Questions and Answers for William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

What are the figures of speech in Sonnet 29?  

When we look for figures of speech, we're looking for words and phrases that are not meant to be taken literally, so we're specifically looking to identify these devices: figurative comparisons...

Latest answer posted May 4, 2016 8:41 pm UTC

1 educator answer

William Shakespeare

In which play by Shakespeare can I find this quote, "When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew"?.

This quote is from the Opera Falstaff by Verdi. Fenton sings it to Nannetta in Act 2 Part 2: Come ti vidiM’innamorai,E tu sorridiPerchè lo sai. The Italian can be translated to: "When I saw...

Latest answer posted July 4, 2015 8:15 pm UTC

2 educator answers

William Shakespeare

Why do we still study Shakespeare?

Shakespeare is considered the greatest playwright in the world. This includes not just English-speaking countries, but everywhere. There are a number of reasons for this, and these explain why we...

Latest answer posted March 1, 2019 7:52 pm UTC

3 educator answers

William Shakespeare

What are the differences and similarities between the Petrarchan and Shakespearean sonnets, in a Venn diagram?

Here’s a simple Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the Petrarchan (Italian) sonnet and the Shakespearean (English) sonnet. Let’s break down the diagram to look into these similarities and...

Latest answer posted April 12, 2016 2:45 pm UTC

1 educator answer

William Shakespeare

Why is Shakespeare considered to be the greatest writer in English literature?

Shakespeare's greatest contribution to literature would probably be the variety of material that he produced during his lifetime. He wrote histories, such as Julius Caesar. He wrote love stories,...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2016 2:44 pm UTC

1 educator answer

William Shakespeare

What are William Shakespeare's contributions to English literature?

Shakespeare has had an enormous influence on English literature. Shakespeare, who was never afraid to innovate, contributed more than 1,700 words to the English language. More importantly, he...

Latest answer posted October 9, 2017 12:01 pm UTC

2 educator answers

William Shakespeare

What were the main beliefs and values of Shakespeare's time?

It is important to note that during Shakespeare's lifetime, there were two monarchs ruling in England. Elizabeth I came to the throne at the age of twenty-five, following "Bloody Mary's" disastrous...

Latest answer posted September 10, 2015 9:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

William Shakespeare

Why is Shakespeare still popular today? I am completing a speech about Shakespeare and one of the questions we were...

William Shakespeare's poetry and, particularly his plays, are still among the greatest ever, and his work is unmatched in the history of the English language. It is no wonder that students around...

Latest answer posted June 30, 2012 10:29 pm UTC

8 educator answers

William Shakespeare

Name two monarchs that ruled during Shakespeare's lifetime.  

Shakespeare lived and worked through the reign of two monarchs, Queen Elizabeth I and King James I of England (who was also King James VI of Scotland). This was generally a time of relative...

Latest answer posted January 13, 2019 12:02 pm UTC

2 educator answers

William Shakespeare

In Hamlet's soliloquy "To be or Not to be", what are Hamlet's feelings?

The soliloquy “To be, or not to be: that is the question” appears in Act 3 Scene 1 in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It is, perhaps, one of the best-known soliloquies by Hamlet in the play, which...

Latest answer posted October 19, 2013 2:14 pm UTC

1 educator answer

William Shakespeare

What are some literary devices used in Macbeth, act 1, scene 5, 40-75?

In this passage of the play, Lady Macbeth plots the murder of King Duncan, who is coming to her home to celebrate his victory in the war, and to honour Macbeth's role in that victory. Moments...

Latest answer posted April 15, 2019 8:59 am UTC

1 educator answer

William Shakespeare

Why was theater so important to the Elizabethans?

According to Hardin Craig and David Bevington in their introduction to The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Elizabethan England was a place of explosive economic growth as well as growing...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2020 4:37 pm UTC

4 educator answers

William Shakespeare

Why were women not allowed to be actors during Elizabethan times and what did the "actresses" wear?

Excellent answer. One other reason for the prohibition is that society tended to assume women in acting groups were prostitutes. Partly this was a prejudice based on the travelling of acting...

