Masters Shakespeare Brief Suggestions 2019-20
Q.1. What was the original title of the play Hamlet?
Ans. The original title of the play, Hamlet, was The Tragical (Tragicall) Historie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.
0.2. Who is Claudius?
Ans. Claudius is the present King of Denmark, the antagonist and uncle of Hamlet.
Q.3. What prevents Hamlet from committing suicide?
Ans. Hamlet would have committed suicide, if self-murder were not a violation of canon law .
Q.4. What is the significance of the expression, “Frailty, thy name is woman’!”
Ans. Hamlet leaps from the single example of his mother’s impulsive behaviour, her remarriage with Claudius, and condemns all women of all times saying, a woman is an embodiment of weakness.
Q.5. When does the Ghost appear for the second time?
Ans. The Ghost appears for the second time in Act I, Scene 4.
Q.6. How does the Ghost identify itself to Hamlet?
Ans. The Ghost identifies itself to Hamlet as his father’s spirit forced to wander by night and to suffer purgatorial fires by day until his sins have been forgiven.
Q.7. Who, according to the Ghost, is responsible for his sudden death?
Ans. The Ghost tells Hamlet that although his sudden death was blamed on a serpent sting, he, in fact, was murdered by Claudius, the present King.
Q.8. Why is Ophelia distressed and frightened?
Ans. Ophelia is distressed and frightened, as she reports to her Hamlet.
Q.9. How does Hamlet plan to entrap King Claudius?
Or, How does Hamlet plan to prove Claudius’ guilt?
Ans. Hamlet outlines his plan to have the players perform The Murder of Gonzago before the King and his court, and watch his reaction to a particular scene to establish his guilt.
Q.10. What is the meaning of “To be or not to be that is the question”?
Ans. The vital question of life is whether it is better to continue to live on earth or to put an end to this earthly existence.
Q.11. Why does Hamlet advice Ophelia to go to a nunnery?
Ans. In order to save Ophelia from the cruel hands of the wicked, Hamlet advises Ophelia to join a nunnery which is free from corruption.
Q.12. How is Claudius’s guilt confirmed?
Ans. When Hamlet is informed by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that the King is indisposed, his guilt is confirmed.
Q.13. Why does Hamlet fail to kill the king at prayer?
Ans. Hamlet, a man of religion and morality, thinks that if he kills the King at prayer and sends him to heaven it is not a revenge but a reward. So he fails to kill him.
Q.14. Why does the Queen fail to see the Ghost?
Ans. The Queen has deviated from the path of honour and chastity by her incestuous relation (remarriage) with Claudius and so she fails to see the Ghost which is a spiritual vision.
Q.15. What is the king’s motive in sending Hamlet to England?
Ans. The king’s motive in sending Hamlet to England is an intrigue to have him killed there.
Q.1. What does Hamlet do when the pirates attack his ship?
Ans. When the pirates attack Hamlet’s ship. Hamlet boards the pirates’ ship without delay and is taken, prisoner.
Q.2. Who was Yorick?
Ans. Yorick was the King’s jester who died 23 years ago. He was Hamlet’s childhood favourite who played games with him.
Q.3. What is the last intrigue of Claudius against Hamlet?
Ans. The last intrigue of King Claudius against Hamlet is his arrangement of a fencing match between Hamlet and Laertes.
Q.4. How does the Queen die?
Ans. During the fencing match between Hamlet and Laertes in the final Scene the Queen picks up the cup of poisoned wine and drinks from it; a little later she faints and falls.
Q.5. How does Hamlet kill the King at last?
Ans. Knowing the treachery of Claudius from Laertes, Hamlet turns quickly to the King and strikes him with his poisoned sword and also makes him drink poisoned wine left by his mother.
Q.6. What kind of funeral is given to Hamlet’s dead body?
Ans. Hamlet, the tragic hero, is given a military funeral with all the due honours at the orders of Fortinbras, the young Prince of Norway, who ascends the vacant throne of Denmark.
Q.7. How is Hamlet betrayed by Ophelia?
