Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. In "Romeo and Juliet," after Romeo has killed Tybalt, Benvolio says, "Romeo, that spoke him fair, bid him bethink how nice the quarrel was." Why does Shakespeare use the word "nice" to describe the feud between the Montagues and Capulets?
2. You are watching "The Comedy of Errors." In Act IV, Scene III, Dromio of Syracuse approaches his master, Antipholus, and says, "Here are the angels that you sent for to deliver you." You look around the stage, but you don't see any angels. Why did Shakespeare say this?
3. In "Henry V" the king goes about the camp in disguise before the Battle of Agincourt. He meets with Pistol who does not recognize him. Pistol asks his name, and he replies "Harry Le Roy." Pistol then says, "Le Roy! a Cornish name: art thou of Cornish crew?" And the king answers, "No, I am a Welshman." One has to go back several generations to find any Welsh blood in Henry's family tree, so why does Shakespeare have him say this?
4. In "Julius Caesar," Act II, Scene I, some of the conspirators are meeting when they hear a clock strike. Brutus says, "Peace! Count the clock." And Cassius replies, "The clock hath stricken three." What is wrong with this scene?
5. In the prologue to "Romeo and Juliet," we hear: "From forth the fatal loins of these two foes / A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life." What did Shakespeare mean by "star-cross'd"?
6. One of Shakespeare's most popular plays is "MacBeth." In Act I, Scene III after the witches have told MacBeth that he shall be thane of Glamis, thane of Cawdor, and eventually King of Scotland, MacBeth says, "But how of Cawdor? the thane of Cawdor lives, / A prosperous gentleman; and to be king / Stands not within the prospect of belief, / No more than to be Cawdor." What is strange about this speech?
7. Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice," shows a strong prejudice against Jews. Why is it surprising that Shakespeare would write a play with a Jew as the villain?
8. The first time the name of William Shakespeare appeared in print was in June, 1593 in connection with a long poem called "Venus and Adonis." The poem contains a dedication to Henry Wriothesley, third Earl of Southampton. What was unusual about this dedication?
9. In 1609, Shakespeare's Sonnets were published. Most of these poems follow the same form, but Sonnet 145 is a bit different. Here are a few lines from it: "Straight in her heart did mercy come, / Chiding that tongue that ever sweet / Was used in giving gentle doom, / And taught it thus anew to greet." How does this sonnet differ from the rest?
10. Supposedly the last thing Shakespeare wrote was a simple poem of four lines: "Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear / To dig the dust enclosed here / Blessed be the man that spares these stones / And cursed be he that moves my bones." Why did Shakespeare write this?
Source: Author daver852
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