Answer Key: Shakespeare
I. Pre-Reading Tasks
II. While Reading Tasks
The Case for Shakespeare’s Authorship
- academic adjective of or relating to education and scholarship : academic achievement | he had no academic qualifications.
- Shakespearean Shakespeare, William (1564–1616), English playwright.
- shareholder noun an owner of shares in a company.
- honorific noun a title or word implying or expressing high status, politeness, or respect : he will be able to put the honorific after his name: licenciado, “college graduate.”
- coat of arms noun a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer (wikipedia- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coat_of_arms)
- suspect verb [ trans. ] have an idea or impression of the existence, presence, or truth of (something) without certain proof : if you suspect a gas leak, do not turn on an electric light .
- pseudonym noun a fictitious name, esp. one used by an author.
- contemporary adjective belonging to or occurring in the present : the tension and complexities of our contemporary society.
- aspects noun a particular part or feature of something : the financial aspect can be overstressed.
- documented verb [ trans. ]record (something) in written, photographic, or other form : the photographer spent years documenting the lives of miners.
- evidence noun the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid : the study finds little evidence of overt discrimination.
- fallacious adjective fallacynoun ( pl. -cies ) a mistaken belief, esp. one based on unsound argument : the notion that the camera never lies is a fallacy.
- logic noun reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity : experience is a better guide to this than deductive logic | he explains his move with simple logic | the logic of the argument is faulty.
- methodology noun ( pl. -gies) a system of methods used in a particular area of study or activity : a methodology for investigating the concept of focal points | courses in research methodology and practice.
- anachronism noun a thing belonging or appropriate to a period other than that in which it exists, esp. a thing that is conspicuously old-fashioned : everything was as it would have appeared in centuries past apart from one anachronism, a bright yellow construction crane.
Source: New Oxford American Dictionary
Questions for Comprehension
True / False
Case for Shakespeare’s Authorship
1. F- A few academic Shakespeareans believe that the author referred to as “Shakespeare” was the same William Shakespeare who was born in Stratford-upon-Avon.( Nearly all academic Shakespeareans believed this to be true.)
3. F- Shakespeare scholars see no reason to suspect that the name was a pseudonym…
4. T …contemporary records identify Shakespeare as the writer…
5. T …other playwrights such as Ben Jonson and Christopher Marlowe came from similar backgrounds.
6. F- While information about some aspects of Shakespeare’s life is sketchy, this is true of many other playwrights of the time.
Case against Shakespeare’s Authorship
8. T- Very little is known of Shakespeare’s personal life…
9. T- Government officials have tried to expunge all traces of Shakespeare from the historical record and to conceal the true author’s identity.
10. F-John Shakespeare’s house in Stratford-upon-Avon is believed to be Shakespeare’s birthplace.
11.T- Shakespeare parents signed their names with a mark.
12. F- There is also no evidence that Shakespeare’s two daughters were literate.
13. T-Anti-Stratfordians consider Shakespeare’s background incompatible with that attributable to the author of the Shakespeare canon…
14. F – … aristocratic sports such as hunting, falconry, tennis, and lawn-bowling.
III. Post Reading Tasks
Video: Reading of Hamlet’s Soliloquy, Act III, Scene 1
(translations in parentheses)
Hamlet: To be, or not to be: that is the question:
(To live, or to die: that is the question)
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
(Is it more honourable in the mind to endure)
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
(The ongoing battle that is being waged on humans,)
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
(Or to fight against this sea of woe)
And by opposing end them. To die: to sleep:
(And by fighting back finish them. To die: to sleep:)
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
(To be nothing; and by sleeping to end)
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
(The anguish, and the many set-backs)
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
(That people inherit, it is the final ending)
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
(Greatly to be wished. To die, to sleep;)
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
(To sleep: and perhaps to dream: that is the obstacle;)
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
(For after we die what may happen,)
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
(When we have left the earth,)
Must give us pause: There’s the respect
(Makes us hesitate: There is the consideration)
That makes calamity of so long life:
(That causes us to live through a life filled with misfortune:)
For who bear the whips and scorns of time,
(For who would endure the harsh experiences of life,)
The oppressor’s wrong,the proud man’s contumely,
(The wrongs of government, the proud man’s insults,)
The pang of despised love, the law’s delay,
(The suddenness of scorned love, and the slow nature of the legal system,)
The insolence of office, and the spurns
(The insulting behavior of officials, and the insults)
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
(That inferior people direct at worthy people)
When he himself might his quietus make
(When one might escape)
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear
(By means of a knife? Who would burdens bear)
To grunt and sweat under a weary life
(To groan and sweat under a tired life)
But that the dread of something after death,
(Except for the fear of something after death,)
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
(That mysterious land from whose boundaries)
No traveler returns, puzzles the will,
(No traveler returns, it confuses the mind,)
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
(And forces us to bear the burdens of life)
Than to fly to others we know not of?
(Rather than exchange them for the unknown?)
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
(Thus our conscience makes cowards of us all,)
And thus the native hue of resolution
(And so the natural colour of courage)
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
(Is hidden by the shadow cast by thought)
And enterprises of great pith and moment
(And projects of great significance)
With this regard their currents turn awry
(With this in mind stray from their course)
And lose the name of action. Soft you now!
(And they lose their initiative. Quiet, there you are!)
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
(My fair Ophelia! Lady in your prayers)
Be all my sins remember’d.
(Ask for forgiveness for my sins.)