Ans. Ophelia betrays Hamlet by returning Hamlet’s gifts to her and by acting as a decoy of her father.
Q.8. At which university in Germany had Hamlet been studying?
Ans. Hamlet had been studying at Wittenberg University in Germany.
Q.9. What is the famous line spoken by Horatio when Hamlet dies?
Ans. When Hamlet dies Horatio speaks, “Now cracks a noble heart…good night, sweet Prince.”
Q.10. Who becomes the King of Denmark at the end of the play “Hamlet”?
Q.11. Who remains alive in the last scene of the drama ‘Hamlet”?
Q.12. What is comic relief?
Ans. In a tragedy, a humorous incident, action, or remark that relieves emotional tension, is called ‘comic or dramatic relief,
Q.13. Who says “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”?
Ans. Marcellus says this in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.
Q.14. Who informs Hamlet of the appearance of the ghost?
Ans. Horatio informs Hamlet of the appearance of the ghost.
Q.15. Who is Fortinbras?
Ans. Fortinbras is the young Prince of Norway, whose father the king (also named Fortinbras) was killed by Hamlet’s father (also named Hamlet).
Q.16. How does Polonius die?
Ans. Hamlet draws his sword, thrusts it through the tapestry and kills Polonius who, overhearing the hot exchange of words between mother and son from behind the curtain, echoes her calls for help.
Q.17. What is the setting of the play, Hamlet?
Ans. The setting of Hamlet is the royal castle at Elsinore on the rocky sea-washed Danish coast during winter.
Q.18. What is “The Mouse Trap”?
Ans. When Claudius questions Hamlet about the name of the ‘play-within-play, he answers that its name is “The Mouse trap”.
Q.1. What was the source of Othello?
Ans. The plot of Othello was borrowed from the seventh novel, The Moore of Venice’, written by Geraldi Cinthio, a Sicilian novelist.
Q.2. Who is Roderigo?
Ans. Roderigo is a rich young Venetian. He is a fool and a ridiculous example of a soldier and for Iago’s purpose a perfect dupe.
Q.3. Who is Cassio?
Ans. Cassio is a professional soldier, lieutenant to Othello, the Moorish general of the Venetian army.
Q.4. Why and how does Roderigo wake Desdemona’s father from sleep late at night?
Ans. Roderigo at the direction of lago wakes Brabantio, Desdemona’s father from sleep late at night by making a noisy clamour.
Q.5. How is Othello received by the Duke at his court?
Ans. The Duke greets Othello first, immediately enlisting his services against the Turkish threat.
Q.6. What intrigue does lago think of in his soliloquy against Othello?
Ans. Left alone, lago in his soliloquy intends to poison Othello’s ears Cassio by telling him that he is too familiar with his wife.
Q.7. When does Desdemona offer his handkerchief to Othello?
Ans. When Othello pretends to have a severe Desdemona offers him her handkerchief to rub his face.
Q.8. What is special of the handkerchief?
Ans. Desdemona’s handkerchief is a a very special handkerchief embroidered with strawberry pattern, and was Othello’s first presen to Desdemona.
Q.9. How does Iago hatch an intrigue with Desdemona’s handkerchief?
Ans. lago places the handkerchief of Desdemona in Cassio’s room, for this would confirm the suspicions of the jealous Othello.
Q.10. What is Desdemona’s reaction to Othello’s charge against her chastity?
Ans. Desdemona is dazed with the suddenness and violence of Othello’s accusation and is too terrified to utter even a single word in her defence.
Q.11. How is Desdemona killed by Othello?
Ans. Out of his jealous passion Othello strangulates Desdemona to death in her bed.
Q.12. Who reveals the wickedness of lago?
Ans. Emilia relates the whole story and reveals the wickedness of lago with the handkerchief before Montano, Gratiano and others.
Q.1. How does Othello die?
Ans. Othello, a heart-broken man at last, stabs himself and dies with a last kiss on the chaste, cold lips of Desdemona.
Q.2. What is the ultimate fate of lago, the villain of the play Othello.
