A Shakespeare based quiz
Set by Maya Davis
1. Which play features two sets of twins called Antipholus
and Dromio? Comedy of Errors
2. ‘Enter Rumour, painted full of tongues.’ To which play does Rumour deliver the prologue? Henry IV part
3. In The Merchant of Venice, what name does Portia adopt when she speaks in court in Antonio’s defence? Balthasar
4. In which play is a Latin lesson used to create a comic scene?
Merry Wives of Windsor
5. The signature tune to The Apprentice was taken from a scene in the ballet based on which Shakespeare play?
Romeo & Juliet
6. Which person, mentioned by Shakespeare in a dedication, has been identified variously as the 3rd Earl of Pembroke, the 3rd Earl of Southampton or William Holme, an
associate of Shakespeare’s publisher?
‘Mr W. H’, to whom the published version of the sonnets is
7. Which character delivers the ‘Seven Ages of Man’ speech, and in which play? Jaques, in As You Like
8. Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain (also called Deeds of the Britons) seems to have been Shakespeare’s source for two plays. One is King
Lear. What is the other? Cymbeline
9. In Julius Caesar, which character delivers the speech which starts ‘Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears’?
10. Which work by Berlioz is based on Much Ado about Nothing?
Beatrice and Benedict
11. In Twelfth Night, who is the steward in Olivia’s house? Malvolio
12. Apart from Timon of Athens, one other Shakespeare play is set primarily in or around Athens. Which one?
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
13. In the opening scene of Macbeth, one of the witches says ‘Paddock calls’. In Shakespeare’s time, what sort of creature was referred to as ‘Paddock’?
14. ‘Prince of Tyre’ is the description of the title character of a Shakespeare play and appears in the full title of that play. What is this character’s name?
15. In what professional capacity is Shakespeare’s father linked to the mother of crime and thriller writer Peter James?
Both are/were glove-makers – Cornelia James was glove-maker to Queen Elizabeth II and John Shakespeare was a glover
16. The speech in which England is described as ‘this sceptred isle’ is part of the deathbed scene of a character in King Richard II. Which character delivers this
speech? John of Gaunt
17. In Hamlet, what is the name of Ophelia’s brother? Laertes
18. In which war is Troilus and Cressida set? Trojan
19. And who wrote the English poem (based mainly on a French source) which is generally believed to be Shakespeare’s main source for this play? Chaucer
20. In Henry IV, what was the name of the tavern in Eastcheap frequented by Falstaff, Prince Hal and their
friends? Boar’s Head
21. ‘Upstart Crow’ is an insult levelled at Shakespeare in a posthumous pamphlet by Robert Greene. In Ben Elton’s Upstart Crow, David Mitchell plays Shakespeare – but who
plays Greene? Mark Heap
22. In The Taming of the Shrew, what is the name of Katharina’s milder-mannered sister? Bianca
23. Which Terry Pratchett novel mixes a pastiche of theatre in Shakespeare’s time and a pastiche of Macbeth? Wyrd Sisters
24. Dogberry in All’s Well That Ends Well and Dull in Love’s Labour’s Lost both have the same profession. What is it? Constable
25. In Henry V, what provocative present does the King of France send to Henry? Tennis balls
26. Which 20th century writer’s play shares its title with the play performed before Claudius and Gertrude in Hamlet?
Agatha Christie – the play is called The
27. Which sonnet provides the title for the first in a series of books by H. E. Bates about an unconventional family? Sonnet 18,
which starts ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day’ and contains the phrase ‘The darling buds of May’
28. ‘A plague on both your houses’ is said by a character who lies dying. To what ‘houses’ does the character refer? Montague & Capulet
29. Richard II’s was called Barbary, and Richard III’s was called Surrey. What are we talking about? Horses
30. Which Shakespearean character is the rightful Duke of Milan, deposed by his brother? Prospero in The Tempest