Anjou and Maine both given unto the French!
Cold news for me; for I had hope of France,
Even as I have of fertile England's soil.
(2H6 I.i.236)

What does even as mean in this verse?

I think it is a marker for some sort of simultaneity, but am not quite sure that it is so.

  • "Even as" is old English for "Just as". So, "Even as I have of fertile England's soil." basically means in your context "Just as I have hope for England's fertile soil."
    – user63241
    Jan 26, 2014 at 17:15
  • 1
    I'd read it as 'just like' (= 'in exactly the same way as') here, though it can have the sense 'at exactly the same time that': Early one morning just as the sun was shining . . . Jan 26, 2014 at 17:16
  • the rephrasing works because both even and just have a pragmatic function of sorts, focusing attention on the comparison. my comments at another question about even might be useful here. (i'm assuming the current usage of even was the same in Shakespeare's time)
    – user31341
    Jan 26, 2014 at 17:19

3 Answers 3


Even - (archaic) Exactly, just, fully.

I fulfilled my instructions even as I had promised.
You are leaving tonight? — Even so.
This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you.

PS: Please do some research before asking.


That's a more poetic way of stating:

My hope for France was equal to my hope for England's soil.

Equal to in quality, character, time etc. are all implied


EVEN AS is used for two tasks happening at the same time.

Example; crowd was protesting outside hall, Even as minister was delivering speech.

This sentence may be rewritten as followings; crowd was protesting outside hall, at the same time when minister was delivering speech.

EVEN AS is frequently used in English Newspapers to mean; the same way as , Example; I speak english, Even as I speak my native language.

  • This answer has too many errors in spelling, syntax, punctuation, and formatting to be a useful response to the almost two-year-old question asked here. And in any case, the accepted answer (also from almost two years ago) provides a reference-based (rather than ad hoc or anecdotal) answer that fully resolves OP's question.
    – Sven Yargs
    Nov 17, 2015 at 9:00
  • Can any one tell me what errors are in this explanation given by me? Nov 17, 2015 at 9:23

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