Ans. lago, the villain, is arrested by Montano but he refuses to his lips and it is decided that he would be tortured and made to confess.
Q.3. When and where does the play ‘Othello’ open?
Ans. Othello opens late at night in a Venetian street outside the house of the Senator Branbantio.
Q.4. Why is Cassio grief-stricken? Ans. Having lost his lieutenantship and being disgraced by Othello, Cassio is grief-stricken.
Q.5. What is Othello-syndrome?
Ans. Jealousy in love is Othello-syndrome.
Q.6. What was the original title of the play “Othello”?
Ans. The original title of the play Othello was “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”.
Q.7. What is Othello’s tragic flaw?
Ans. Othello’s credulity, his simplicity, the frankness and honesty of his heart are the tragic flaws of his character.
Q.8. Why did Othello go to Cyprus from Venice?
Ans. Othello went to Cyprus from Venice to defend the island against an expected invasion by the Turks.
Q.9. How did Desdemona fall in love with Othello?
Ans. She says she fell in love with him because of the stories he told her about his adventures as a military man. She loves him for his “qualities,” such as courage and honor.
Q.1. What is the full title of the play King Lear?
Ans. The full title of King Lear is The Tragedy of King Lear.
Q.2. Who are the good characters in King Lear?
Ans. The good characters in King Lear are Lear, Cordelia, Kent, Edgar, Albany, Gloucester, Fool, etc.
Q.3. Why does King Lear decide to divide his kingdom among his three daughters?
Ans. As Lear has become very old, he wants to withdraw from the affairs of the state and leave the ruling of his kingdom to his daughters and their husbands. So, he has decided to divide his kingdom among his three daughters.
Q.4. How does Goneril profess her love for her father, King Lear?
Ans. Goneril tells in a high-flown language before the court that She loves the king, her father more than words can express, and that he is dearer to her even than her eyesight and her freedom.
Q.5. What does the tragedy of King Lear represent?
Ans. The tragedy of King Lear represents the victory of love over hatred, of invincible filial gratitude over monstrous filial ingratitude.
Q.6. What is Cordelia’s answer to the question of her love for the king, her father?
Ans. When Cordelia’s turn to speak out her love for her father, the old King Lear, comes, she says that she loves him as much as a daughter ought to love her father, neither more and nor less.
Q.7. How does King Lear react to Cordelia’s expression of love for him?
Ans. Lear is enraged at Cordelia’s blunt and unemotional of love for him, immediately disowns her by dividing her portion of the land between her two sisters and declares that he will provide no dowry for her.
Q.8. Why is Kent banished by the king?
Ans. Kent is immediately by King Lear for making an attempt to dissuade Lear from carrying his threat to Cordelia unjustly.
Q.9. Why does Edgar pretend to be a Bedlam-beggar?
Ans. As Edgar has been proclaimed an outlaw by his father, he assumes a disguise and pretends to be a Bedlam-beggar in order to avoid arrest.
Q.10. Who persuades Lear to enter a hovel during storm?
Ans. Kent is able to persuade Lear to enter a hovel during storm.
Q.11. How is Cordelia put to death in the prison?
Ans. Cordelia is hanged in the prison by a secret order of Edmund.
Q.12. Why does Regan die?
Ans. Regan dies because Goneril has poisoned her.
Q.13. How is King Lear transformed into a man?
Ans. The proud King Lear has been transformed into an ordinary man through a process of sufferings and madness.
Q.1. How does King Lear curse Goneril?
Ans. Lear curses Goneril, expressing a wish that she should become barren and that even if she does bear a child, the child should live to be a source of perverse and unnatural torment to her.
Q.2. How does Lear comfort his daughter Cordelia in the prison?
Ans. While in the prison Cordelia expresses her concern about her father, Lear tries to comfort her by saying that they will both live together in the prison and sing like birds in a cage.
Q.3. Who said, “I am more sinned against than sinning”?
Ans. King Lear said this in the play of the same name.
Q.4. Who was Cordelia’s husband?
