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Quiz about Shakespeare Grab Bag
Quiz about Shakespeare Grab Bag

Shakespeare Grab Bag Trivia Quiz


I knew I'd get around to Shakespeare eventually...Enjoy this veritable grab bag, covering Shakespeare's plays, poetry, and life.

A multiple-choice quiz by skylarb. Estimated time: 7 mins.
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Author
skylarb
Time
7 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
121,481
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
20
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
10 / 20
Plays
1813
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 13 (3/20), GillianO (19/20), Guest 166 (12/20).
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Question 1 of 20
1. There are three caskets in "The Merchant of Venice." Which of the following does the lead casket best symbolize? Hint


Question 2 of 20
2. A vice character in a medieval morality play was basically the devil incarnate, a character who acted out evil without a defined motive. Shakespeare also employed vice characters in his dramas. Which of the following Shakespearean characters might qualify as a "vice" character? Hint


Question 3 of 20
3. "King Lear" is, in one sense, about the relationships between fathers and children. We know of Lear and Cordelia's misunderstanding, but there is also a subplot about another parental conflict. Gloucester reconciles with what child by the end of the play? Hint


Question 4 of 20
4. This play introduces us to an "infected world" full of "painted pomp" in which the "winter wind" is less unkind than "man's ingratitude." Yet it also tells us that suffering has a purpose, that "sweet are the uses of adversity." Hint


Question 5 of 20
5. A character in this play says that "as flies to wanton boys are we to the gods." But by the end of the tale, he has found redemption in suffering, and "the wheel is come full circle," with the evil punished. Hint


Question 6 of 20
6. This sensitive king sincerely believed that "Not all the water in the rough rude sea / can wash the balm off from an anointed king." Hint


Question 7 of 20
7. In his later plays, only commoners spoke in prose, and Shakespeare used a great many rhymed couplets.


Question 8 of 20
8. Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" boasts a character named Dogberry, who is a famous fount of malapropism. But who in "Measure for Measure" seems to have a problem with the meaning of words? Hint


Question 9 of 20
9. At least three different kinds of love are depicted in "As You Like It." Which kind is exemplified by Touchstone and Audrey? Hint


Question 10 of 20
10. What two plays focus most on the theme of law/justice vs. mercy? Hint


Question 11 of 20
11. If it's not quite a tragedy, and not quite a comedy, what do scholars usually call it? Hint


Question 12 of 20
12. In Shakespeare's comedies, we usually get an absolute moral standard, a hero with nobility of spirit and high character, and a story that emphasizes man's great potential.


Question 13 of 20
13. The English have long looked to cross-dressing as a source of comedy. Which of these heroines disguised herself as a doctor of laws named Balthasar? Hint


Question 14 of 20
14. In Jaques's "All the world's a stage" speech, to what does the lover make an ode? Hint


Question 15 of 20
15. Which of the following is not a song from one of Shakespeare's plays? Hint


Question 16 of 20
16. "____ is not ___, / Which alters when it alteration finds." What word is missing from this quotation form Sonnet 116?

Answer: (One word)
Question 17 of 20
17. Complete the close of Sonnet 94: "For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds; / Lilies that fester smell far worse than ____."

Answer: (One Word)
Question 18 of 20
18. What is the first record we have of Shakespeare's life? Hint


Question 19 of 20
19. To whom did Shakespeare dedicate "Venus and Adonis" and "The Rape of Lucrece"? Hint


Question 20 of 20
20. What Shakespearean poem features Tarquinius Sextus, the son of the seventh and last King of Rome? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Nov 30 2023 : Guest 13: 3/20
Nov 11 2023 : GillianO: 19/20
Nov 01 2023 : Guest 166: 12/20
Oct 31 2023 : Guest 105: 13/20
Oct 17 2023 : Guest 185: 18/20
Oct 12 2023 : Dorsetmaid: 17/20

Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. There are three caskets in "The Merchant of Venice." Which of the following does the lead casket best symbolize?

