Originally Posted by DrNefario
Dickens, Shakespeare and Melville are all pretty wordy by modern standards, but what really kills them, to me, is the dissection.
Shakespeare in particular. His plays were written to be performed, heard and seen, not read on a page with stops every few words to define an unfamiliar term. I think a good performance will make any antiquated words understood well enough by the audience to follow the plot and even get some of the jokes.
I think Moby Dick
is a bit too different from everyday prose for the average high school student.
As for Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
has the virtue of being relatively short, but I wonder if Great Expectations
or David Copperfield
, even in excerpts, might not be easier and better received.