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Shakespeare William Quizzes, Trivia and Puzzles
Shakespeare William Quizzes, Trivia

William Shakespeare Trivia

William Shakespeare Trivia Quizzes

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17 William Shakespeare quizzes and 200 William Shakespeare trivia questions.
  Shakespeare - His Life   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 25 Qns
This is a quiz about the life of William Shakespeare. The last four questions deal with Hollywood's revival of Shakespeare in the 1990s. Best of luck and have fun! x
Average, 25 Qns, Bronte, Jun 01 17
2933 plays
  The Bard o' Bards   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
"Your face, my thane, is as a book where men May read strange matters." (Macbeth). Scholars of William Shakespeare (1564-1616) have wondered: What did the Bard of Avon look like? A quiz on some Shakespearean contenders.
Tough, 10 Qns, benniebenbenny, Apr 27 08
622 plays
  William Shakespeare: General Knowledge    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Here is a general knowledge quiz on William Shakespeare. Enjoy!
Average, 10 Qns, CharmedLivesOn, Jan 07 14
1066 plays
  The Life of William Shakespeare    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
You think you know Shakespeare? This quiz focuses mostly on his life rather than his works. Answer carefully, and enjoy!
Average, 10 Qns, Brainz, Jan 29 12
2425 plays
  Shakespeare Authorship Controversy    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Did Shakespeare really write Shakespeare? Some think not, and they advance Edward de Vere as the true author. This quiz looks at those claims and at Shakespeare's life.
Average, 10 Qns, skylarb, Jun 16 03
1055 plays
  Shakespeare's Life    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Here are a few questions about his life and a few about his work.
Average, 10 Qns, robert362, May 08 12
3633 plays
  About Shakespeare    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This quiz is about Shakespeare's life and reputation rather than his works.
Average, 10 Qns, Mixamatosis, Apr 05 15
Mixamatosis gold member
365 plays
  Was Shakespeare Really Marlowe?   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 15 Qns
This quiz will show why many believe Christopher Marlowe to be the true author of the plays and sonnets long attributed to the actor, William Shakespeare.
Tough, 15 Qns, daver852, Feb 08 14
daver852 gold member
399 plays
  Do You Know Shakespeare?    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This is my debut quiz and I decided that its subject matter would be Shakespeare. I hope you like it!
Average, 10 Qns, charliebrown3, Oct 23 12
1783 plays
  The Stratford Man    
Multiple Choice
 15 Qns
Did the Stratford Man, William Shakespeare, really write the plays and poems attributed to him? Or is he history's biggest pratical joke? Take this quiz, and then decide for yourself!
Average, 15 Qns, daver852, Jul 26 07
daver852 gold member
594 plays
trivia question Quick Question
How many of Shakespeare's plays were published in his lifetime?

From Quiz "Shakespeare - His Life"

Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This quiz is about his life and not his works. I hope you enjoy it.
Average, 10 Qns, Serenesh, Jun 05 19
Serenesh gold member
Jun 05 19
255 plays
  Who Really Wrote Shakespeare?    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This quiz takes a look at some of the people and arguments concerning whether William Shakespeare actually wrote the works that have been attributed to him. The quiz should be difficult, but interesting.
Average, 10 Qns, robert362, Dec 08 12
671 plays
  Shakespeare's Stratford    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This quiz is about Shakespeare's links with Stratford upon Avon.
Average, 10 Qns, dingo74, Apr 28 09
460 plays
  Involved with Shakespeare    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
You've read his work, but how much do you know about Shakespeare's life? Time to prove that you don't just like reading his work, but that you're really involved.
Average, 10 Qns, cookrd, Feb 12 18
Feb 12 18
1139 plays
  Exit Stage Right    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Quiz Author: [entering from stage left] Ah, the Bard, who wrote many beautiful plays that are now the bane of many high schoolers. What do you know about one of the most famous playwrights?
Average, 10 Qns, rynneer, Jan 01 19
Jan 01 19
220 plays
  More About Shakespeare    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This is my second quiz about Shakespeare - his life and times. You will not need to know the detail of his plays to play this quiz, but an interest in Shakespeare should help you.
Average, 10 Qns, Mixamatosis, Feb 24 19
Mixamatosis gold member
Feb 24 19
217 plays
  Life of William Shakespeare    
Multiple Choice
 15 Qns
A quiz on the life and times of the most famous playwright in history.
Tough, 15 Qns, kristian88, Mar 07 18
Mar 07 18
1075 plays

