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Shakespeare in Manchester

Having come, and converted to Shakespeare as a mature student in London I was able to ponder whether or not I would have taken to his works so enthusiastically had I remained in Manchester. I'm not just talking about whether, had I never moved away, I would have studied English Literature as a mature student, but, if I had, would I fave FELT the same way; would I have had the same revelations, interpretations, structures of feeling? I wondered this, and continue to do so every now and then because I remember, not so long ago, saying to my sister in Manchester, that I didn't think I could have got into it on anywhere near the level that seemed to be just right in London. I think a lot of it is due to the fact that I grew up in the turbulent inner-city, and so the question expands to 'can anyone get into the profundity of Shakespeare whilst growing up in a tough inner-city area?' 'Of course!' many people would reply, loudly. But I'm not so sure. Things that need to be taken into consideration include, for example, cultural support. If your 'mam' and dad or siblings and friends are making snide remarks like 'Whatcha ya readin' that for?' then it's difficult. But more so, I imagine for myself, it would have been difficult to be engaged when there's a car being joy-ridden around the estate again, then sat alight near your back yard. Maybe it's the exact opposite, maybe it's MORE possible to become engaged if given the oportunity and the cultural and academic support?

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