Elizabethan Grammar School | Breaking Bard Episode 6

 

“We may see the young Shakespeare, therefore, spending thirty or forty hours each week in memorising, construing, parsing and repeating prose and verse in Latin. We may hear him talking the language, to his schoolmaster and to his fellow pupils.” Peter Ackroyd in Shakespeare: A Biography

A common argument of anti-Stratfordians is that Shakespeare was uneducated. He only completed grammar school and never even attended a single day of university. So, it seems impossible that a man with a “grade school” education could grow up to be such a prolific writer. That idea, though, completely disregards the realities of Elizabethan Grammar School.

Yes, Shakespeare only attended school for about four years. However, in those four years he received an education similar to that of a modern day classics undergraduate. The students, by years three and four, were encouraged to speak only Latin at school. That means for 12+ hours a day for 5 ½ days per week for 44 weeks per year, they were speaking Latin. To say Shakespeare was uneducated is simply incorrect. He was not as educated as other writers, but with his grammar school education he was given all of the tools necessary to write his plays.

Today, we will be taking a closer look at what Shakespeare’s education was like and how it contributed to the writer he became. Grab your quill and ink pot and let’s head to school.

 

Channel Links:

Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/breaking-bard/id1477871126

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Overcast: https://overcast.fm/itunes1477871126/breaking-bard

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