I personally feel that the most important teaching objective of my program will be the idea that Shakespeare is something that does not have to be scary.
It is undeniable that Shakespeare was a genius, but does he have to be put on this pedestal? Yes and no.
Yes, Shakespeare should be respected as one of the greatest writers of all time. He wrote amazing plays, which explore the essence of the human condition. His themes and characters are complex and meaningful even today. In this sense, Shakespeare should be put on a pedestal of respect.
No, Shakespeare should not be placed so high as to be considered inaccessible. Our education system has created this stigma that Shakespeare is impossibly difficult to read and comprehend. This is simply not true. Shakespeare wrote his plays to be performed before a largely illiterate audience. For this reason, he is very repetitive and blatant about what happens. You really only need to understand a small portion of the language to successfully understand the plays.
The key to the success of Shakespeare education at all ages will be to diminish the fear and difficulty, but keep the respect for his greatness alive. What are some effective ways to reduce this Shakespeare fear?