Latest answer posted September 26, 2009 2:43 pm UTC

2 educator answers

William Shakespeare

What is the full name of William Shakespeare? Who are his siblings?

Enough historical evidence exists to prove that the full name of the poet and playwright now known to be one of the world's greatest dramatists was William Shakespeare. That was his true name. He...

Latest answer posted March 1, 2019 3:19 am UTC

2 educator answers

William Shakespeare

How Many Poems Did Shakespeare Write

As you can see by the previous answers, this question is almost a trick question. Depending on whether you consider certain parts of Shakespeare’s famous plays “poems” or whether you consider works...

Latest answer posted January 16, 2016 12:15 pm UTC

4 educator answers

William Shakespeare

What is the difference between Greek tragedy and Shakespearean tragedy?  

Further, for the ancient Greeks, honoring the gods via the plays' plots was extremely important. For example, one major theme of the popular Sophocles drama, Oedipus Rex, is that one simply cannot...

Latest answer posted September 17, 2016 1:49 pm UTC

2 educator answers

William Shakespeare

Why is Shakespeare such a famous writer?

Shakespeare is famous because he wrote some great stories. People love stories above all else. One of the reasons his plays are so popular is because he wrote about kings and queens, and big lives...

Latest answer posted October 15, 2011 3:14 pm UTC

4 educator answers

William Shakespeare

What is the significance of Shakespeare's Globe Theater in the past Elizabethan times and the present?

The Globe was significant in the past because it was part of the English Renaissance, a time when theater and the arts flourished. It was also the place where many of Shakespeare's plays saw their...

Latest answer posted October 25, 2018 2:05 pm UTC

2 educator answers

William Shakespeare

What are some examples of literary devices found in Hamlet act 4, scene 4, lines 32–46?

First, this entire passage is a soliloquy, a device in which an actor in a play speaks his thoughts out loud to the audience. Here, Hamlet is expressing his frustration at himself for constantly...

Latest answer posted May 16, 2018 9:22 pm UTC

1 educator answer

William Shakespeare

Shakespeare Epitaph

"Good Friends, for Jesus' sake forbear, To dig the bones enclosed here! Blest be the man that spares these stones, And curst be he that moves my bones." In his epitaph, which he oddly wrote...

Latest answer posted January 19, 2016 10:46 am UTC

4 educator answers

William Shakespeare

How did Shakespeare influence the Renaissance?

Rather than embrace the method employed in the other answer to the student’s question – how did Shakespeare influence the Renaissance – by inverting the question, I will attempt to answer the...

Latest answer posted June 3, 2015 1:42 am UTC

1 educator answer

William Shakespeare

To Which Era Do William Shakespeare’s Plays Belong?

I'm not entirely sure what you might be meaning by the word "era", so I'll give a few interpretations. Shakespeare wrote most of his plays right around the year 1600. 1589 to 1613 to be exact....

Latest answer posted January 11, 2016 2:44 pm UTC

3 educator answers

William Shakespeare

What are the similarities between Hamlet and Macbeth?  I know the obvious one like murder, treason, and power. but is...

Hamlet and Macbeth are both obsessed with death. They are both nobles. Both are doomed to be tragic heroes. They are different in many ways, though. Hamlet is younger, and he’s not married. He...

Latest answer posted October 15, 2011 1:17 pm UTC

3 educator answers

William Shakespeare

Is this a quote from William Shakespeare? "For he today who sheds his blood with me, he is my brother." I...

As noted in the other answer, these words are written by Shakespeare and appear in Henry V, Act IV, scene iii. As background, the English troops massed in France are about to fight the Battle of...

Latest answer posted August 14, 2018 11:27 pm UTC

2 educator answers

William Shakespeare

How much did it cost for people to watch a performance at the Shakespeare's 'Globe Theatre' in Shakespeare's time?

You can actually find out this information from the Globe Theatre itself, although the modern Globe is only the latest iteration of what was, in fact, the first purpose-built theatre in England. In...

Latest answer posted January 20, 2018 7:49 am UTC

3 educator answers

William Shakespeare

What is reversed sentence structure in reference to Shakespeare?

