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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: January ::
Re: Education; Dreams (Prepositions)
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0007.  Thursday, 5 January, 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Roger D. Gross <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 4 Jan 1995 16:01:02 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   female education
 
(2)     From:   Richard J Kennedy <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 4 Jan 1995 18:52:27 -0800
        Subj:   Elizabethan Education
 
(3)     From:   Richard J Kennedy <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 4 Jan 1995 21:25:33 -0800
        Subj:   re:dreams
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roger D. Gross <
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Date:           Wednesday, 4 Jan 1995 16:01:02 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        female education
 
Richard Kennedy should find something of use (re. literacy among Eliz. women)
in Antonia Fraser's THE WEAKER VESSEL, NY: Knopf, 1984.
 
Roger Gross
U. of Arkansas
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard J Kennedy <
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Date:           Wednesday, 4 Jan 1995 18:52:27 -0800
Subject:        Elizabethan Education
 
All of William Shakspere's blood relatives through three generations were
illiterate. His oldest daughter, Susanna, could sign her name. This alone
indicates that she was literate, but Schoenbaum doubts it. "Susanna Hall could
sign her name to legal documents, but, although lauded as witty beyond her sex,
she could not identify her husband's distinctive handwriting."  As to
Shakspere's other daughter, Judith, she "presumably had less wit than her
sister, for she never learned to sign her name."
 
It's hard to explain, given that Shakspere was a gentleman, and wealthy, and
could afford schooling for his daughters. It is more strange in that a woman's
education seemed dear to his heart.
 
        Toward the education of your daughters, I here
        bestow a simple instrument...    Taming of the Shrew. ii,1,99
 
        I have those hopes of her good that her education
        promises...                      All's well. i,1,46
 
        My father charged you in his will to give me a good
        education...                     As you like it. i,1,22
 
        She in beauty, education, blood, holds hands with
        any princess.                    King John. ii,1,493
 
        ...Hath gain'd of education all the grace which makes her
        both the heart and place of general wonder. Pericles, iv,Gower 9
 
And so the question remains--why did Shakspere not get his daughters some
schooling?
 
Because Susanna was called "witty" is no test of literacy, I think. You might
as well reason that a "musical" person can read notation, or that a
"calculating" person can do long division.
 
Kennedy
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard J Kennedy <
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Date:           Wednesday, 4 Jan 1995 21:25:33 -0800
Subject:        re:dreams
 
OF vs.ON.  Oh, I suppose you might say that it makes a difference whether coral
grows ON bones, or that coral is made OF bones, let the marine biologist decide
it. Certainly there's a reason that a poet uses a certain word rather than
another, but we're not going to know anything about it.
 
Here's another OF/ON example from the Tempest:  "You taught me language; and my
profit on't is, I know how to curse." (i,2,363)
 
Perhaps there is profit in/of/for/on/with/to the study of these wee words in
searching the soul of poetry, but that beast Caliban is roaming about the
island, and I've no time to quibble over prepositions.
 
Kennedy
 

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