The one and only good thing about going to a Secondary Modern school was that we were the rejects (as 75-80% were). So, we just got a basic education and taught how to box. We were the thick buggas not worth educating.
This meant that Shakespeare was not even mentioned. I left school virtually illiterate.
When I was 19, I started writing poetry and drove my mum and dad mad by getting then to correct my spellings. After a session of marking, they lost their ability to spell for a whole day. I would 'read' my poetry in a group. We had an open mic type structure to the sessions. One day, a guy wondered in and when it came to his tern, he just read from the Times. Our leader asked him about this, he said that he had had been to Eaton and Oxford. He had been pressured into doing English. It had meant that he now hated, even phobic, when it came to the Bard.
I can understand he feelings because in the SM school, so much emphasis on sport, particularly football and boxing, that, for years, I hated sport with a passion and if it came on the TV, I would have to walk out of the room.
How did Shakespeare happen for me?
At the age of 24, after leaving the Royal Navy, I had managed to learn how to read and write (somewhat). So, I started a degree with the Open University. I did A100 (that long ago) WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW.
So, it took me *2 / *3 times to do the studying and a lot longer to do the assignments. It was wonderful. A whole new world of knowledge and understanding became open to me.
And then there was Summer School... loved every pint of it. However, I saw on the subject list - Hamlet. "Oh My... such BS."
came the sessions - I was blown away - A-M-A-Z-I-N-G
This was the nearest thing to understanding life - the universe - and everything
After completing my OU degree, I did a full time, studying psychology and because a teacher / trainer / lecturer. Leader a therapist.
One of the reasons I left teaching was the continuous political interference. It was to implement the agenda of The Daily Mail. To drive education back to the 1950's thus making it totally irrelevant to the 21stC.
Back to Shakespeare. My wife lived near Straitford on Avon. She saw good quality productions from an early age. We love seeing them together now.