The typical, simplest English sentence structure takes the subject (S), verb (V), object (O) grammatical pattern, which is frequently abbreviated to SVO. In other words, a typical English sentence...

Latest answer posted May 22, 2016 3:23 am UTC

3 educator answers

William Shakespeare

Did People Really Speak The Way They Do In Shakespeare's Plays

No, for the most part at least, Shakespeare is not mimicking the voices of people living in Elizabethan England in his plays. Shakespeare wrote his plays primarily in blank verse, which is the...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2009 3:43 am UTC

1 educator answer

William Shakespeare

What might be good questions to ask William Shakespeare? For English, a partner and I are supposed to act out an...

There have been many movies based on "Hamlet." We just finished watching the Mel Gibson edition. I'd ask Shakespeare to watch them all and let us know which most closely embodies his...

Latest answer posted November 23, 2008 9:49 am UTC

10 educator answers

William Shakespeare

Will someone please translate the meaning to Shakespeare: "To die means to have an orgasm"?

In sixteenth century France and England, to “die” could also mean to orgasm. Both are a climactic conclusion, one to life and the other to sex. This connection between sex and death can be seen in...

Latest answer posted August 7, 2016 5:24 pm UTC

2 educator answers

William Shakespeare

Which literary devices are used in Sonnet 12?

Shakespeare utilizes a number of literary devices in this poem, which is concerned with the inevitable passage of time. He makes particular use of metaphor and personification in order to convey...

Latest answer posted February 10, 2020 12:11 pm UTC

4 educator answers

William Shakespeare

Should Shakespeare's plays be taught in schools? Why? Why not? Should Shakespeare's plays be taught in schools? Why?...

Absolutely. Shakespeare was a phenomenal writer for his time. The fact that we still discuss his writing indicates it should be taught as quality literature. Do we, however, have to teach all parts...

Latest answer posted October 22, 2010 7:06 am UTC

7 educator answers

William Shakespeare

What does iambic pentameter symbolize in Shakespeare's plays?

Another example of the difference between the use of iambic pentameter and prose for a specific purpose in a play is seen in Hamlet. Hamlet, as the prince of Denmark, speaks in iambic pentameter...

Latest answer posted September 13, 2010 8:49 am UTC

3 educator answers

William Shakespeare

Describe the chaos and confusion in act 1, scene 1, of The Tempest.

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a tempest can be defined as "a violent storm." Its alternate definition is "tumult, uproar." In the classic play The Tempest by William...

Latest answer posted June 16, 2019 12:53 am UTC

1 educator answer

William Shakespeare

If you could change the ending to any of Shakespeare's plays, which one would it be, and what would you change? If...

I agree that Romeo and Juliet should catch a break. They are just kids! However I would like to change the ending to Macbeth. The problem is that if we did, Macbeth would not be a tragic hero...

Latest answer posted October 15, 2011 2:10 pm UTC

4 educator answers

William Shakespeare

What inspired William Shakespeare? What inspired William Shakespeare?

Shakespeare was often inspired by history. He wrote many plays with historical figures, and based his kings and queens and other characters on them as well. We know he was also inspired by Greeks...

Latest answer posted October 15, 2011 1:38 pm UTC

4 educator answers

William Shakespeare

Who were the two monarchs that ruled with power during Shakespeare's life?  

As others have stated, there were two monarchs that ruled during Shakespeare's life, which was roughly from 1564-1616. I will try to add new insight into these two characters, as opposed to...

Latest answer posted January 12, 2016 11:14 pm UTC

3 educator answers

William Shakespeare

Where is this Shakespeare quote from? "I love thee, I love but thee with a love that shall not die Till the sun grows...

This is, in fact, as the previous educator has said, not a quote from William Shakespeare at all. Instead, it is a quote from "Bedouin Love Song" by Bayard Taylor, and it was written in the 19th...

Latest answer posted November 27, 2018 7:29 am UTC

2 educator answers

William Shakespeare

What was Shakespeare's view of human nature?

Shakespeare often expresses a negative view of human nature through his characters. Hamlet, for instance, says: How weary, stale, flat and unprofitableSeem to me all the uses of this world!Fie...

