MCQs of Shakespearean Studies

Part 1

1. In what country does Hamlet primarily take place?

A: France

*B: Denmark*

 C: England

D: Germany

2. Who do the guards first tell about the ghost that has appeared before them?

A: Hamlet

 *B: Horatio*

 C: Claudius

 D: Gertrude

3. Who is the Prince of Norway?

*A: Fortinbras*

 B: Hamlet

 C: Horatio

 D: Claudius

4. How is Claudius related to Hamlet?

 A: cousin

*B: uncle*

C: brother

 D: father

 5. How did Claudius kill Hamlet’s father, the king?

 A: stabbed him with daggers

 *B: poured poison in his ear*

 C: in a sword duel

 D: had him murdered by thugs

6. Who is Polonius?

A: The new prince under Claudius’ rule

*B: The Lord Chamberlain*

 C: Friend to Hamlet

 D: A soldier

7. What does Claudius ask Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to do?

 *A: Take Hamlet to England*

 B: Murder Hamlet with their own hands

 C: Kill Hamlet’s Father

 D: Spy on Gertrude

8. What country does Fortinbras decide to invade instead of Denmark?

 A: Sweden

 B: Norway

 C: England

 *D: Poland*

9. What does Polonius initially think caused Hamlet’s madness?

A: Poison

B: Horatio’s betrayal

 C: *His love for Ophelia*

 D: His father’s death

10. “Who says “”To be or not to be..””?”

 A: Claudius

B: Polonius

 *C: Hamlet*

 D: Horatio

11. What does Claudius do when the actor pours the poison into the king’s ear during the play?

A: He killed Polonius

 *B: He got up and left in anger*

 C: He didn’t move

 D: He cursed Hamlet

12. Whose skull does Hamlet discover in the churchyard?

  1. *The former court jester’s*
  2. Reynaldo’
  3. Old Hamlet
  4. Ophelia

13. Which of the following descriptions best describes the character of Hamlet ?

*A. Hamlet is depressed yet highly intelligent.*

B. Hamlet is naivefatghgho minded.

C. Hamlet is spoiled and manipulative

D. Hamlet is intellectually passive and deeply frightened of his father’s ghost

14. Which of the following characters survive the play?

  1. *Fortinbras, Horatio, and Osric*
  2. Prince Hamlet, Polonius, and Gertrude
  3. Claudius, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern
  4. Ophelia, Laertes, and King Hamlet

15. In whose history of Denmark did Shakespeare find background material for his play?

  1. Oedipus of Thebes
  2. *Saxo Grammaticus*
  3. Franz Guntherhaasen
  4. Dionysus Finn

16. Whose story does Hamlet ask the players to tell upon their arrival to Elsinore?

  1. *Priam and Hecuba’s*
  2. Antony and Cleopatra’s
  3. Gertrude and Claudius’s
  4. Ophelia’s

17. Which character speaks the first line of the play?

  1. *Bernardo*
  2. Francisco
  3. Hamlet
  4. Horatio

18. In which of the following years was Hamlet most likely written?

  1. 1570
  2. *1601*
  3. 1581
  4. 1610

19. What words best describe Hamlet’s character throughout the play?

  1. *Mysterious, thoughtful, morose*
  2. Brave, sociable, fun
  3. Easy-going, smooth, charismatic
  4. Sensual, caring, effeminate

20. Why is Hamlet sometimes considered to be a play about inaction?

  1. Because Hamlet never hesitates when it comes to acting against Claudius
  2. Because Hamlet spends the play trying to figure out if the ghost is real
  3. *Because Hamlet needs to know Claudius is guilty before acting*
  4. Because Gertrude and Ophelia are passive and inactive heroines

21. How are women generally viewed in Hamlet?

  1. *They are viewed as manipulative and untrustworthy.*
  2. They are viewed as heroines and nurturers.
  3. They are viewed purely as sexual objects.
  4. They are viewed as inspirational muses.

