May 14, 2010

He Can Tell a Story

As we work our way through our "at home" world history curriculum, J. and I are moving through the Middle Ages. We are making our way slowly, ever so slowly, to the Renaissance.

We flew through the Ancients. We loved the stories of the Egyptians and the Greeks and Romans. I haven't found quite as much to love in the stuffy English monarchs and the Plague.

Until this week. When we experienced Henry V.

I have read a little Shakespeare. A little. I remember when I was a girl, someone in my family gave me a beautifully illustrated children's version of some of his plays. His most famous comedies and his tragedies were all there. But there were no histories. There were none of the compelling and beautiful stories of the the great men of England.

So we jumped in this week. Anticipating this chapter and needing to add a little life into our study (the Greeks and Romans had tons of outside material to draw on, I haven't found as much for the Middle Ages), I purchased Henry V in comic book form for J.

and No Fear Shakespeare for myself.

We read them one afternoon, and the watched Kenneth Branagh in the title role in this film adaption.

I'll say it right now. I have missed out on a lot. It was wonderful. It was powerful. It was brilliant.

But we in it shall be remembered--
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
this day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now abed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

After we finished the movie last night, J. was pretty quiet. You know, it isn't very "cool" in 4th grade to be a fan of the Bard. Then he said before he went to sleep, "That guy really knows how to tell a story." Amen.

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