The Ultimate Shakespeare Quiz


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About This Quiz

To be or … not that again, right? Instead of repeating the same old Shakespeare facts, this quiz will dig a little deeper into Shakespeare's life and career to give you enough unusual trivia to sound smart in English class.

When was Shakespeare born?

We know he was baptized on April 26, 1564, but don't know the actual date of his birth.

Where was Shakespeare's birthplace?

It's also where you can find his grave.

What was Shakespeare's father's profession?

John Shakespeare primarily made gloves.

John Shakespeare also held what position in Stratford?

Shakespeare's father was a high-ranking member of the city's governing body.

Shakespeare attended:

It's likely that Shakespeare attended the King's School, near his home.

Part of Shakespeare's grammar school education would include:

Latin and Greek were standard curriculum in the 16th century, which makes the literary and historical references in his work not unusual for a middle-class kid.

At the age of 18, Shakespeare had what significant life event?

Shakespeare married at 18, while his wife was already three months' pregnant with their first child.

Shakespeare's wife's name is:

Not that Anne Hathaway.

By 1585, the Shakespeares had:

Susanna, born in 1582, and the twins Judith and Hamnet, born in 1585.

After the birth of the twins, Shakespeare:

Between 1585 and 1592, there's no clue what Shakespeare was doing. But by the 1592 mention, he already seemed to be established as a playwright and actor in London.

Shakespeare was part of what theater company?

Lord Chamberlain's Men (later the King's Men) was an acting company that Shakespeare wrote for, produced and performed in.

What was the first Shakespeare play performed?

Keep in mind that nobody is certain about chronology, but it's the best guess of scholars.

What year did the Globe open?

Before that, Shakespeare and the Chamberlain Men performed at a theater called … The Theatre.

What's on Shakespeare's coat of arms?

Will was pretty literal, for a writer.

Enough about the guy. The play's the thing! Which of these plays is a Shakespeare comedy?

To be fair, some disagree that it's a comedy all the way through.

When is "Cymbeline" set?

Another romantic comedy, "Cymbeline" doesn't have the same acclaim as other works.

What play was set in Shakespeare's England?

It was unusual for Shakespeare to tackle a contemporary time.

What's Shakespeare's longest play?

At over 4,000 lines, it usually runs around four hours if it's uncut.

What's the "First Folio?"

Less than a decade after Shakespeare's death, players from his company published 36 of his plays in one collection.

How many of Shakespeare's plays had never been published before the First Folio?

Without the First Folio, these plays would never have been printed.

How many original copies of the First Folio still exist?

If you have one in your closet, it might be worth something.

How were Shakespeare's plays published before the First Folio?

Quartos were small books, and each Shakespeare quarto contained a single play.

Which title is a Shakespeare poem?

"Venus and Adonis" is a narrative poem; the other two are plays.

Shakespeare's sonnets are addressed to whom?

That is, the narrator in the poems is addressing them to a young man and dark lady.

Who were the sonnets dedicated to?

Unsurprisingly, much controversy storms over who W.H. is.

What was Shakespeare's last play?

The play was co-written with John Fletcher, around 1613.

When did Shakespeare die?

It seems that Shakespeare was going between London and Stratford for some years, but died in Stratford.

What is the content of Shakespeare's epitaph?

"Blessed be the man that spares these stones/ And cursed be he who moves my bones."

Who wrote Shakespeare's plays?

Although an enormous amount of speculation in the 20th century has ensued, most academics believe Shakespeare himself was Shakespeare.

Direct descendants of Shakespeare:

The family line died out.

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