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As long as Shakespeare remains in the high school curriculum, teachers will be forced to go out of their way to create a lesson on Elizabethan english so the students can understand the play, let alone retain it. Due to the fact that Romeo and Juliet is a romantic tragedy, we are also romanticizing suicide and suggesting that violence is mainstream. Just as Dana Dusbiber proposes, “…why not teach the oral tradition out of Africa… or from Latin America or Southeast Asia” (Strauss). Should Romeo and Juliet continue to be included in the curriculum? No, his work is no longer relevant to our society, and there are plenty of culturally diverse works of literature waiting to be read.  Why settle for Shakespeare? Living in America, you probably will never experience or witness a public sword fight to the death, monarchy, or an arranged marriage where the bride-to-be fakes her own death to run off with her love interest. All of these events were included in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet- does that make him irrelevant to our society? Just as Dana Dusiber states, “I do not believe that a long-dead, British guy is the only writer who can teach my students about the human condition” (Strauss). We are teaching students about the wrong definition of human nature than what is considered acceptable for modern day behaviours, including the concept of love. Although our students may be ethnically diverse, some teachers would argue that we live in America; it’s important for them to understand our culture, Shakespeare included. Other teachers would disagree- especially those with a multicultural classroom- arguing that their students are being deprived of literature that speaks to their cultural background. Just as Valerie Strauss questions, “Ethnically diverse students don’t foolishly fall in love and over-dramatize every facet of that experience, feel jealousy or rage, or fall victim to discrimination? Do they never act desperately out of passion” (Strauss). Even though teachers are insistent that our students will benefit from Shakespeare in the early years of high school, I’m not convinced that it is necessary or captivating to our multicultural classrooms. Just as Rajatt Bhageria states, “It seems counterproductive not to spend more time studying modern authors, modern advertising/print-making, and contemporary journalism” (Bhageria). This would help students grasp the culture of today, but it would also assist them in more technical fields such as business and engineering. All things considered, Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet should not continue to be in the high school curriculum because of the societal irrelevance and the cultural ambiguity.

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