Latest answer posted May 18, 2015 3:43 pm UTC

1 educator answer

William Shakespeare

What different coloured flags were used to signal the genre of the play being performed at The Globe?

A bit of ancient history here: In William Parkes book, Curtain-Drawer of the World (1612), we find this reference to the practice of raising flags to announce plays:"Each play-house advanceth his...

Latest answer posted November 5, 2009 4:37 am UTC

2 educator answers

William Shakespeare

How many plays has William Shakespeare written? Please tell correctly. Is it 37 or 38 or 39? Or it is none? What is...

William Shakespeare, the Bard, was an extremely prolific playwright during his time. He wrote comedies, tragedies, and histories--37 plays total. I organized his plays into genres for you, so you...

Latest answer posted July 15, 2012 2:57 pm UTC

1 educator answer

William Shakespeare

What did Shakespeare's father do for a living?

One of the most interesting things about Shakespeare is that, unlike almost every other successful writer of his time, he was working class. His father was in trade in Stratford, and Shakespeare...

Latest answer posted January 16, 2018 8:40 am UTC

3 educator answers

William Shakespeare

Canker Blossom

William Shakespeare is well known for his extensive use of metaphors, similes, symbolism and imagery in his writing. Although understanding his works requires knowledge of the English terms used at...

Latest answer posted March 18, 2015 3:51 pm UTC

2 educator answers

William Shakespeare

How did William Shakespeare become famous?

William Shakespeare wrote plays and poems, and in fact, it was one of his poems that helped him gain popularity: "As early as 1593 he had an overnight sensation with [Venus and Adonis]," a...

Latest answer posted June 17, 2019 7:06 pm UTC

2 educator answers

William Shakespeare

The people who stood in front of the stage to watch the plays were called __________. This is a question on my...

In Shakespeare's time most spectators, known as groundlings, stood in the yard around the platform stage. Few members of Shakespeare's audience could afford to purchase seats; only the well-to-do...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2017 2:12 pm UTC

3 educator answers

William Shakespeare

In the quote "My lord, as I was sewing in my closet, Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbrac’d No hat upon his head,...

This incident occurs in act 2, scene 1. Ophelia is speaking. She informs her father, Polonius, that she was frightened by Hamlet when he suddenly entered her room in a disheveled condition. She...

Latest answer posted August 17, 2018 8:51 am UTC

2 educator answers

William Shakespeare

Did William Shakespeare have an affair on his wife? If so, who did he have the affair with? Also, was it a man? I...

Scholars are divided on the issue of Shakespeare's sexuality and whether or not he had affairs. There are very few primary source documents available, and those that are accessible are debatable....

Latest answer posted July 17, 2017 2:19 am UTC

2 educator answers

William Shakespeare

What are the themes of Sonnet-65 by William Shakespeare?

The themes considered in Sonnet 65 by William Shakespeare are those to do with the passage of time. They include age, youth, decay, poetry and the idea of memorial. The poet seems heavily concerned...

Latest answer posted September 5, 2013 12:23 pm UTC

1 educator answer

William Shakespeare

Who was Shakespeare's writing rival and what fellow writer is often suspected to be the "real" writer of...

Christopher Marlowe is often suggested as Shakespeare's rival and as the real author of Shakespeare's plays. Others, such as Ben Jonson, might be put forward as the authors of Shakespeare's plays...

Latest answer posted April 24, 2015 10:36 pm UTC

2 educator answers

William Shakespeare

What are the elements of Shakespeare's historical plays?

Shakespeare's plays are traditionally broken down into three categories: comedies, tragedies and history plays. Interestingly, plays such as Julius Ceasar and Corialanus are not designated as being...

Latest answer posted January 24, 2013 2:50 pm UTC

1 educator answer

William Shakespeare

What is Shakespeare's concept of tragedy?

Shakespeare's conception of tragedy illustrates the durability and timelessness of principles that date back to antiquity and were enunciated in Aristotle's Poetics. Tragedy must evoke pity and...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2018 3:22 am UTC

2 educator answers

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