Gove Removing “Of Mice and Men” from the curriculem

So Gove is removing “Of Mice and Men” from the curriculum, and I’d like to say “About Time”. Now, before you all start throwing things, let me explain why.

“Of Mice and Men”, by Steinbeck is brilliant. It’s amazing. The In-Depth study I did of it when I was school placed a love of this book in my heart, and I still have a copy of it. I can’t bring myself to re-read it, because of the impression it made on me, but Lenny and George live on in me, in a very profound way.

So, I hear you ask, why take it off the syllabus? well, because it’s been on there for 40 years. I know that there are arguments about allowing parents to help their children with the homework, but, and here’s my non-teacher-educated suggestion, why not get another book, of similar quality, and get both parent AND child to learn to appreciate a new book?
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Hamlet and Protestantism

First, let me say that the Royal Shakespear Company’s recent version of Hamlet with Captain Picard(Patrick Stewart) and Doctor Who(David Tennant) is awesome. However, now that I’ve started being a God botherer, I started noticing some odd things about it.

I started noticing the religious tone. Nothing unusuall there, because at the time, God was part of every day language. Then something odd happened. Hamlet is obviously a morality play, but during the “To Be, or Not To Be” speech, I noticed the overtures about being judged, and then the forms of prayer, the sililoque offered by Hamlet’s Step-Father was crying out for Absolution.

Then other things began to drop into place. Things like Hamlet was from Wittenburg, the school where Martin Luther taught. As this began to wander through my mind, Hamlet is dragged off to england by his friends, and before her goes he rants about the “Diet of Worms”, of course, the famous sentancing of Martin Luther where he is rescued from his accusers by some friends.

As I was more watching the play because it was Hamlet, than applying any sensible literary Criticism, I didn’t really have time to go through it, but being as the events would have been still fairly recent to Shakespear, asn hamlet is written around the turn of the 1600’s, and Marin Luther was in the 1530’s.

I’m obviously not the first one to see this, but I wasn’t aware of any previous scholarship before seeing the paly. With enough time, perhaps, there may be milage in exploring it.

I though it was something interesting to note, and it does seem that the play may be in some way an “apology” for faith, though wether or not that is Catholic of Protestant I’m not sure.

~BX

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