Answer: Risk

The inscription on the lead casket reads that whoever chooses it "must give and hazard all he hath." He who chooses the gold casket, however, will get "what many men desire," and he who chooses the silver will get "as much as he deserves." The motif of risk taking permeates the play. Antonio hazards all (his life--the pound of flesh) for friendship. Bassanio hazards all for marriage. Even Shylock hazards all for revenge--had Antonio paid on time, he would have gained nothing, not even money. Shylock alone loses his gamble.
2. A vice character in a medieval morality play was basically the devil incarnate, a character who acted out evil without a defined motive. Shakespeare also employed vice characters in his dramas. Which of the following Shakespearean characters might qualify as a "vice" character?

Answer: Don John

The motivations of Othello, Shylock, and Richard III are carefully developed. Don John of "Much Ado About Nothing," however, has no cause to hate his brother, who has forgiven him and reconciled with him even after Don John apparently rebelled against him. Yet Don John says, "If I can cross him anyway, I bless myself every way." There is no motivation for his melancholy: "There is no measure in the occasion that breeds; therefore is my sadness without limit." He would "rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in his grace."
3. "King Lear" is, in one sense, about the relationships between fathers and children. We know of Lear and Cordelia's misunderstanding, but there is also a subplot about another parental conflict. Gloucester reconciles with what child by the end of the play?

Answer: Edgar

Edmund is Gloucester's other son, who deceives him and causes the misunderstanding with Edgar in the first place. There are many parallels between Leer and Gloucester. Both fathers misunderstand and wrong their children; both end up in exile in the storm, rejected by the other children they thought had regarded them most. And both are reconciled to their misunderstood children before they die.
4. This play introduces us to an "infected world" full of "painted pomp" in which the "winter wind" is less unkind than "man's ingratitude." Yet it also tells us that suffering has a purpose, that "sweet are the uses of adversity."

Answer: As You Like It

In "As You Like It," we are shown a fallen world, one that is no longer golden, a place where "we ripe and ripe and rot and rot, and thereby hangs a tale." But we are also told a story of redemption and reconciliation, where Oliver is rescued not only from a snake, but from his darker self.
5. A character in this play says that "as flies to wanton boys are we to the gods." But by the end of the tale, he has found redemption in suffering, and "the wheel is come full circle," with the evil punished.

Answer: King Lear

Gloucester makes the "flies to wanton boys" analogy, but at length he learns how much he has wronged his own son ("I stumbled when I saw") and is reconciled to him.
6. This sensitive king sincerely believed that "Not all the water in the rough rude sea / can wash the balm off from an anointed king."

Answer: Richard II

Richard II is keenly aware of the symbolic power of the kingship, and he is engrossed with the idea of the divine right of kings. When he is deposed, he makes allusion to Christ's crucifixion, with references to Pilate, Judas, Golgotha, and his "sour cross."
7. In his later plays, only commoners spoke in prose, and Shakespeare used a great many rhymed couplets.

Answer: False

This is true of his earlier, not his later plays. In his later plays, he tended to move from rhymed couplets toward blank verse and prose, which also had an effect of increasing realism. Read an early play like "Romeo and Juliet," and you will notice the large number of couplets used.
8. Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" boasts a character named Dogberry, who is a famous fount of malapropism. But who in "Measure for Measure" seems to have a problem with the meaning of words?

Answer: Elbow

A malapropism is when one word is replaced with another word that sounds similar but means something very different. This usually creates a comic effect. Elbow refers to "notorious benefactors" when he means malefactors, says a woman was never "respected with man" when he means suspected, and so on. Dogberry has many more, my favorite being when he says his captives will be "condemned into everlasting redemption."
9. At least three different kinds of love are depicted in "As You Like It." Which kind is exemplified by Touchstone and Audrey?

Answer: Lust

The relationship between Phoebe and Silvus represents the pastoral, romantic ideal, and thus mocks that ideal. The relationship between Orlando and Rosalind represents true love. But it is lust that drives the third relationship.
10. What two plays focus most on the theme of law/justice vs. mercy?

