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1. Little is known about William Shakespeare. However, you should be able to
locate the following information.
a. Date and place of his birth
b. Name of wife
c. Names of children
d. Date of death
e. The nickname his is commonly known as
f. Year in which it is believed his first two plays were performed
g. Year in which the first book of his plays was published
2. Shakespeare, as well as being a noted playwright, was an accomplished poet
a. How many plays did he write?
b. How many sonnets did he write?
c. What are 3 characteristics of a Shakespearean sonnet?
3. Although there are not many pictures from Shakespeare’s time, you should be
able to locate a picture of each of the following
a. William Shakespeare
b. The interior of a Shakespearean theatre
c. The exterior of the original Globe Theatre: List the unique
characteristics of the Globe Theatre.
4. During Shakespeare’s life there were two monarchs on the English throne: a
queen followed by a king
a. Who was the queen and what were the dates of her reign?
b. Who was the king and what were the dates of his reign?
c. Which play’s title is the name of the queen’s father
d. Include a photo of each of these rulers
e. How did Elizabethan’s view the church and the state at this time?
5. Setting is an important aspect of any play. Shakespeare’s plays are no
exception. Identify:
a. Four plays which have the names of their locations in their titles
b. One play set in Scotland
c. One play which opens in Vienna
d. One play set in both Venice and Cyprus
e. One play which opens on a street in Rome
6. Shakespeare wrote thousands of lines. Some have become so famous they
are immediately recognized, even by those who have never read his plays. In
which plays do you find the following lines?
a. “The quality of mercy is not strain’d”
b. “Uneasy les the head that wears a crown”
c. “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”
d. “If I be waspish, best beware my sting”
e. “You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things”
f. Analyze the meanings of each quotation
7. Macbeth.: What is this story based on? Why might Shakespeare construct a
play that tells this story? What historical events are altered and what
characters are added and given exaggerated qualities?
8. What other plays by William Shakespeare do you know?