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Copyright 2001

Created by Brian Thornton

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The Enchanted Island

Shakespeare in Everyday English for Young People

Answer Key Novel Study Guide

Ian Serraillier


Answer all questions in sentence form.

The Taming of the Shrew
A Wild-Cat for a Wife

  1. Where does the story take place?
  2. Who was Baptista?
  3. Compare and contrast Katherine and Bianca.
  4. Why did Baptista refuse to allow his daughter, Bianca, to marry?
  5. Why was Petruchio not concerned about Katherine's bad temper?
  6. Why was Petruchio anxious to marry Katherine?
  7. Describe Katherine's treatment of the music master.
  8. How did Katherine react when Petruchio told her that he wished to marry her?
  9. Describe Petruchio's behaviour at his own wedding
  10. Why was Katherine almost fainting with starvation?
  11. Why did Katherine spend her first night at home sitting in a chair?
  12. Why is Petruchio complaining about everything?
  13. Who did Katherine and Petruchio meet on their way to Padua?
  14. Explain the bet that Petruchio made with the other men.
  15. Offer some evidence that Kate is now aware of what her husband has been doing.

Vocabulary: scolding, modest, tutor, blunt, dowry, crowns, lute, impudence, suitor, haughty, reproached, ruffian, sulk, lurch, tomfoolery, lunatic, armoury, dregs, minstrels, retreat, crupper, scuttled, brusque, appalled, obliging, ravenously, haberdasher, wincing, domineering, widow, curtsy, indignant, smouldering, devoutly

Enrichment:  How might contemporary Italian women behave in comparison to the characters in Shakespeare's play?

Describe how wives might behave differently in various cultures.

Examine wedding vows from various religions and see if there are any references to wives being obedient to their husbands.

Discuss with your classmates whether or not husbands and wives have or should have designated roles within their marriage.

Do men and women have equal opportunity and power in your country?  Compare and contrast their roles in politics and in large corporations or companies.  If they are not equal, describe how you might address this issue.


A Midsummer-Night's Dream
Bottom the Actor

  1. How were the local artisans or workmen planning to celebrate the upcoming marriage of Theseus, Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazon?
  2. Why did Quince and the rest of the cast agree to meet in the woods the next night?
  3. What evidence is there that Bottom was conceited or vain?
  4. Who was Robin Goodfellow?
  5. Who were Oberon and Titania?
  6. Why did Puck travel to the other side of the world?
  7. Why did the workmen suddenly flee back to Athens?
  8. Explain why Titania fell in love with Bottoms.
  9. What did Oberon do when he discovered Titania's situation?
  10. What did Oberon order Puck to do?
  11. Why were the workmen pleased to see Bottom?
  12. Why did the Duke praise their performance?
  13. Who came to the hall after everyone had left or gone to bed?
Vocabulary: humble, elderly, cast, joiner, scroll, lamentable, gallant, strut, reciting, slunk, prowess, imperious, mortals, prologue, chink, daubed, cue, convulsed, dainty, bower, hearth, hastily, smirking, tittered, rapturous, tomb, scabbard, effigy, embers

Enrichment: Pretend that you are one of the characters from this play and allow your classmates to interview you.  Be prepared.

Research fairies and ghosts during Shakespearean times.  Discuss why people in Shakespeare's day may have believed in magic and fairies?


The Merchant of Venice
A Pound of Flesh

  1. Who was Portia?
  2. Why did Bassanio pay a visit to Antonio?
  3. Why was Shylock forced to wear special clothes and live in a ghetto?
  4. Explain the terms Shylock set when lending money to Antonio.
  5. How did Portia react to Bassanio's marriage proposal?
  6. What disastrous news did Bassanio receive from Antonio who was in Venice?
  7. What evidence is there that Portia was well-disguised in her robes?
  8. What evidence is their that Shylock hated Antonio?
  9. Why did Portia ask Shylock if he had brought any scales to the court?
  10. How did Shylock react to this latest proposal?
  11. What accusations did Portia then make against Shylock?
  12. What payment did the lawyer, Portia, ask for from Bassanio?
  13. What two surprises did Bassanio and Gratiano receive upon returning home?
Vocabulary: heiress, count, suitors, extravagantly, credit, transacted, despised, ghettoes, bankrupt, cunning, forfeit, boisterous, stammered, gaoler (jailer), miser, flaw, barrister, anguish, whetting, lawsuit, leer, mourn, scales, gloating, principal, inherit, deed, tottered, tactless, relented, initiative

Enrichment:Research the treatment of the Jews by the Christians during Shakespeare's time and write a brief report to your classmates.

