Survey Finds Many Britons Clueless about Shakespeare

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1st October 2012 21:47 - Education

Market research has shown that many Britons, especially younger children, are lacking in knowledge about a personas important to English culture as Shakespeare.

Out of 1,000 pupils aged between six and 12 who were questioned, almost a third at 30% did not even know who the country's most celebrated playwright was.

The 2,000 adults who took part in the study did not fare much better - 27% had never read a play by Shakespeare and approximately one in eight (12%) were unaware that he was a British playwright.

Furthermore, nearly half (49%) of the adult respondents were unable to complete the world famous line: "O Romeo, Romeo ..." from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet play.

In addition, 5% of surveyants aged 18 to 34 thought Shakespeare's most famous play is Cinderella, while 2% from the same age group think he is a fictional character.

Actor Paterson Joseph, who has played the role of Othello on stage, commented on the findings: "The classroom setting is probably, in my opinion, the worst place to come to Shakespeare first because Shakespeare never intended his works to be read in a classroom. He intended his works to be heard and to be seen."

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