Answer: "Measure for Measure" and "Merchant of Venice"

This theme is clear in "Measure for Measure," where Angelo represents the strictures of law and does not understand how to "condemn the fault and not the actor." The theme is also apparent in "Merchant of Venice," where Shylock legalistically demands his pound of flesh, and Portia delivers her famous "the quality of mercy is not strained" speech.
11. If it's not quite a tragedy, and not quite a comedy, what do scholars usually call it?

Answer: A problem play

Problem plays often have dark undercurrents but tend to end happily. They express a great deal of cynicism, but also offer us characters who can serve as ideals. "Measure for Measure" is one prime example of this kind of play.
12. In Shakespeare's comedies, we usually get an absolute moral standard, a hero with nobility of spirit and high character, and a story that emphasizes man's great potential.

Answer: False

These are generally the characteristics of tragedy, not comedy. In comedy, the hero is likeable, but caricatured; he is an ordinary mortal, with wit and sophistication and many follies. Characters in comedies are usually judged against a relative moral standard.
13. The English have long looked to cross-dressing as a source of comedy. Which of these heroines disguised herself as a doctor of laws named Balthasar?

Answer: Portia

In "Merchant of Venice," Portia, disguised as Balthasar, orchestrates the resolution of the play. Rosalind also does a bit of cross dressing in "As You Like It," disguising herself as Ganymede. She likewise brings about the play's resolution in this guise.
14. In Jaques's "All the world's a stage" speech, to what does the lover make an ode?

Answer: His mistress's eyebrow

"All the world's a stage" says Jaques in his famous "Seven Ages of Man" speech in "As You Like It." He continues, "and all the men and women on it merely players. They have their exits and their entrances..." The stage symbolizes life, because it is the platform upon which men play parts.

The view is a bleak one; men are acting through life, rather than living sincerely. The lover makes an ode to his mistress's "eyebrow" the soldier seeks "the bubble reputation" even in the cannon's mouth.
15. Which of the following is not a song from one of Shakespeare's plays?

Answer: Why So Pale and Wan, Fond Lover?

"Why so Pale and Wan" was written by Sir John Suckling and first printed in his play "Aglaura" in 1638, several years after Shakespeare's death.
16. "____ is not ___, / Which alters when it alteration finds." What word is missing from this quotation form Sonnet 116?

Answer: Love

This love sonnet, which begins, "Let me not to the marriage of true minds / Admit impediments," takes a key from the Anglican marriage service for its first line. The minister asks that if anyone knows of "just impediment" why the couple should not be jointed, he should "speak now, or forever hold his peace."
17. Complete the close of Sonnet 94: "For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds; / Lilies that fester smell far worse than ____."

Answer: weeds

This sonnet begins, "They that have power to hurt and will do none." According to the "Norton Anthology" Volume One, this closing line appears in an "apocryphal Shakespearean play" called Edward III, which was "licensed December 2, 1595."
18. What is the first record we have of Shakespeare's life?

Answer: His christening in 1564

After his christening, however, there is a long silence in the historical record, until his marriage to Anne Hathaway. Then again, after the birth of his twins, we hear no more of him until 1592, when it is assumed he is referred to as the "upstart crow" Robert Greene criticizes.
19. To whom did Shakespeare dedicate "Venus and Adonis" and "The Rape of Lucrece"?

Answer: The Earl of Southampton

It is assumed Southampton was Shakespeare's patron. The Earl of Oxford is proposed by a minority of scholars as the true author of Shakespeare's plays. Oxford's daughter was engaged to Southampton at about this time.
20. What Shakespearean poem features Tarquinius Sextus, the son of the seventh and last King of Rome?

Answer: The Rape of Lucrece

Tarquinius raped Lucrece, and he was expelled from Rome as a consequence. After his exile, the Republic was established.
Source: Author skylarb

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor Bruyere before going online.
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