22. In drama, a “soliloquy” refers to which of the following ?

A. A dialogue between two characters

B. A character’s final words before dying

 *C. A speech delivered by a character intended to be spoken to only the audience*

D. A rhyming line

23. Approximately how much time has passed between the death of King Hamlet and the remarriage of Gertrude to Claudius?

  1. One year
  2. Six months
  3. *Two months*
  4. Two weeks

24. Why doesn’t Hamlet kill Claudius after the play, before going to his mother’s chamber?

  1. *He doesn’t want Claudius to be able to repent his sins before dying.*
  2. He fears for Gertrude’s health if she loses another husband.
  3. He knows Claudius’ guards are nearby.
  4. He wants an audience when he exacts his revenge.

25. How many soliloquies are spoken by Hamlet in the play Hamlet ?

  1. Nine
  2. Five
  3. *Seven*
  4. Three

26. In drama, a “soliloquy” refers to which of the following ?

A. A dialogue between two characters

B. A character’s final words before dying

 *C. A speech delivered by a character intended to be spoken to only the audience*

D. A rhyming line

Part 2

1. What century was Othello written in?

  1. 17th
  2. 16th
  3. 18th
  4. 14th

2. What year was Shakespeare born/died?

  1. April 1556-April23, 1616
  2. April 1564-April 23, 1616
  3. April 1574-April 23, 2016 😛
  4. April 1574; 1544-April 23, 1634

3. How did Iago rouse Brabantio’s anger?

  1. He threw a torch at his house.
  2. He said that Desdemona was unworthy of Roderigo.
  3. He threw a shoe at his window and called Brabantio’s cat fat.
  4. He used crude animal imagery of Desdemona and Othello’s bonding.

4. When Brabantio was speaking, what did he make out Desdemona to be?

  1. Property
  2. Loving Daughter
  3. Slave
  4. Animal

5. Othello told Desdemona stories of war and his adventures with the ______

  1. Cyclops
  2. Turks
  3. Anthropophagus
  4. Beasts

6. Which words best describe Roderigo?

  1. Smart, intelligent
  2. Gullible, dull
  3. Mental, insane
  4. Loving, protective

7. What does Roderigo call Iago when he dies and what does Othello call himself when he commits suicide?

  1. Treacherous dog/jealous dog
  2. Tricky dog/betrayed dog
  3. Devious dog/loving dog
  4. Inhuman dog/circumsisèd dog

8. What is the difference between the light of Desdemona’s heart and the light of the candle Othello is holding?

  1. Once Othello puts out Desdemona’s “light”, it can never be reignited again, unlike that of the candle.
  2. The candle’s light will always light Othello’s darkness, as Desdemona’s “light” only brought evil in Othello’s heart.
  3. Desdemona’s “light” was darkness, unlike the candle’s.
  4. The light of the candle was real, unlike that of Desdemona’s.

9. “Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them”

  1. Othello
  2. Brabantio
  3. Cassio
  4. Iago

10. “…an old black ram/Is tupping your white ewe”

A. Othello

B. Iago

C. Roderigo

D. Cassio

11. How did the Duke reply at FIRST when Brabantio claimed that Desdemona was “dead” to him?

A. The Duke did not believe him.

B. The Duke ignored Brabantio and welcomed Othello.

C. The Duke claimed that Brabantio may enforce whatever punishment he sees fit, including the “bloody book of law”

D. The Duke claimed that Brabantio is free to kill Desdemona for this act of betrayal.

12. What does the Duke say to try and make Brabantio feel better?

A. “It is the cause”

B. “Farewell! Othello’s reputation is gone!”

C. “Your son-in-law is far more fair than black”

D. He does not say anything

13. Who is Janus and who mentions him?

A. Two-faced Roman god/Iago

B. Roman God of War/Othello

C. Greek God of Chastity/Desdemona

D. Greek God of Harvest/Emilia

14. What kind of evidence does Othello ask Iago to give him?What did Iago do to give Othello the “proof”?

A. Ocular proof/handkerchief

B. Real evidence/handkerchief

C. Unfathomable proof/handkerchief

D. Actual evidence/handkerchief

15. What is the path that the handkerchief takes?

A. Desdemona drops it, Emilia picks it up, Emilia plans to get it copied, Emilia hands it to Iago, Iago drops it off at Cassio’s room, Cassio picks it up and gives it to Bianca, Bianca gives it back

