Faculty feature: Angeline Chiu

Faculty feature: Angeline Chiu


The skull is here because he’s Yorick
and everyone knows my friend Yorick and he is a constant companion in my
Shakespeare studies and in my Shakespeare teachings. He’s an old friend
of mine. Uh, he shows up in class, he’s been with me in Shakespeare birthday parties. He’s been loaned out to students for their Halloween costumes, so he and I go
way back. You have to laugh at it, I think you have to have fun with it or it
becomes a dead letter and it’s not fun anymore. We’re trying to make it new, trying to adapt it, trying to get people interested and I
think eventually Shakespeare will speak for himself, he doesn’t need me to defend
him or anything like that, I think he might need me to just make a few
strategic introductions to people who are afraid of Hamlet. But if you’re
afraid of Hamlet maybe you should start off with Julius Caesar, or Romeo and Juliet. If I could have my Shakespeare students or any of my
students learn anything out of that Shakespeare class is that Shakespeare’s
for everybody. That it’s not a snobby thing an exclusivist thing but he had
something to say to everybody because he talked about the human condition. So in
the Globe Theatre you had nobles and high mucky-mucks and kind of elites
Londoners but you also had Groundlings, working-class people who stood because
they couldn’t afford a seat. They’re all watching the same play. And so I think
we need to remember that Shakespeare has something for everybody
and it’s okay to laugh at him it’s okay to riff on him. In fact I think he would
very much get a kick out of that.

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