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SHAKESPEARE TRIVIA II

11) Which of Shakespeare's plays is based on Cinthio's Un Capitano Moro?


Cinthio's "Moor" is the model for Shakespeare's Othello, but some researchers believe the poet also took inspiration from the several Moorish delegations from Morocco to Elizabethan England circa 1600.

12) How many of Shakespeare's original manuscripts have survived?


None of Shakespeare's original manuscripts have survived, due perhaps to the fact that they were written, many of them hastily, strictly for stage performance. Not so much as a couplet written in Shakespeare's own hand has ever been proven to exist.

13) What was the name of Shakespeare's only son?


Shakespeare's only son, Hamnet, was born approximately two years after he married Anne Hathaway. The boy died in childhood, at the age of 11, in 1596, and was buried at Stratford. Hamnet had a twin sister named Judith who lived into adulthood. The poet and dramatist William D'Avenant (1606-68) was rumored to be the illegitimate son of Shakespeare, but there is no proof to substantiate this claim.

14) How many of Shakespeare's plays were published during his lifetime?


Before the publication of the First Folio in 1623, nineteen of the thirty-seven plays in Shakespeare's canon had appeared in quarto format. The editors of the First Folio branded all of the quartos fraudulent, writing in their preface that readers had been cheated by "diverse stolen and surreptitious copies, maimed and deformed by the frauds of injurious imposters that expos'd them." Of these quartos, all but Othello (1622) were published prior to the date of Shakespeare's retirement in 1611. So eighteen (probably fraudulent versions) of his plays were published before his death.

15) What other dramatist called Shakespeare an "upstart crow"?


In Greene's Groats-worth of Witte, bought with a million of Repentance, Robert Greene wrote that Shakespeare was "an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tygers hart wrapt in a Players hyde, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blanke verse as the best of you: and being an absolute Johannes fac totum, is in his owne conceit the onely Shake-scene in a countrey."

16) Who murdered Hamlet's father?


Claudius murdered his own brother and seized the throne, also marrying his deceased brother's widow.

17) Which character says, "Be not afraid of greatness"?


In Twelfth Night, Malvolio says: "Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them."

18) What play do the six mechanicals perform in A Midsummer Night's Dream?


The six mechanicals perform the play-within-a-play Pyramus and Thisbe, looking to make names for themselves by having their production chosen among several acts as the courtly entertainment for the royal wedding party of Theseus and Hippolyta.

19) Which character asks, "What's in a name?"


In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet says, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet."

20) Who executes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern?


When Hamlet kills Polonius, Claudius recruits Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to escort Hamlet to England, providing them with a letter for the King of England instructing him to have Hamlet killed. Along the journey, the distrustful Hamlet finds and rewrites the letter, instructing the executioner to kill Rosencrantz and Guildenstern instead.

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