B. Desdemona drops it, Iago picks it up, Cassio steals it from Iago and gives it to Bianca, Bianca gives it back

C. Desdemona drops it, Othello picks it up, Cassio steals it from Othello and gives it back to Desdemona, Desdemona gives it to Bianca to copy, Bianca gives original to Cassio

D. Desdemona drops it, Cassio picks it up and gives it to Bianca, Bianca gives it to Iago, Iago shows Othello

16. How does Othello see the handkerchief that Cassio “got from Desdemona”

A. Bianca gives it back to him just as Othello was looking

B. Cassio pulls it out of his pocket

C. Othello finds the handkerchief on his desk along with a note signed Cassio

D. Othello saw Desdemona give it to Cassio

17. What does Othello call Desdemona (negatively)?

A. Chuck

B. Darling

C. Whore/Strumpet

D. Mistress

18. What is Emilia’s opinion of men?

A. They are the most amazing creatures that ever graced this earth

B. They are the reason why women fall and they when they get tired of women, they just vomit them out

C. They are nothing but slaves to manipulate

D. They are unworthy of being called human beings.

19. What type of play is Othello?

A. Tragedy

B. Comedy

C. Satirical

D. Farce

20. What did Desdemona think was troubling Othello?

A. Politcal/State matters

B. Life

C. Wars

D. Turks

21. What pattern is embroidered on the handkerchief?

A. Strawberries

B. Cherries

C. Flowers

D. Tulips

22. How were the Turks defeated?

A. In a storm

B. In war

C. By Othello’s army in Cyrpus

D. By their own

23. Which of the following was Othello NOT called throughout the play?

A. Horse

B. Ass

C. Ram

D. Serpant

24. How old is Iago?

A. 35

B. 28

C. 50

D. 44

25. What is a “beast with two backs”?

A. Two people having sex

B. A monster

C. Twins

D. Mutant Horse

26. Iago was a / an – 

  1. elder nobleman.
  2. servant.
  3. subject.
  4. senator.  

27. Iago was –

  1. crafty.
  2. clever.
  3. honest.
  4. generous.  

28. Name of Iago’s wife was –

  1. Emilia.
  2. Desdemona.
  3. Viola.
  4. Olivia.  

29. Emilia was the wife of –

  1. Othello.
  2. Montano.
  3. Brabantio.
  4. Iago.  

30. Iago hated Othello –

  1. for marrying Desdemona.
  2. for favoring Cassio.
  3. for being an adventure lover.
  4. for coming to Cyprus.  

