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Quiz about Shakespearean Apocrypha
Quiz about Shakespearean Apocrypha

Shakespearean Apocrypha Trivia Quiz


In 1623, "Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies", aka the First Folio, published the accepted canon of 36 plays, but others were not in it. Can you answer these questions about plays not in the First Folio?

A multiple-choice quiz by Red_John. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
Red_John
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
403,928
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
160
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. The 1623 First Folio introduced the now accepted categories of play by William Shakespeare - comedy, history and tragedy. The three extant plays now accepted as canonical that were not published in the First Folio, "Edward III", "The Two Noble Kinsmen" and "Pericles, Prince of Tyre", are regarded as part of two of these categories. Which category do none of them occupy?

Answer: (One Word; Category with second highest number of plays)
Question 2 of 10
2. "Pericles, Prince of Tyre" is one of Shakespeare's plays set in the ancient world. In which ancient city does the opening of the play take place? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. "Pericles, Prince of Tyre" is somewhat unusual in that it features a narrator (or, more accurately, a chorus) in the form of which English poet? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. "The Two Noble Kinsmen" is set primarily in Greece, and features which Greek hero as one of its leading characters? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. "The Two Noble Kinsmen" is based primarily on one of the individual stories from Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales". Which of the stories is it based on? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. At the conclusion of "Edward III", the King is brought news of a victory in which battle? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Shakespeare often used historical texts as sources for his historical plays. Which author's work is believed to have been the primary source for "Edward III"? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Only one of the three extant plays was eventually published in folio format alongside the rest of Shakespeare's canon.


Question 9 of 10
9. "The History of Cardenio" is a play believed to have been written by Shakespeare, but which is now lost. It is thought to be based on a work by which other author? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. In the 18th century, a play entitled "Double Falsehood" was first staged. Believed by some to have been an adaptation of "The History of Cardenio", which dramatist wrote "Double Falsehood"? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The 1623 First Folio introduced the now accepted categories of play by William Shakespeare - comedy, history and tragedy. The three extant plays now accepted as canonical that were not published in the First Folio, "Edward III", "The Two Noble Kinsmen" and "Pericles, Prince of Tyre", are regarded as part of two of these categories. Which category do none of them occupy?

Answer: Tragedy

"Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies", also known as the First Folio, was published in 1623, and was the first instance of publication for about 20 of the originally accepted list of 36 plays to have been written by William Shakespeare.

It was the First Folio that also grouped them into the accepted categories of comedies, histories and tragedies. However, in 1875, the Shakespearean scholar Edward Dowden introduced a fourth category, "romances", to encompass a group of works written by Shakespeare later in his career.

These plays, including "The Tempest", "The Winter's Tale" and "Cymbeline", containing some comic elements, but also elements of tragedy, turning them more into tragicomedy, have been brought into this fourth group, to which have been added both "Pericles, Prince of Tyre" and "The Two Noble Kinsmen".
2. "Pericles, Prince of Tyre" is one of Shakespeare's plays set in the ancient world. In which ancient city does the opening of the play take place?

Answer: Antioch

Antioch is an ancient city located near the modern city of Antakya, in Turkey. In the play, Pericles, the ruler of Tyre, is presented with a riddle by Antiochus, the King of Antioch that, if he is able to decipher, will see Antiochus grant the hand of his daughter in marriage. If he fails to decipher the riddle however, he will be put to death. To prevent this, Pericles flees Antioch, and leaves Tyre in the hands of a regent.

"Pericles, Prince of Tyre" is believed to have been authored around 1607 or 1608, which corresponds with the writing career of the author that Shakespeare is thought to have collaborated with in writing the play, George Wilkins. The play was originally published as a quarto in 1609, but was not included in the First Folio in 1623, despite it being regarded as one of Shakespeare's most popular plays during his own lifetime.
3. "Pericles, Prince of Tyre" is somewhat unusual in that it features a narrator (or, more accurately, a chorus) in the form of which English poet?

