There is no definitive answer, but there are some clues that suggest he may have left school at around the age of 14.
Shakespeare’s father, John, was a glove maker and leatherworker who had little formal education himself. However, he was a member of the Stratford Guild of the Holy Trinity, which oversaw the town’s grammar school.
It’s likely that Shakespeare attended the Stratford Grammar School, where he would have studied Latin grammar, rhetoric, and literature. He would have also been taught how to write in the formal Elizabethan style.
There’s no record of Shakespeare’s attendance beyond the age of 14, which suggests he may have left school at that time.
However, it’s also possible that he continued his education in some capacity, perhaps through private tutoring or self-study.
We do know that Shakespeare was married at the age of 18 and had his first child at 19, so it’s clear that he didn’t go on to university.
It’s fascinating to speculate on what Shakespeare would have done if he had received a university education. Would he have become a lawyer, like his father? Would he have pursued a career in the Church?
Or would he have followed his passion for the theatre and become the world’s greatest playwright?
We’ll never know for sure, but it’s fun to imagine what might have been.