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Quiz: How Well Dost Thou Know Shakespeare?

Cassandra Neace

Staff Writer

Cassandra Neace is a high school English teacher in Houston. When she's not in the classroom, she reads books and writes about them. She prides herself on her ability to recommend a book for most any occasion. She can be found on Instagram @read_write_make

It’s quiz time again! The rules this time around are the same. I’m going to give you an illustration from 19th and early 20th century editions of Shakespeare’s works, along with an accompanying quote, and you match the picture to the play. Got it? Good!

We’ll start with one that isn’t too difficult.

#1 – Why may not that be the skull of a lawyer? Where be his quiddits now, his quillets, his cases, his tenures, and his tricks? Why does he suffer this rude knave to knock him about the sconce with a dirty shovel, and will not tell him of his action of battery?” 

Hamlet Illustration

#2 – Truly, sir, all that I live by is with the awl: I meddle with no trades-mans matters, nor womens matters, but with awl. I am, indeed, sir, a surgeon to old shoes; when they are in great danger, I recover them. As proper men as ever trod upon neats leather have gone upon my handiwork.”

Julius Ceasar Illustration

#3 – When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile, Neighing in likeness of a filly foal: And sometimes lurk I in a gossip’s bowl, In very likeness of a roasted crab; And, when she drinks, against her lips I bob, And on her withered dewlap pour the ale. The wisest aunt telling the saddest tale,Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me; Then slip I from her bum, down topples she, And rails or cries, and falls into a cough; And then the whole quire hold their hips, and laugh.”


#4 –  “My master, are you mad? or what are you? Have you no wit, manners, nor honesty, but to gabble like tinkers at this time of night? Do ye make an ale-house of my lady’s house, that ye squeakout your coziers catches without any mitigation or remorse of voice? Is there no respect of place, persons, nor time, in you?”

Twelfth Night Illustration

#5 – You know I say nothing to him, for he understands not me, nor I him: he hath neither Latin, French, nor Italian, and you will come into the court and swear that I have a poor penny worth in the English. He is a proper man’s picture, but, alas, who can converse with a dumbshow?”


#6 – One step I have advanced thee; if thou dost As this instruct thee, thou dost make thy way To noble fortunes: Know thou this,—that men Are as the time is: to be tender-minded Does not become a sword:—Thy great employment Will not bear question; either say, thoult do it. Or thrive by other means.”

King Lear Illustration 

#7 – “If in Naples I should report this now, would they believe me? If I should say, I saw such islanders,—For, certes, these are people of the island,—Who, though they are of monstrous shape, yet, note.Their manners are more gentle-kind than of our human generation you shall find Many, nay, almost any.” 

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#8 – “He dies upon my scimitar’s sharp point, that touches my first-born son and heir.” 


#9 – “Pr’ythee, see there! behold! look! lo! how say you? — Why, what care I? If thou canst nod, speak too. — If charnel houses, and our graves, must send Those that we bury, back, our monuments Shall be the maws of kites.”

Macbeth Illustration

#10 – “Yet I’ll not shed her blood; nor sear that whiter skin of hers than snow, and smooth as monumental alabaster. Yet she must die, else she’ll betray more men.”


You can check your answers here.