IN THE SPOTLIGHT
The Not-Your-Average-Shakespeare-Trivia contest
By Stuart O'Steen, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
|A Midsummer Night's Dream; Sarah Fallon as Titania, Dennis Elkins as Bottom. (Photo courtesy Lou Costy for Colorado Shakespeare Festival)
So, you think you know your Shakespeare? Here's a trivia contest to separate the savants from the mere experts—a contest worthy of such an august university. Take your best shot and send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 6. The first three people to send all correct (or substantially correct) answers win two free tickets to the Colorado Shakespeare Festival 2007 season play of their choice. Good luck!
- Here's a warm-up question (proper stretching reduces the chance of a pulled neuron). Traditionally, critics have identified three of Shakespeare's plays as "problem comedies," so called because they appear to combine straightforward comic material with darker themes. This year's CSF production, All's Well that Ends Well, is one of those plays. Name the other two.
- One of this year's CSF plays is Julius Caesar. In the play, the crowd murders the poet "Cinna" because he shares a name with one of the conspirators. For this four-part question, give the full name (praenomen, gens, cognomen) of the poet (according to Suetonius, among others), his most famous work, the full name of the conspirator, and the family relationship of the conspirator to Gaius Julius Caesar.
- A Midsummer Night's Dream opens in Athens at the court of Theseus and Hippolyta. According to legend, Theseus abducted her and brought her back to Athens. Alas, though so many kidnappings result in happy marriages, Theseus eventually two-timed Hippolyta with another woman. Name her.
- In Julius Caesar, Cassius woos Brutus with references to his illustrious ancestor. In this three-part question, name the ancestor (full name), describe what he did, and explain why Roman custom would muddy the relationship between Brutus and his ancestor.
- Shakespeare may have modeled his Midsummer Night's Dream frolic in the woods on an English custom of his youth that was banned by the church during his lifetime. Name the custom (small hint: one may also find hints of the custom in the Forest of Arden scenes in As You Like It).
- Historically, Brutus has two reasons to hate Caesar that have to do with affairs of the heart. Name them.
Answers will appear in the July 10 Inside CU Did You Know section.