Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: November ::
Schoolmaids?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2528  Thursday, 1 November 2001

From:           Todd Pettigrew <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 01 Nov 2001 10:48:26 -0800
Subject:        Schoolmaids?

In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Helena and Hermia make references to
having been at school together. Helena, for example, takes the sudden
affection of Lysander and Demetrius as a cruel joke and wonders why
Hermia has forgotten their "schooldays' friendship" (3.2.203). Later she
recalls that Hermia "was a vixen when she went to school" (3.2.325). In
Measure for Measure, Isabella refers to romantic "schoolmaids" who
imagine themselves with other names (presumably the names of potential
husbands).

I found these lines a bit surprising since I had assumed that while
aristocratic young women would have received tutoring (as Baptista
arranges for his daughters in Shrew), they would not have gone to school
the way boys would have. A quick check of a few sources suggests I am
not alone in this assumption. Does anyone know what sort of school
Shakespeare might have imagined Helena and Hermia attending?

t.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Webpage <http://ws.bowiestate.edu>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.