Shakespeare and the Drawbacks of Education

Prospero taught language to Caliban with unexpected results“You taught me language and my profit on it
Is, I know how to curse.”
(Tempest, act 1, sc. 2)

Tips for Use.  Excellent introduction for him who is delivering a presentation (alas! often a sermon) on education. E.G. “As Caliban told his teacher Prospero, ‘You taught me language and my profit on it is that I know how to curse.”
The lines may also be helpful if you are concerned that your possible over-education may overwhelm a potential employer. We know very well that one of the easiest excuses for rejecting an applicant is that he is ‘over-qualified’. In truth often he/she is. By quoting Caliban you may cast some welcome irony, showing that you are not a pompous ass.
Caliban’s conclusions may be extreme. However, open up just about any newspaper at random and you will find one or more article lamenting the shortcomings of education, school dropout rates etc. Good Heavens! This is not the arena for advocating reforms or equivalents. The fact remains that there is a disconnect between the bureaucracy of teaching and education at large. This is noticeably evident in the psychological jargon generously filling educational books, magazines – let alone the mandarins who, having attained various sine-cure and amply remunerated positions inside the power structure, like to pontificate about their own merits. Typically, they are also very jealous and impermeable to any new and practical. No discovery here. William James already wrote, “It is needless to say that this is nothing but an examination of the all crass artificiality which has always haunted psychology, and which perpetuates itself by lingering along, especially in these works which are advertised as written for the use of teachers.”

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Of course, if you acquire the book “Your Daily Shakespeare” you will not only enjoy it but you will find it very useful. The quote in this post and more than ten thousand others will lead you to find the words that perfectly strengthen your argument(s). After all Shakespeare wrote them, I simply extracted, structured and compiled them so as to make Shakespeare very “user friendly” as they say. And if you wish I will even sign the book. But this is the extent of any “sales” effort, call or solicitation.

In the play. Caliban reports the results of the education imparted by Prospero.

Original image –

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