Tag: Shakespeare

Shakespeare often refers to theatres, acting, and performance in his plays.

Quiz: Shakespeare and the theatre

You’ll hopefully have seen at least one play by Shakespeare in a theatre, at some point in your life – but did you know how often Shakespeare refers to theatres, acting, and performance in his plays? It adds a layer of amusement to a scene, acknowledging that the audience is seeing a play being performed, without […]

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Bowdlerize (or bowdlerise) means ‘remove material that is considered improper or offensive from (a text or account), especially with the result that the text becomes weaker or less effective’.

What did Bowdler bowdlerize?

Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825) was a doctor, chess player, and devotee of prison reform – but his legacy lies in his editing of Shakespeare. Bowdlerize (or bowdlerise) means ‘remove material that is considered improper or offensive from (a text or account), especially with the result that the text becomes weaker or less effective’. Effectively, it refers […]

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Quiz: Shakespeare in pop songs

Quiz: Shakespeare in pop songs

If music be the food of love, play on, as Shakespeare once said – or had Orsino say in Twelfth Night, at least. (He did go on to add that he wanted ‘excess of it, that, surfeiting, / The appetite may sicken, and so die’, of course, but let’s omit that bit for the moment.) Shakespeare not […]

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There are plenty of supernatural elements in Shakespeare's plays

Quiz: Shakespeare and the supernatural

Shakespeare might have had a fondness for kings and unlikely coincidences featuring twins, but he also wasn’t averse to a ghost every now and then. There are plenty of supernatural elements in his plays, from revenge hauntings to magic spells and the occasional statue that comes to life. We’ve taken some of Shakespeare’s ghostliest lines […]

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Shakespeare last lines

Quiz: last lines in Shakespeare

Famous last words! This quiz will test how well you remember the last lines of Shakespeare’s heroes and heroines – or villains and anti-heroes, perhaps. How well do you remember the words spoken when characters die – either at their own hands or the hands of others? Take our quiz and find out. William Shakespeare […]

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The Merchant of Venice

Quiz: how well do you know Shakespeare’s language?

Do you fancy yourself something of a Shakespeare scholar? Can you separate falchion, scimitar, and poniard? Our friends in Children’s Books have put together a tough little quiz about the language of Shakespeare, so we wanted to share it and test OxfordWords readers. How will you do? William Shakespeare was an English dramatist, poet, and actor who is often […]

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Shakespeare celebrities

Quiz: which Shakespeare plays are these celebrities quoting?

Many of the phrases that Shakespeare created in his plays have entered common parlance, whether or not we recognize their origins. That being the case, we took to Twitter to see which celebrities and public figures were quoting Shakespeare… although we suspect they might not have realized they were doing so. Match the tweets to […]

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Shakespeare's Globe

How Shakespeare spoke: Original Pronunciation, rhymes, and puns

We’re all familiar with at least some Shakespeare, but the chances are that we’ve only either read his words on the page, or heard them spoken with modern pronunciation. This, however, does not entirely match how Shakespeare and the original casts of his plays would have spoken. Even modern British English is not the same as what […]

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