Shakespeare Study Questions
- When and where was William Shakespeare born? Shakespeare was born April 23 1564 in Stratford England.
- What is known about Shakespeare’s activities between the years 1585 and 1592? In 1585 Shakespeare went to London to become an actor and a playwright and he may have even taught school.
- Early on what did he work as an apprentice in? Shakespeare was an apprentice in glove making and he had apprenticeship as an actor.
- Why were London theaters often close between June of 1592 and April 1594? London theaters were often closed because of plague epidemic.
- Who was Shakespeare’s patron during that time? Define Patron. William Shakespeare’s patron was Henry Wriothesley the Earl of Southampton. A patron gives money to you to work on your artistic ideas.
- What is the poem Venus and Adonis about? The poem Venus and Adonis was about the rejecting of Venus by Adonis and his death because of the disappearance of beauty from the world.
- Why was this poem controversial? Was it popular? How do we know? The poem Venus and Adonis was controversial because people thought it glorified sensuality. It was a very popular poem, you know this because it was reprinted six times during the nine years following its publication.
- What was the name of the company of actors that’s Shakespeare joined in 1594? In 1594 Shakespeare joined the Lord Chamberlain’s company of actors.
- What was the name of the theater in London that became the most famous theater of its time? The Globe Theatre was the most famous theater of its time.
- Shakespeare was both a poet and a playwright, a writer and an actor.
- Shakespeare produced what kind of poem that also bears his name? Shakespeare produced Shakespearean sonnets that are three quatrains and a couplet.
- When were Shakespeare’s sonnets composed? Shakespeare’s sonnet or compose between 1593 and 1601.
- How many sonnets did he publish? What was the form they took? Shakespeare published 154 sonnets they were all written in the form of three quatrains and a couplet that is now called Shakespearean.
- What are the two main themes explored in Shakespeare’s sonnets? The two main themes of Shakespearean sonnets are about the decay of time and beauty and love.
- How many plays did Shakespeare write? Shakespeare wrote more than 30 plays.
- What are the four categories that the plays are usually divided into? The four categories are histories, comedies, tragedies and romances.
- Name one play from each of the four categories. His comedy plays include The Comedy of Errors, a historical play would be Henry VI, a romantic play would be The Tempest and a tragic play would be Romeo and Juliet.
- The complete collection of Shakespeare’s works was called the First Folio and published in the year 1623.
- When did Shakespeare retire from the stage? Shakespeare retired from the stage sometime after 1612.
- What was Shakespeare’s famous bequest to his wife when he died? Shakespeare gave his wife his “second best bed” when he died.