Ans. The King of France was Cordelia’s husband.
Q.5. Why does Goneril commit suicide?
Ans. After Regan dies, Goneril kills herself. There is little explanation for her suicide, but it is implied that the cause of her suicide is a mixture of the thwarting of her plans and her confession to poisoning Regan.
Q.6. Who are the suitors of Cordelia?
Ans. The Duke of Burgundy and the King of France are the suitors of Cordelia
Q.7. Who is the bastard son of Gloucester?
Ans. Edmund is the bastard son of the Earl of Gloucester.
Q.1. What is the source of The Tempest?
Ans. According to most of the critics, the hints for the story of The Tempest have been taken from an old German play The Fair Sidea, though the shipwreck of the sea-venture in 1609 on the Bermudas and passages from Arthur Golding’s Ovid and John Florio’s Montaigne contribute details to the play.
Q.2. What kind of play is The Tempest?
Ans. The Tempest is a romantic drama in classical form.
Q.3. What is the purpose of the Epilogue to The Tempest?
Ans. In the Epilogue to The Tempest Shakespeare offers his personal apologies to the audience in the person of Prospero. He requests them to applaud him by clapping and pray for him so that he may break his magic spell.
Q.4. What do you mean by the term “The Tempest”?
Ans. ‘The Tempest’ means ‘a violent storm’.
Q.5. Who is Gonzalo?
Ans. Gonzalo is an honest old counsellor of the King of Naples.
Q.6. Who is Prospero?
Ans. Prospero is the exiled Duke of Milan. He has been dethroned and banished by his own wicked brother, Antonio.
Q.7. Why does Miranda feel pity at the sight of the shipwreck?
Ans. Miranda, who witnesses the shipwreck during the stort feels pity for the ship’s passengers who seem to have perished.
Q.8. Who is Sycorax?
Ans. Sycorax is a witch, born in Algiers. She was banished from Algiers because of her dreadful witchcraft. She was controlling the island before Prospero’s arrival.
Q.9 Who is Ariel?
Ans. Ariel is a spirit of air, first a servant to Sycorax and after her death renders valuable services to Prospero.
Q.10. How and why was Ariel imprisoned by Sycorax?
Ans. Ariel was imprisoned by Sycorax in the hollow of a pine tree for having been disobedient to her in carrying out her evil plans.
Q.11. Who is Caliban?
Ans. Caliban, the human son of the witch Sycorax, is employed by Prospero for menial service but he obeys him most grudgingly only under fear of physical torment.
Q.1. What request does Miranda make to her father in favour of Ferdinand?
Ans. Miranda begs her father to be merciful to Ferdinand and release him from imprisonment.
Q.2. Why does Miranda offer to carry the logs herself for Ferdinand?
Ans. Miranda offers to carry the logs for Ferdinand in order to allow him rest for a while, but he refuses, for he is a patient logman only for her sake.
Q.3. What is masque?
Ans. A masque is a popular courtly diversion in the form of a mini play, consisting of songs, poetry, recitations and dances by brightly costumed players who represent mythological characters.
Q.4. What resolution does Prospero take at the end of the play?
Ans. At the end of the play Prospero solemnly resolves to break- his magic-staff and drown his magic book deep into the sea.
Q.5. How does Antonio conspire against Prospero?
Ans. Taking the advantage of his position as the administrator of the dukedom, Antonio with Alonso, the King of Naples to dethrone Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan.
Q.6. What is the setting of the play “The Tempest”?
Ans. The setting of The Tempest is a remote, unknown and “uninhabited island” or “a country of the mind’, although several critics associate it with ‘Bermudas’ or a small island between Malta and the coast of Africa.
Q.7. How are Caliban and Ariel different?
Ans. Ariel, made of air and fire, is a sylph, refined and ethereal Caliban, on the other hand, a misshapen monster, half man, half-fish, is the son of Sycorax, a witch, begotten by a demon.
Q.8. What does Ariel do for Gonzalo?
Ans. He prevents Gonzalo from being killed while asleep by Antonio and Sebastian, by singing in his ear and waking him.