William Shakespeare Trivia Questions

1. William Shakespeare is said to have died on his birthday. What date was it?

From Quiz

Answer: 23rd April

Shakespeare is said to have been born on St. George's day, April 23rd and this may be the true day because records show that he was baptised on 26th April 1564 at the Holy Trinity parish church, in Stratford. He was christened Gulielmus (William) Filius Johannes Shakespeare. 'Filius' means 'son' [of].

2. Shakespeare was born and grew up in which part of England?

From Quiz About Shakespeare

Answer: The Midlands

Shakespeare was born and grew up in Stratford-upon-Avon which is in Warwickshire, which is a county in the English Midlands. The nearest large modern cities are Birmingham and Coventry.

3. What do William Shakespeare of Stratford-on-Avon and Christopher Marlowe have in common?

From Quiz Was Shakespeare Really Marlowe?

Answer: Born in the same year

Christopher Marlowe attended Cambridge University, and was awarded the degree of Master of Arts in 1587. William Shakespeare never went to university. Some speculate that he may have attended the grammar school in Stratford, but the records have been lost, and there is no proof he had any formal education at all. There is no evidence that either man was a southpaw. Shakespeare married at age 18; as far as is known, Marlowe was never married. Births were not recorded in Elizabethan England, but christenings were. Marlowe was christened on February 26, 1564, and Shakespeare on April 26, 1564. Children were usually christened three days after birth, so it's likely, but not certain, that Marlowe was born on February 23, and Shakespeare on April 23. But both were definitely born in the same year.

4. The house where William Shakespeare was born stands on which street?

From Quiz Shakespeare's Stratford

Answer: Henley Street

He was born in Henley Street and after becoming famous, moved to New Place which stood opposite the Guild Chapel on Chapel Street.

5. It is thought that William Shakespeare (hereafter referred to as "The Stratford Man") was born April 23, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. Where in England is Stratford?

From Quiz The Stratford Man

Answer: Warwickshire

Stratford-upon-Avon is in Warwickshire, about 40 miles from Birmingham. At the time of the Stratford Man's birth, regional dialects were still quite strong, since English had not yet coalesced into the language we know today. One of the strange things about Shakespeare's works is that they contain very few words or idioms unique to Warwickshire, but many that derive from Kentish dialect. Christopher Marlowe was born and raised in Kent. By the way, no one knows exactly when the Stratford Man was born. We know he was christened on April 26, 1564, and usually children were christened three days after they were born. But he could have been born earlier.

6. Shakespeare married when he was just 18. What was his wife's name?

From Quiz Do You Know Shakespeare?

Answer: Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway married William Shakespeare in 1582 when she was 26, eight years his senior! She was also rumoured to be pregnant with their first child at the time.

7. The mysterious death of this writer (at approximately the time that Shakespeare was coming into prominence) has led some people to suspect that this man's death was faked. Who was he?

From Quiz Who Really Wrote Shakespeare?

Answer: Christopher Marlowe

Marlowe was almost certainly working as some type of political operative in the highly political Elizabethan world. The man who killed him (and the man's companions) were also probably involved in "spying" activities. His death came at a time when he was under investigation for charges of heresy -- a very serious charge in those days. It has been suggested that he faked his death and resumed writing, using the name Shakespeare as an alias.

8. Where was William Shakespeare born?

From Quiz Involved with Shakespeare

Answer: Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon is 94 miles from London, where Shakespeare spent most of his adult life. He was born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden, and his family was fairly 'well off'. He most likely attended a free grammar school, where he would have studied Latin. Coventry is another city in the same part of England, but as far as I know had nothing to do with Shakespeare.

9. What were the names of William's parents before they married?

From Quiz Shakespeare - His Life

Answer: John Shakespeare and Mary Arden

John Shakespeare was orginally from Snitterfield, and Mary Arden was from Wilmcote. These villages are about 3 miles (5 km) from Stratford-upon-Avon, in Warwickshire. Both John and Mary came from farming families. They married in 1557.

