How and where was Shakespeare trained/educated (by whom and in what fields)?  

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shakespeareguru's profile pic

shakespeareguru | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

If you are looking for plenty of details about Shakespeare's education (really about Shakespeare's life at all), you are decidedly not in luck, sasukenfan4ever!  Scholars and historians have puzzled for centuries over the details of Shakespeare's life.  In fact, many people today still believe that the plays attributed to William Shakespeare were actually written by someone else.  There are even those who believe that Queen Elizabeth I wrote the plays!

Here are some of the facts, as we have them:

  • Shakespeare grew up in Stratford-upon-Avon and probably went to grammar school there, starting at the age of 6 or 7.  The subjects that this school covered would have included an emphasis on Latin -- grammar and reading of classic texts.
  • Shakespeare married a local woman, Anne Hathaway, at the age of 18, and this definitely cut short any further traditional education he might have pursued.  He had a baby on the way and a family to support.  He had a few children and, after a couple of years of marriage, disappeared from records.
  • Shakespeare resurfaced in records seven years later as an actor and playwright in London.  This is the life and world he is best known for, but where and how he might have gotten training or apprenticed as an actor and/or writer is unknown.

As I said before, there has been much speculation about Shakespeare's life and his education.  We do not, however, have the sort of detail of teachers/mentors/places and dates that your question seems to ask for.  Please follow the links below, especially the one to the superb PBS documentary called In Search of Shakespeare, for more on Shakespeare's life.  Good luck!


dodibar's profile pic

dodibar | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

As the son of a Stratford  council member, (John Shakespeare was, at the time bailiff, later alderman), William could expect an education at the King's New School, (just down the road from Henley Street), where he began his school life, at the age of seven. Aged nine, he was intoduced to Latin by his tutor Simon Hunt, an Oxford graduate who would later become Jesuit. Then, school children learned by rote, (a method no longer used in English grammar), where, they were taught to repeat endlessly, the Latin verbs, until they became second nature. Then they were encouraged to debate, in Latin, the literary argumentof the day. For instance, was Brutus right to murder Caesar?

    Unfortunately, at the age of fourteen, William was pulled out of school, by his financially embarassed father, and put into the family shop, where he became a 'wittawer' or, worker of kid leather, a glover. Had he completed his King's School education, he would have gone on to either Oxford or Cambridge university and read one of three sciences Law. Medicine or Theology, (the church). Thankfully, he didn't!


vikas1802's profile pic

vikas1802 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 2) Honors

Posted on

shakespeare studied himself at home and his uncle guide him in that.

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