Answer: John Gower

One of the major sources used in the writing of "Pericles, Prince of Tyre" is the "Confessio Amantis", a 14th-century poem by John Gower, which tells the story of Apollonius of Tyre, upon whom Pericles is based. The other major source is "The Pattern of Painful Adventures", a novel by Lawrence Twine published in 1576, which is essentially a prose version of Gower's poem.

In the play, Gower serves as a chorus, commenting on the action, who prefaces each scene with a prologue. This method is believed to have been influenced by "The Travels of the Three English Brothers", a play of 1607 upon which George Wilkins collaborated.
4. "The Two Noble Kinsmen" is set primarily in Greece, and features which Greek hero as one of its leading characters?

Answer: Theseus

"The Two Noble Kinsmen" begins in Athens, with the wives of three kings requesting that King Theseus and his wife, Hippolyta, avenge the deaths of their husbands at the hands of the tyrant Creon of Thebes, which Theseus agrees to by having Athens declare war on Thebes. In Greek mythology, Theseus was the founder and king of Athens, a hero to the Athenians, who was responsible for the union between Athens and Attica. The major source for what is known or believed about Theseus is Plutarch's "The Life of Theseus", although there is no verifiable evidence that Theseus actually existed.

"The Two Noble Kinsmen" is believed to date from 1613 or 1614, as there are references to the character Palamon, one of the protagonists, in Ben Jonson's play of 1614, "Bartholomew Fair", which indicates that the character was known of at the time. "The Two Noble Kinsmen" was originally published for the first time in quarto format in 1634, but was not included in any folio editions of Shakespeare's work.
5. "The Two Noble Kinsmen" is based primarily on one of the individual stories from Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales". Which of the stories is it based on?

Answer: The Knight's Tale

Although "The Knight's Tale" had been adapted at least twice for the stage, it is not clear whether either of these was used by Shakespeare and his collaborator, John Fletcher, in writing "The Two Noble Kinsmen". The first of these, "Palamon and Arcite" by Richard Edwardes, was written specially for a visit by Queen Elizabeth I to Christ Church, Oxford in 1566, and was never published, making it unlikely that the authors would have been aware of it.

The second was a play commissioned by impresario Philip Henslowe in 1594, and staged by The Admiral's Men, which may have initially served as inspiration for "A Midsummer Night's Dream", which was written around this time. Shakespeare later returned to the idea for a more direct adaptation of the work by Chaucer, as "The Two Noble Kinsmen" has been dated to around 1613, which corresponds to the dating of the play "The Masque of the Inner Temple and Gray's Inn", which is thought to have influenced the comic sub-plot in Shakespeare and Fletcher's work.
6. At the conclusion of "Edward III", the King is brought news of a victory in which battle?

Answer: Poitiers

"Edward III" was originally published as a quarto in 1596. Although published with no author credit, by the 1990s many Shakespearean scholars had come to accept that the play had at least in part been written by William Shakespeare. Although the play features a number of events from the reign of King Edward III, it radically compresses these to fit the narrative structure of the piece; for example, the Battle of Poitiers, which actually took place in 1356, is depicted as immediately following the Battle of Crécy, which actually occurred ten years previously. This dramatic licence extends to the presence of characters who could not possibly have been at the events at which they are depicted, and sees others having been merged.

"Edward III" dates from around 1592, with Shakespearean scholars now of the opinion that Shakespeare wrote slightly less than half of the text, with the remainder written by a collaborator, believed by some to be Thomas Kyd. The play was originally published anonymously in quarto in 1596.
7. Shakespeare often used historical texts as sources for his historical plays. Which author's work is believed to have been the primary source for "Edward III"?

Answer: Raphael Holinshed

Raphael Holinshed was an English chronicler and historian, who is perhaps most famous for his work "Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland", a three volume history of Britain and Ireland that was originally published in 1577. This work was originally conceived by Reginald Wolfe, a printer in London who, in 1548, sought to produce a comprehensive book of world history, for which he employed Holinshed as a collaborator.

