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SHAKESPEARE TRIVIA

Sub-Categories: Hamlet Trivia, Macbeth Trivia

1) What university did William Shakespeare attend?


William Shakespeare, one of literature's greatest figures, never attended any university.

2) What is Shakespeare's shortest play?


With 1,787 lines and 14,369 words, The Comedy of Errors is Shakespeare's shortest play. The shortest of his tragedies (with 1993 lines) is Macbeth.

3) What was the name of Shakespeare's wife?


In 1582, at the age of eighteen, William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway who was seven or eight years older than the young playwright. Very little is known about her beyond a few references in legal documents, but her personality and relationship to Shakespeare have been the subject of much speculation by historians and creative writers.

4) What actor first performed the roles of Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Richard III?


Richard Burbage, the son of theatrical entrepreneur James Burbage, was one of the most famous actors of his day. He was the first actor to play many of Shakespeare's most famous parts, including Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Richard III. He remained a member of the Chamberlain's Men (later the King's Men) until his death in 1619.

5) Which role is Shakespeare said to have played in the original production of Hamlet?


About a hundred years after Shakespeare's death, Nicholas Rowe reported that he had heard an anecdote that Shakespeare himself had played the Ghost in the original production of Hamlet. Although there is little evidence to support it, the theory continues to this day.

6) Who dies first -- Romeo or Juliet?


In the final scenes of Romeo and Juliet, although Juliet appears to be dead when Romeo finds her, she is actually in a deep drug-induced sleep. Grief-stricken, Romeo takes his life first. When Juliet awakens, she finds her lover's body and, realizing that their plan has somehow failed, decides to join Romeo in death.

7) In what play did Shakespeare coin the term "the beast with two backs"?


Shakespeare coined the phrase "the beast with two backs" (meaning sexual intercourse) in Othello (Act 1, Scene 1).

8) What did Shakespeare leave to his wife in his will?


The Bard's will gave most of his property to Susanna, his first child, and not to his wife Anne Hathaway. Instead his loyal wife infamously received his "second-best bed".

9) Which character in Julius Caesar says, "Cowards die many times before their deaths"?


Julius Caesar says: "Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once."

10) What are Oberon and Titania feuding over in A Midsummer Night's Dream?


Oberon and his wife Titania are feuding over a changeling child whom Oberon wants to raise as his henchman. Titania wants to keep the child because he is the child of Titania's mortal follower who died, and she wants to raise the child for her follower.

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