10. Who was Shakespeare's wife?

From Quiz Shakespeare's Life

Answer: Anne Hathaway

Morrow was married to Charles Lindbergh. Rutledge is alleged to have been the girl that Lincoln really loved - but who died young. Boleyn was one of the women in the saga of King Henry VIII.

11. What is generally thought to have been William Shakespeare's date of birth?

From Quiz The Life of William Shakespeare

Answer: April 23, 1564

William Shakespeare's actual date of birth is not known. He was baptized on April 26, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, England and at the time it was customary to baptize infants three days after birth. Of course, 23 April has the added attraction of being St. George's day ...

12. Who was Shakespeare's mother?

From Quiz Shakespeare

Answer: Mary Arden

Mary Arden was the daughter of a Wilmcote gentleman farmer called Robert Arden. She was the youngest of eight daughters and her family had been prominent in Warwickshire since before the Norman conquests. Her father was Richard Shakespeare's landlord, and Richard was the father of John, so Mary may have known him from childhood.

13. Which theatre company was Shakespeare working for at the end of his career?

From Quiz More About Shakespeare

Answer: The King's Men

Shakespeare's theatre company under Elizabeth I was 'The Chamberlain's Men' but when James I ascended the throne, the company's name was changed to 'The King's Men'.

14. Little Billy Shakespeare is all grown up, and marrying his wife at the ripe old age of... 18... Well, things were different back then. What woman, who shares the name of a famous modern-day actress, became Shakespeare's bride?

From Quiz Exit Stage Right

Answer: Anne Hathaway

At the time of their wedding, Anne Hathaway was eight years older than Shakespeare and already pregnant with their first child, Susanna, born 6 months later. They married in 1582, and had twins Hamnet and Judith three years later in 1585.

15. His shortest play was A Comedy of ______

From Quiz William Shakespeare: General Knowledge

Answer: Errors

His shortest play is A Comedy of Errors. This play has only 1,787 lines. It also contains only 14,369 words in the entire play.

16. Marlowe's earliest works are translations of Lucan's "Pharsalia" and Ovid's "Elegies." How old was he when wrote these?

From Quiz Was Shakespeare Really Marlowe?

Answer: 18

Marlowe's genius was evident at an early age. Both "Pharsalia" and the "Elegies" are believed to have been written around 1582. In contrast, the earliest work bearing the name of Shakespeare was not published until he was nearly 30, and there are no references to him as a writer prior to that date.

17. In which year did Shakespeare finally retire from public life and return to Stratford?

From Quiz Shakespeare's Stratford

Answer: 1611

Shakespeare bought New Place in 1597 but did not move there until he retired in 1611. It is not there any more as in 1759, the then owner, Reverend Francis Gastrell, got fed up with the tourists and ordered his servants to pull down Shakespeare's house. The people of Stratford drove him out of town!

18. The Stratford Man's father was one John Shakespeare. What was his profession?

From Quiz The Stratford Man

Answer: Glovemaker

The Stratford Man's parents were John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. His father held several offices in the city government, but during his time Stratford was an insignificant, impoverished little hamlet out in the English boondocks, so not too much should be made of that. He eventually fell upon hard times, and in 1586 was declared a bankrupt. Mary Arden came from a family of small farmers.

19. Shakespeare and his wife had three children, two of whom were twins. What were the twins' names?

From Quiz Do You Know Shakespeare?

Answer: Judith and Hamnet

The eldest daughter, Susanna was born in May 1583. The twins were born in February 1585. Shakespeare's only son Hamnet died in 1596, aged 11.

20. The eldest son of John Shakespeare, he was educated in Stratford. Before his profession of acting got under way, he was - according to a very popular story - forced to leave Stratford. Why?

From Quiz Life of William Shakespeare

Answer: Caught poaching

It is said that he was caught poaching in Charlecote Park but early details of his life are very vague and liable to speculation. There is no evidence to support this story and it first surface in 1708!

21. The theatre with which Shakespeare is most closely associated is the:

From Quiz Shakespeare's Life

Answer: Globe

It was situated on the South Bank [of the Thames], in Southwark.

