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Shakespeare Connected - Shakespeare Among Readers

3. Stratford-upon-Avon Schoolboy - Painting

In all likelihood, Shakespeare attended King Edward VI Grammar School in Stratford-upon-Avon, which offered a free education to the town’s boys. Elizabethan school days started very early in the morning and ended well into the evening. In As You Like It (2.7), Shakespeare describes ‘the whining school-boy, with his satchel/ And shining morning face, creeping like snail/ Unwillingly to school’. Perhaps this was a memory of some of his own school days. Under his arm, the boy in the painting carries a ‘tablet’, which was then used to introduce and practise reading.

 

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