Are you surprised at how Shylock treated Antonio considering how he was treated by the Christians?  Develop a plan of action to promote good relations between people of different religions.  Should we attempt to promote good relations between people of different races and creeds?  Justify your response.


Henry IV, Part One
Falstaff and Prince Hal

  1. Who is Sir John Falstaff?
  2. What did the drinking companions at the inn plan when they learned that a group of wealthy pilgrims and merchants would be heading to Canterbury early the next day?
  3. Why was Falstaff relieved when he caught sight of the travellers?
  4. What explanation of the robbery does Falstaff give to Prince Hal back at the inn?
  5. What message arrives from the palace for Prince Hal?
  6. Describe the King's discussion with Prince Hal.
  7. Why is Prince Hal surprised to see Falstaff after the battle of Shrewsbury?
  8. Why does Falstaff carry Hotspur's lifeless body back to the prince?
  9. Why does Falstaff follow the prince?
Vocabulary: mansion, glutton, witty, principle, mock, pilgrims, podgy, loot, qualms, usurper, precarious, crusade, anxiety, mend, infested, ostler, gibbets, fretting, exasperated, zest, gagged, paces, accomplices, rebellion, sceptre, melodramatic, flamboyant, smirking, malicious, gallant, chivalrous, truncheon, impudent, unabashed, cavalry, commission, insurgents, parley, duplicity, slew, pious

Enrichment: Choose a character from the play and write a short description of him.  Make sure to include both their positive and negative qualities.

Draw a picture illustrating the Battle of Shrewsbury.

Research the internet to see if Prince Hal or any of the other characters in the play really did exist.


Henry V
'God for Harry, England and St. George!'

  1. Describe the newly crowned king's treatment of Falstaff.
  2. What course of action did King Henry V pursue shortly afer ascending to the throne?
  3. What ulterior motive did the Archbishop of Canterbury have for siding with the king over his wish to invade France?
  4. Describe the contents of the gilt chest presented to King Henry by the French ambassadors.
  5. Find evidence that Nym and Bardolph were not very adept at soldiering.
  6. How did King Henry keep a tight rein on his troops?
  7. Compare and contrast the sentiment in the French camp with that of the English the night before the Battle of Agincourt .
  8. What were the final results of the battle?
  9. What was one of the provisions of the treaty that King Henry signed with France?
  10. Although it looked for some time as though France and England would be united, this changed.  Explain why.
Vocabulary: intentions, aggression, unfurl, ulterior, motive, deprive, devout, nobility, ambassadors, gilt, armour, disreputable, vile, viper, embark, bribed, masthead, rigging, scudded, besieging, breach, shirkers, disciplinarian, conscientious, incompetent, truce, peasants, pillaging, pavilion, curtly, leek, dishearten, ransomed, pomp, humbly, carrion, privilege, herald, timid, atrocious, sheathed, reprisal, pretext, knave, appalled, derelict

Enrichment: In a small group discuss the qualities of a good leader.  Some historians have argued that countries require different leaders during times of peace than they do in times of war.  Do you agree?  Explain you position.

Research the history of King Henry V and then assume his role answering questions about this time period from your classmates.

Construct a timeline stretching a hundred years before and after the time of King Henry.

Debate whether or not war and other acts of agression can ever be justified.  Be sure to write down some of your ideas before you begin the debate.

Pretending you are the French monarch, compose a letter to King Henry the day after your army has been defeated.


The Love-Letter

  1. Explain why Countess Olivia vowed to go into mourning for the next seven years.
  2. Describe Sir Toby Belch, Oivia's uncle.
  3. Explain what happened when Orsino, the Duke of Illyria, sent his page, Cesario to do his wooing.
  4. Why did Malvolio become so upset with Sir Toby and his companions?
  5. What course of action does the maid plan in order to get back at Malvolio?
  6. What happens when Malvolio reads the letter?
  7. Why did Malvolio end up in a jail cell?
  8. What surprise does Olivia learn about Cesario?
  9. How does Malvolio react when Olivia tells him that the handwriting in the letter was not hers but Maria's?
  10. Why did the Duke send someone after Malvolio to cheer him up?
Vocabulary: irrepressible, flirting, twitching, aloof, jester, mimic, lute, mirth, frank, virtue, stalked, duel, vain, intrigued, horse-play, terrace, sedately, conceited, rogue, cross-bow, chortling, leer, dignity, skittishly, surly, pretence, solemn, curate, grille, abominably, bribe, pathetic, humiliated, dose

Enrichment: Have you ever written a note, letter or even an email pretending to be someone else?  What were the results?  Was anyone hurt or offended by your action?  Explain.