22. What was the name of William's father?

From Quiz The Life of William Shakespeare

Answer: John

A butcher and glove maker by trade, John was elected town bailiff (equivalent to modern day mayor) and held various other official positions.

23. What business did William's father, John, pursue?

From Quiz Shakespeare

Answer: Glover

John Shakespeare was a glover and a leather worker. He was born a commoner in the village of Snitterfield near Stratford and moved to Stratford upon Avon at the age of twenty, where he managed to elevate himself into a higher class.

24. What was the name of Shakespeare's youngest brother who is buried in Southwark Cathedral in London?

From Quiz More About Shakespeare

Answer: Edmund

Mary and John Shakespeare were 40 and 49 respectively when Mary gave birth to her last son Edmund. Edmund appears to have been involved in the theatrical work in London, probably as an actor. He died aged 27, shortly after the death of his own illegitimate son. His son was christened Edward in St Leonard's church in Shoreditch, known as "the actor's church", but died a month later. Edmund was buried in St Saviour's Southwark, now known as Southwark Cathedral. A plaque can still be seen there in memory of him. The deaths were probably due to the plague. It is thought that William Shakespeare paid for the funeral because it was a costly one. Shakespeare's brother, Gilbert, also had a business in London. Richard was another brother.

25. Some people believe that Shakespeare was not the real author of his plays. A certain John Thomas Looney suggested that an aristocrat, Edward de Vere, was the real author. What are those who believe this generally known as?

From Quiz About Shakespeare

Answer: Oxfordians

They are known as "Oxfordians" as Edward de Vere was the 17th Earl of Oxford. "Stratfordians" is the term used for those who believe Shakespeare, of Statford-upon-Avon wrote the plays and sonnets traditionally ascribed to him.

26. Shakespeare is known, of course, for his 38 plays and 154 sonnets. What play is often considered to be the first performed play?

From Quiz Exit Stage Right

Answer: Henry VI, Part One

Determining Shakespeare's first-ever written play is extremely difficult, as there are few written records of their publication. Scholars still debate the chronology, but the plays centered around Henry VI are considered to be some of his earliest works, though the which of the trilogy came first is still widely debated.

27. What is Shakespeare's longest play?

From Quiz William Shakespeare: General Knowledge

Answer: Hamlet

His longest play is actually Hamlet. The play is 4,070 lines long. This is over twice the length of his shortest play. If staged in full the audience usually needs two intervals (intermissions) and the whole lasts 4.5 hours or a little longer.

28. Both Marlowe's and Shakespeare's fathers were named John. Marlowe's father was a cobbler, and Shakespeare's a glove maker. Which was able to read and write?

From Quiz Was Shakespeare Really Marlowe?

Answer: John Marlowe

John Marlowe signed his name with a fine, bold hand, and there are surviving documents proving that he could write. John Shakespeare, on the other hand, signed his name with a mark, as did Shakespeare's mother. The fact that his parents were illiterate is not proof that William Shakespeare couldn't have written the plays bearing his name, of course, but more surprising is the fact that his daughters, Judith and Susanna, were illiterate as well. One might be able to believe that the greatest writer in the English language was born into a family whose members were illiterate. But the writer of Shakespeare's plays shows great admiration for women with wit and learning. Is it likely that the creator of Portia in "The Merchant of Venice" would allow his own daughters to grow up ignorant and unlettered? For many people, including myself, this is one of the strongest arguments against William Shakespeare of Stratford as the author of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets.

29. A short drive from Stratford is the house where Shakespeare's wife had lived. What is the name of this house?

From Quiz Shakespeare's Stratford

Answer: Anne Hathaway's Cottage

Mary Arden was his mother and his daughter, Susanna, lived in Hall's Croft. Both venues can still be visited today.

30. What formal education did the Stratford Man receive?

From Quiz The Stratford Man

Answer: None that is known

It is often asserted that since Stratford boasted of a grammar school, the Stratford Man must have attended it. Not one scrap of evidence supports this belief. There are no existing records, and attendance was not mandatory. The Stratford Man may have attended school (for however many years), or he may have had no formal education at all. Unless new evidence comes to light, we shall never know.

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