoolers hide abusers:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath homeschoolers answered it.
Here, under leave of Katie and the rest,
For Katie did her research;
So did they all, all well-researched people-
Come I to speak in homeschooling's funeral.

It is my lifestyle, precious and full to me:
But Katie says my reasons are unwarranted,
And Katie did her research.
It has brought many families closer together
Whose work did enrich their communities.
Did this in homeschooling seem pernicious?
When the poor hath cried, homeschoolers hath organized:
Isolation should be made of lonelier stuff.

There's more, including some of the funniest lines, over at Dana's blog. I hope you'll take the time to read the whole thing.


Dana said...

It is funny you bring up cultural references. My husband totally didn't get the post. He said there "was something about it" he liked, but he didn't quite get it.

But he had never read Shakespeare's Julius Caesar before. (The horror!) So the connection wasn't made.

I, on the other hand, had to dissect it and analyze all its rhetorical elements in high school, memorizing it in the process.

Marcy Muser said...


I'm not surprised you studied the speech in significant depth in high school - it shows in the closeness of the parallels you draw. It's a shame your hubby didn't appreciate it! :)

It was funny to read it so soon after having written my posts on studying literature (particularly Shakespeare). I appreciate your help in making my point! ;)

David said...

Dana is quite clever, that's for sure! And she did make it fun to look at the original article... even for someone who never cared for Shakespeare LOL Love his stories as the evolved in my mind, never cared to read his words :-)

Marcy Muser said...


I do understand the struggle with Shakespeare, as I struggle with reading him too. It's hard to read long passages in English so different from our own. And you know, I'm not sure he ever intended most people to read his stuff anyway - these were plays, and were intended to be watched, not read. When you're reading pages and pages of Shakespeare, it's easy to miss the deepest parts; when you're watching him, the actors help emphasize those parts, and make you think.

Maybe it would help to watch Shakespeare in the original rather than read him!

Anonymous said...

It is really unbeleivable how much money Katie Criss made off of the backlinks from that homeschooling speech that I gave in college.

I never intended for that to be a published or debated article, honest! I don't even feel that way, it was an assigned topic, I had to give a speech, quickly typed it up, and then posted it to an article posting website with a link to my coupon website to generate traffic. (Which it did, by creating backlinks to my site, because everyone got so upset about the topic they began to repost my article with my information). So while I apologize for the topic and the rage, I want to thank you for the hits to my website.

Have a nice day.