Latin grammar - continued

By the time Thomas Jenkins, an MA of St Johnís College, Oxford, took up the mastership in 1575, William would have been studying such classical authors as Horace, Virgil, and Ovid. Ovid seems to have made the greatest impression on William. The story of his early poem Venus and Adonis comes from the Metamorphosis, whilst his references to Ovid show an understanding of the original Latin. The histories of Caesar, Sallust and Livy were studied too, for their moral example was believed relevant to life in Tudor England. And then at the end of each term the senior boys might perform some classical drama, such as a comedy of Plautus or Terence - the confusion of twins identity in William's Comedy of Errors draws much from Plautus' the Menaechmi. Elizabethan education, with its constant repetition and examinations, would also have trained Williamís memory, and the study of rhetoric and practice of disputes between older boys would have introduced him to the wide-ranging possibilities of language.

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