Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Shakespeare Never Went To College

Hamlet did, though. I'm not sure what Laertes was going back to France for, but it could have been school. And then there's the three "scholars" in Love's Labour's Lost.

My question is this - how frequently did Shakespeare create characters who were students, and do we think that his depiction of those characters (or his failure to do so) had anything to do with his own experience or lack thereof?

This is indeed a variation on the "If Shakespeare never went to Venice how did he describe Venice so accurately?" question. I thought it might be a little change of pace.


Ian Thal said...

I'm still not clear Shakespeare did describe Venice all that accurately-- though there were travelogues being published and sold in London in his time upon which he could have relied. If we accept that he was an autodidact without the distractions of facebook and cable television then it's pretty easy to surmise that he read books and pamphlets.

Also, the man received patronage from the aristocracy and the crown, so he would have rubbed shoulders with all sorts of folk outside his social class-- even college educated folk.

Ed said...

Shakespeare makes very little mention of teaching, education, etc. Perhaps not surprising for someone Ian probably describes most aptly as an autodidact.

Linda Theil said...

Shakespeare never went to college; he never went to law school; he never went to Italy; he never studied Greek, or Ovid, or Hollinshed, or commedia del arte, music, or any of the other stellar brilliance in the plays -- but he did listen to a lot of NPR.