By the time of Wolfe's death in 1573, the scope of the project had changed to just the British Isles, and it was taken over by a group of three stationers from London, who retained Holinshed to complete it. William Shakespeare is believed to have made extensive use of the second edition of "Holinshed's Chronicles", published in 1587, as a source for his history plays, including "Edward III", as well as those plays that are set in ancient Britain ("King Lear", "Cymbeline" and "Macbeth").
8. Only one of the three extant plays was eventually published in folio format alongside the rest of Shakespeare's canon.

Answer: True

Prior to 1623, publication of William Shakespeare's plays had been undertaken largely in quarto format, which is where a sheet of paper is folded twice, producing four leaves, and thus able to accommodate eight pages of text. Twenty of the plays now accepted as having been written by Shakespeare were published in this format including "Edward III" and "Pericles, Prince of Tyre" ("The Two Noble Kinsmen" was first published in quarto in 1634).

In 1623, seven years after Shakespeare's death, his former colleagues John Heminges and Henry Condell published a collection of his plays in folio format.

This book, "Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies", contained a total of 36 plays, including eighteen that had never previously been published.

However, it did not include "Edward III", "Pericles, Prince of Tyre" or "The Two Noble Kinsmen". A second edition of the book was published in 1632 with the same content, while a third came in 1663. This third edition saw the addition of seven plays that had been attributed to Shakespeare, including "Pericles, Prince of Tyre", which is the only one since accepted into the Shakespearean canon. "The Two Noble Kinsmen" was first published in folio format in the second edition of a collection of John Fletcher's works in 1679.
9. "The History of Cardenio" is a play believed to have been written by Shakespeare, but which is now lost. It is thought to be based on a work by which other author?

Answer: Miguel de Cervantes

"The History of Cardenio", also referred to simply as "Cardenio", is a play that was performed by The King's Men, the theatrical company to which William Shakespeare belonged, in 1613. While the content of "Cardenio" is not known, there is a character of the same name in Cervantes' novel "Don Quixote", a young man who has been driven mad and lives in the Sierra Morena mountain range who comes across Don Quixote and Sancho Panza and tells them his story.

Although there is no contemporary record of the play's authorship, an entry in the Stationers' Register in 1653, used to assert the right to publish a work, lists William Shakespeare and John Fletcher as the authors.

A number of modern scholars accept this attribution based on a number of reasons: Shakespeare and Fletcher had two other collaborations, "The Two Noble Kinsmen" and "Henry VIII", around the same period; Thomas Shelton's translation of the first part of "Don Quixote" was published in 1612, and so would have been available to the authors as a source; while Fletcher based a number of his later plays on works by Cervantes.
10. In the 18th century, a play entitled "Double Falsehood" was first staged. Believed by some to have been an adaptation of "The History of Cardenio", which dramatist wrote "Double Falsehood"?

Answer: Lewis Theobald

Lewis Theobald was an author and editor, perhaps most famous for his 1726 edition of Shakespeare's collected works, "Shakespeare Restored". In 1727, Theobald claimed to have obtained three Restoration-era manuscripts of an unnamed play by Shakespeare, which he edited and released as a play under the title "Double Falshood, or The Distrest Lovers", later to be given the title "Double Falsehood", which features the plot of the Cardenio story from "Don Quixote".

Although Theobald did not prove the existence of his alleged manuscripts, analysis of "Double Falsehood" has led to the conclusion that it may have been originally written by John Fletcher in collaboration with another playwright, which may have been Shakespeare.

In 2011, the Royal Shakespeare Company staged a production of "Double Falsehood" under the title "Cardenio, Shakespeare's 'lost play' re-imagined", while in 2012, Shakespeare scholar Gary Taylor produced an "unadaptation", which attempted to create a version of "Cardenio" by reversing Theobald's alterations.
Source: Author Red_John

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