Pretend you are Malvolio and write either a love letter or love poem to Olivia.

Find Illyria using a search engine on the internet.  Print up a map and display it on a bulletin board to share with your classmates.  What does the name actually mean?  Hint: Think of a musical instrument.


Julius Caesar
Death of a Dictator

  1. What did Caesar discover when he returned to Rome after many years of fighting the Gauls?
  2. What warning did Caesar receive from the fortune-teller while on his way to the Stadium?
  3. Compare and contrast the characters of Cassius and Brutus.
  4. Why did Cassius need the support of Brutus to rid Rome of Caesar?
  5. Why according to Cassius should Antony also be murdered?
  6. Explain how Decius was able to persuade Caesar to go ahead with his initial plans to go to the Capitol.
  7. How does Antony react when he first sees Caesar's lifeless body?
  8. Why does Cassius tell Brutus that Antony should not be permitted to speak at Caesar's funeral?
  9. How was Antony able to win over the confidence of the mourners at Caesar's funeral?
  10. What indication is there that the mob is out of control as it winds it way through the streets of Rome?
  11. Outline the two different military strategies suggested by Cassius and Brutus as the armies approached Macedonia.
  12. What request did Cassius make of his Parthian slave when he realized that his defeat was imminent?
  13. How was Brutus different from the other conspirators?
Vocabulary: dictator, garlands, din, solitary, tyrant, simmering, humane, torrent, feeble, allayed, envy, brusque, loath, robust, epileptic, shrewd, forged, scrupulously, corrupt, detest, conspiracy, omen, implore, flatter, banished, eloquence, relent, conspirators, sullen, pacify, pretence, folly, orator, ominously, hostile, contrary, scornful, mutiny, contempt, shroud, pyre, faggots, hilt, integrity, sheathe, remorse, stoical, soothe, lyre, foreboding, pillage,disillusion

Enrichment: Who would you choose as a loyal friend from amongst the characters in the story.  Justify your answer.

Do some research on Julius Caesar and make a presentation to the class.

What would you do if a fortune-teller warned you to stay home on a certain day and someone close to you also warned you about terrible nightmares they were having about your imminent death on that day?

Research the Roman Empire and find out what some of their greatest accomplishments were.  Despite the decline of the Roman Empire over a thousand years ago, it still affects our lives.  Explain.


Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

  1. What did the soldiers on watch see that night on the battlements?
  2. Who was Hamlet?
  3. Why were the people so disappointed with Hamlet's behaviour?
  4. Why was Hamlet upset with his mother?
  5. What dastardly deed did the ghost reveal to Hamlet?
  6. What does the ghost ask Hamlet to do?
  7. Why did Hamlet pretend to be mad?
  8. According to Polonius what is the cause of Hamlet's madness?
  9. What do Rosencrantz and Guildenstern reveal to Hamlet when pressed by him for answers?
  10. Why did Hamlet ask the actors to perform the play "The Murder of Gonzago"?
  11. Describe what happens during the play when some of the characters re-enact the murder of Hamlet's father.
  12. Why does Hamlet compare his uncle to Cain?
  13. Why is Claudius determined to have Hamlet killed?
  14. Describe why Hamlet is sent to England and outline what happens.
  15. What shock does Hamlet suffer upon his return to the castle?
  16. What trap does Claudius set for Hamlet?
  17. What happens immediately after Hamlet is grazed by Laertes foil (sword)?
  18. Explain the Queen's unexpected death.
  19. Describe how Hamlet finally avenges his father's death.
Vocabulary: password, punctual, barracks, harrowed, pikes, obedient, doted, curtly, coarse, melancholy, sane, introspection, trivial, revelry, compelling, frenzied, lure, purged, vowed, avenge, tedious, brevity, pompous, rigmarole, mobled, malicious, suicide, trinkets, discordant, accusation, reproached, usurp, hypocrite, prostrate, disembodied, corpse, carrion, mortality, rites, requiem, sodden, providence, foils, gauntlets, parried, treachery, martial, illustrious

Enrichment: Poisoning was not uncommon in the days of Hamlet.  Why might people be anxious to poison a monarch?  When someone kills another person the police call it homicide.  What is the term used to describe the act of killing one's own brother?