Q.9. What does Prospero tell Miranda about the shipwreck?
Ans. Prospero assures Miranda that no one was harmed and tells her that it’s time she learned who she is and where she comes from.
Q.10. What is the name of Caliban’s mother?
Ans. The name of Caliban’s mother is Sycorax.
Q.11. Who raises storm in the sea and how?
Ans. Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan raises storm in the sea with the help of his magical power.
Measure for Measure
Q.1. What kind of play is Measure for Measure?
Ans. Measure for Measure is a tragi-comedy.
Q.2. Who does replace Isabella in the ‘bed-trick’ with Angelo?
Ans. Mariana replaces Isabella in disguise in the ‘bed-trick’ with Angelo.
Q.3. Who asks Isabella to surrender her body to save her brother’s life?
Ans. Angelo asks Isabella to surrender her body to save her brother’s life.
Q.4. Who is the speaker of the words, “We must not make a scarecrow of the law”?
Ans. Angelo, the deputy of the Duke of Vienna is the speaker of the words, “we must not make a scarecrow of the law”.
Q.5. Why does Lucio condemn Angelo?
Ans. Lucio condemns Angelo for his severity.
Q.6. What is the final judgment on Angelo?
Ans. Angelo is finally pardoned by the Duke.
Q.7. What punishment does Lucio suffer?
Ans. The punishment which Lucio receives is that he must marry the girl whom he had made pregnant and who had given birth to a child by him.
Q.8. What is the reason for Claudio’s failure to marry Juliet?
Ans. Claudio regards Juliet as his wife but he had not been able to marry her because her marriage dowry was in the possession of some of her relatives who would have opposed the marriage and deprived her of her dowry.
Q,9. What, according to Isabella, is tyrannical for a man of authority?
Ans. Isabella argues before Angelo saying that it is good for a man to possess a giant’s strength but it is tyrannical for him to use it blindly like a giant.
Q.10. How does Isabella define mercy?
Ans. Isabella defines mercy as a quality which becomes a powerful man more than any symbol of authority.
Q.11. When does the Duke withdraw his death-sentence against Angelo?
Ans. When the Provost produces the living Claudio before the Duke, he withdraws the sentence of death against Angelo.
Q.12. What kind of punishment is imposed upon Lucio by the Duke?
Ans. The Duke passes an order that Lucio must first marry the girl whom he had made pregnant, and that Lucio should then be whipped and hanged. But soon afterwards his whipping is withdrawn.
Q.1. What judgment is passed upon Claudio by the Duke?
Ans. The Duke forgives Claudio, asking him to marry Juliet and look after her well.
Q.2. What proposal does the Duke make to Isabella?
Ans. The Duke proposes marriage to Isabella who has impressed him greatly by her purity and sympathetic mind.
Q.3. What is Shakespeare’s message in Measure for Measure?
Ans. Shakespeare’s intention in Measure for Measure is to emphasise mercy. According to him, when justice is tempered with mercy forgiveness is possible and this is a Christian virtue.
Q.4. What is the name of the hangman in Measure for Measure!
Ans. Abhorson is the name of the hangman in Measure for Measure.
Q.5. What is the literal meaning of the title “Measure for Measure”?
Ans. The term “measure for measure” means “justice for justice”. That is when a person commits a crime he or she should be made to pay.
Q.6. Why was Claudio given death sentence?
Ans. Claudio was, given death sentence on the charge of have made a girl. Juliet, pregnant without having married her.
Q.7. Whom does Isabella call a “Virgin violater”?
Ans. Isabella calls Angelo a virgin-violater.
Q.8. Which plea does Isabella make to the Duke?
Ans. Isabella begs him for justice.
Q.9. Who is Mistress Overdone?
Ans. Mistress Overdone is a brothel madame.
Q.10. Why is Claudio imprisoned?
Ans. Claudio is imprisoned for fornication with a girl, Juliet who has become pregnant..
Q.11. Who is appointed ‘The deputy of Duke Vincentio”?
