In Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona, probably written to be performed in the early 1590s, a Veronese nobleman, Antonio, discusses his son Protheus’s education with his servant Panthino. Panthino informs his master that Antonio’s brother has
  • wondred that your Lordship

  • Would suffer [Protheus], to spend his youth at home,

  • While other men, of slender reputation,

  • Put forth their Sonnes, to seeke preferment out.

  • Some to the warres, to try their fortune there;

  • Some, to discouer Islands farre away:

  • Some, to the studious Vniuersities;

  • For any, or for all these exercises,

  • He said, that Protheus your son was meet. (TLN 306–14, 1.3.4–12)1

Antonio responds that he himself has been deliberating how best to educate his son: “I haue consider’d well, his losse of time,/ And how he cannot be a perfect man,/ Not being tryed, and tutord in the world” (l. 321–3, 1.3.19–21). Also in the early 1590s, between 1590 and 1596, Edmund Spenser published his mammoth though incomplete Protestant epic The Faerie Queene, the “generali end” of which, the poet writes, “is to fashion a gentleman or noble person in vertuous and gentle discipline” (“A Letter of the Authors” 15).


English Colonial Colonial Government English People Colonial Transformation Atlantic World 
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© Rebecca Ann Bach 2000

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