King Lear
King Lear of Britain

  1. Who were King Lear's three daughters?
  2. How did King Lear intend to divide up his kingdom?
  3. Why did Cordelia experience difficulty professing her love for her father?
  4. How did King Lear react?
  5. Who was the only person to speak in Cordelia's defence?
  6. Why was the Duke of Burgundy now reluctant to marry Cordelia?
  7. Describe what happened to King Lear when he went to spend time with Goneril and Regan.
  8. Why did Cordelia return to Britain with the Marshal of France?
  9. How did Goneril and Regan prove that they were callous and uncaring?
  10. Describe the fate of Cordelia and her father, King Lear.
Vocabulary: barbaric, pagan, grandeur, sap, renounce, vain, whims, fanfare, vermilion, serpents, sceptre effusive, flatter, reticent, heave, impulsive, banish, cowed, impetuous, folly, dignity, dowry, profess, haughtily, sneered, irritable, neglect, imperiously, insolent, robust, apprehensively, jester, mockingly, revile, dejected, heath, cowering, martyrdom, contemptible, bedraggled, lunatics, archers, lucid, chastened, callous, fickle

Enrichment: Do you think King Lear was responsible for the death of his daughters?  Explain.

Pretend that you have been hired to provide counselling for King Lear.  How would you approach your new job?  Discuss with your classmates.


Murder at Dunsinane

  1. Describe the opening scene.
  2. What prophecies did the three witches make concerning MacBeth?
  3. Give a brief summary of Lady MacBeth's character.
  4. Outline Lady MacBeth's plan to assassinate King Duncan.
  5. Why was MacBeth crowned king after the death of King Duncan?
  6. Why does MacBeth refuse to sit in his own chair at the banquet?
  7. What warning do the witches offer to MacBeth during his second visit to them?
  8. What action did MacBeth take when he was told that MacDuff had fled to England?
  9. What evidence is there that the new queen, Lady MacBeth, has gone mad?
  10. Explain how two of the prophecies in question seven come true.
Vocabulary: scudding, moor, fate, rapt, betray, ambitious, ruthless, tranquillity, insatiable, scruples, hideous, dagger, stealthily, paralysed, porter, fuddled, distraught, consternation, glib, prophecy, assassins, waylaid, scuffle, banquet, incoherently, lapse, cauldron, entrails, hemlock, conjure, sow, defiantly, hags, assuage, ally, siege, cursed, surge, festering.

Enrichment: Assume the roles of one of the characters and allow your classmates to interview you.

Write a newspaper article about King Duncan's murder and make sure to mention who some of the suspect are.

Memorize a few lines from the actual


The Tempest
The Enchanted Island

  1. Who were the original inhabitants of the enchanted island?
  2. Explain the fate of Ariel.
  3. Who was in the "carcass of a boat" that washed up on shore?
  4. Who was Antonio?
  5. Who was Gonzales and how had he helped Prospero?
  6. What were Prospero's favourite books?
  7. Why did Ariel become so devoted to Prospero?
  8. What opportunity arose twelve years later that enabled Prospero to take revenge?
  9. How did Prospero react when Ariel asked to be set free?
  10. What happened when Ferdinand and Miranda first met?
  11. Why did this please Prospero?
  12. Why did Prospero imprison Ferdinand?
  13. Why is Stephano initially convinced that Caliban is a monster?
  14. What sinister plot begins to unfold at Caliban's urging?
  15. How does Ariel torture Alonso by playing with his conscience?
  16. What happened to Stephano and his followers?
  17. What conditions does Prospero set for his enemies, Alonso and Antonio, if they are to be treated in a conciliatory fashion?
  18. What does Prospero mean when he informs Alonso that he has lost his daughter?
  19. What did Prospero plan to substitute for magic when he returned to his kingdom?
Vocabulary: enchanted, fertile, filberts, nimble, drowsy, ebb, embody, cleft, snare, carcass, neglect, adrift, barbarous, grovel, turmoil, lee, infuriated, remedy, prow, hatches, trance, reconciliation, sternly, buoyed, penance, peerless, adders, swig, celestial, caper, depraved, sorcerer, vulture, hovered desolate, pageant, briars, gaudy, garish, ermine, chastened, rapier, mirage

Enrichment: Discuss whether or not Prospero's preference for reconciliation over revenge was a sign of weakness or wisdom.

Why are so many people enthralled with the idea of living on an island?  Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of living on a remote island.  Conduct a debate with some of your classmates.

Summarize the play in a brief poem or song.


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Copyright 2001

Created by: Brian Thornton, Capo Creations, Box 1411, Haileybury, Ontario, CANADA POJ 1KO

Not to be used or copied in any manner without specific written consent of the publisher All Rights Reserved