Part 3

1. Who says “I have great comfort from this fellow. Methinks he hath no drowning mark upon him” while on the boat?

A. Alonso

B. Gonzalo

C. Antonio

D. The boatswain

2. As scene two opens, what is Miranda upset about?

A. An argument she had with Caliban

B. Concern for sailors in a storm

C. Her perennial isolation

D. Concern for sailors and isolation

3. How is the long story that Prospero tells Miranda interrupted? 

A. With Miranda’s questions and comments

B. Prospero asks if Miranda is listening

C. Miranda falls asleep

D. All of these answers

4. What is Prospero’s preferred activity?

A. Listening to petitions of people

B. Reading

C. Sailing

D. Leading an army

5. What was Prospero’s previous position?

A. King of Naples

B. Governor of Tunis

C. Duke of Milan

D. Brother of Duke of Milan

6. What does Gonzalo put on the boat for Prospero and Miranda”s voyage?

A. Garments/linens

B. Library books

C. Guns

D. Garments/linens and library books

7. What does Miranda remember about the time before the island?

A. Her mother

B. Her palace horse

C. Women who waited on her

D. Nothing

8. Where does Ariel tell Prospero the king’s ship is located?

A. At the bottom of the sea

B. In a nook on the island

C. Harbored on the next island

D. In the ocean heading back to Naples

9. Who makes a speech about his thankfulness that they survived the storm?

A. Alonso

B. Gonzalo

C. Ferdinand

D. Sebastian

10. What does Sebastian say is Alonso’s fault?

A. The “death” of Ferdinand

B. The ship sinking

C. Them being stranded

D. Their lack of food

11. What do Sebastian and Antonio plan while everyone is under Ariel’s sleeping spell?

A. To protect everyone with their own lives

B. A surprise party for Alonso

C. A way to steal the King’s crown

D. To never tell that they killed Ferdinand

12. What is Caliban doing when Trinculo comes in?

A. Dancing and singing a song

B. Cursing Prospero

C. Dining on fine foods

D. Sleeping

13. What happens when Stefano comes in?

A. He believes that he can make money off the “strange creature”

B. He prods Caliban

C. Both Caliban & Trinculo begin to drink with him

D. All of the above

14. Both Trinculo & Stefano believe they can make _____ at home off the strange ccreature

A. Money.

B. Gold.



15. What does Caliban swear at the end of the scene?

A. Devotion to Stefano, who he thinks is a god

B. To kill Prospero

C. To go on a diet and start eating right

D. To start listening to Prospero

16. Why does Prospero agree that Miranda and Ferdinand may marry?

A. They have passed all the tests put before them

B. They are deeply in love

C. He doesn’t care

D. He’s using them

17. What’s one way they celebrate the betrothal?

A. With a masque

B. With balloons

C. With a banquet

D. With party hats

18. Why does Prospero stop the masque?

A. He wants to read

B. He remembers that Caliban, Stefano and Trinculo are out for him

C. He changes his mind

D. He doesn’t feel like celebrating anymore

19. What is Ariel instructed to leave for the trio hanging on a tree?

A. Berries

B. A note

C. Clothes

D. Shoes

20. Miranda and Ferdinand goes out, followed by who?

A. Caliban

B. Ariel

C. Prospero

D. Alonso

E. Sebastian

21. How long did Miranda say that they will be safe for?

A. 1 hour

B. 30 minutes

C. 4 hours

D. 5 hours

E. 3 hours

22. What does the name Miranda mean?

A. Beautiful

B. Admired

C. Peace

D. Flawless

E. Kind

24. Prospero says to himself- “You poor weak thing ________!” What is in the blank?

A. You’re in love

B. You are too weak

C. You are foolish

D. You are just a girl

E. You will die

25. How long did Miranda say to meet again?

A. Half an hour

B. 1 hour

C. 3 hours

D. 2 hours

E. 4 hours

26. Who does Caliban chooses as his master?

A. Trinculo

B. Stephano


27. What does Caliban want Stephano to do?

A. To kill Prospero and marry his daughter

B. To rule this island

C. To make a ship and sail back home

28. What did Caliban say to destroy of Prospero’s?

A. His magic wand

B. His magic books

C. His magic stool

D. His magic stone

29. Who was the only women that Caliban has even seen?

A. Miranda and her mother

B. Miranda and his mother

C. The Queen and his mother

D. Miranda and the queen

30. How long will Prospero be asleep?

A. In an hour

B. In a day

C. In half an hour

D. In 10 minutes

31. Who is making the mysterious music?

A. Antonio

B. Alonso

C. Prospero

D. Sebastian

E. Gonzalo

32. What is a harpy?

A. A lion with the head of a man

B. A cat with the head of a lion

C. A bird with the head of a woman

D. A man with the head of a woman

33. What does Alonso think that happened to Ferdinand?

A. Ferdinand got killed by an animal

B. Ferdinand got kidnapped

C. Ferdinand drowned

34. Where does Alonso think his son is?

A. In a jungle

B. In the bottom of the ocean

C. In the kidnapper’s house

35. Who said “But one fiend at a time,I’ll fight their legions o’e” ?

A. Antonio

B. Sebastian

C. Gonzalo

D. Alonso