Wednesday, May 20, 2015

of funeral speeches and soul formation

It has finally sunk in. Education is the nurturing and training of a soul and mind to love what is right. It took a two minute conversation in our kitchen.

A classical education takes you through the texts and studies that writers down throughout history have written and studied as they considered what the soul and mind should love. A Christian uses this classical education differently than a non-Christian in that the texts and the studies are always being compared to the Law-Word of God.
We are currently reading Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and Seth is memorizing Marc Antony's funeral speech for Caesar.
 In the first half, Marc Antony proclaims:
"Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest,
For Brutus is an honorable man:
So are they all, all honorable men."

As he finished reciting the portion he is working on, I asked him, "Was Marc Antony right? Were all the men who acted with Brutus, honorable men?"
And his answer came quite quickly.
Why not?
His answer.
Because on the morning of Caesar's death, many of them gathered in his home as friends and counseled him that he was foolish in his belief of his wife's foreboding dream. They intentionally misled him away from being wary. And because they spoke words that had double meanings that the reader is made aware of even if Caesar seems not to notice.

Now someone could certainly disagree with his answer and mount an argument that Caesar himself was not an honorable man and therefore was removed for his own dishonorable tendencies. But then perhaps the discussion needs to move a step back and define what is "honor". And that would be helpful. But only if the definition is being derived from the biblical idea of honor, otherwise it's all relative. Your idea of honor, my idea of honor, who is right? Education is not morally neutral, it involves discerning that which is right and holding it up as the ideal.

Books I use:
The Harp and Laurel Wreath by Laura Berquist
Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare by Isaac Asimov
How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig

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