Ans. Lord Angelo is appointed the deputy of the Duke of Vienna in his absence.
Q.12. What type of comedy is ‘Measure for Measure”?
Ans. Measure for Measure is a tragi-comedy.
Q.1.What kind of play is Julius Caesar?
Ans. Julius Caesar is a Roman tragedy, a historical play, based on ancient Roman history.
Q.2. What is Brutus’s last big mistake?
Ans. Overruling Cassius, Brutus makes his last big mistake by insisting that they should advance across the Dardanelles to Macedonia and meet Antony and Octavius at Philippi.
Q3. How did Pompey die?
Ans. Pompey was murdered by some of his own friends.
Q.4. What is “Lupercalia”?
Ans. “Lupercalia” refers to a festival, the day of the feast of Lupercal, celebrated by the Romans in honour of the god of fertility and plenty.
Q.5. What do you mean by “Tribunes”?
Ans. The Tribunes are the high officials, city magistrates who look after the welfare of the common people of Rome.
Q.6. What led Brutus to commit suicide?
Ans. Being certain of defeat, Brutus persuades one after another of his men to kill him but they all refuse. At last Strato reluctantly consents to hold Brutus’s sword with which he fatally wounds himself.
Q.7. What does the Ides of March’ refer to?
Ans. The Ides of March’ refers to the 15th day of the month of March, which is regarded as ominous.
Q.8. How does Portia prove her self-control?
Ans. Portia shows Brutus a wound which she had voluntarily inflicted upon her thigh on one occasion, just to prove her will-power and self-control.
Q.9. What is Caesar’s attitude to death?
Ans. According to Caesar, since death is inevitable, a brave man never fears death while a coward experiences the fear of death at every step in the course of his life.
Q.10. Who is Artemidorus?
Ans. Artemidorus is a teacher of rhetoric or the art of oratory. He is a well-wisher of Caesar.
Q.11. How does Antony describe the assassins?
Ans. Antony describes the assassins as noble and honourable persons. He repeats the word honourable until the ironic use he is making of it has sunk consciously or unconsciously into the very system of his hearers.
Q.12. What is the significance of the appearance of Caesar’s ghost to Brutus?
Ans. The appearance of the ghost of Caesar reminds the audience that Nemesis is still pursuing the assassins, and gives the audience a foreboding as to what the outcome will be.
Q.13. Why does Cassius commit suicide?
Ans. Cassius feels deeply disappointed and dejected at the fleeing away of some of his soldiers from the battlefield and at the capture of Titanius by the enemy troops. So he commits suicide.
Q.1. How does Cassius commit suicide?
Ans. Feeling deeply disappointed Cassius hands over his sword to Pindarus and orders him to thrust it into his (Cassius’s) body. Pindarus has no alternative but to carry out Cassius’s order.
Q.2. How is the march of Nemesis complete in Julius Caesar?
Ans. In Julius Caesar the march of Nemesis is completed by the defeat and death of the last conspirator, Brutus.
Q.3. Why is young Cato introduced in the last act?
Ans. Young Cato is introduced in the last act to provide an example, closely related to Brutus, of the type of old Roman republican party which is disappearing.
Q.4. What was the ambition of Caesar?
Ans. Caesar’s ambition was to be the absolute king of his country with unlimited power and with the Senate completely subservient to him.
Q.5. What is the second mistake of Brutus?
Ans. The second mistake of Brutus is his vetoing the inclusion of Cicero, the one orator who might have neutralized the effect of Antony’s oration that makes the slippery path to their doom.
Q.6. How did Caesar become the ruler of Rome?
Ans. In 45 B.C. Caesar inflicted a crushing defeat upon the two sons of Pompey and became the undisputed ruler and administrator of Italy, with the Roman Senate assisting him in the task.
Q.7. What is Brutus’s most glaring mistake as the leader of the conspirators?
Ans. The most glaring mistake of Brutus as the leader of the conspirators is his allowing of Antony to speak at Caesar’s funeral, because this speech brings about the ruin of the conspirators.