Quiz: Test Your Knowledge of Shakespeare and Music

Tune in for Shakespeare-Inspired Pieces this Thursday, April 23, 2015, on WQXR.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 12:00 AM

Nadja Michael as Lady Macbeth in Verdi's 'Macbeth' Nadja Michael as Lady Macbeth in Verdi's 'Macbeth' (Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera)

William Shakespeare is widely acknowledged as the greatest writer in the English language. And countless literary composers drew inspiration from his works. As WQXR honors his 451st birthday on Thursday, April 23, 2015 get in the spirit now with a good old quiz.

How well do you know your William? Are you brainy about the Bard? Test your knowledge below.


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Comments [9]


Yes, there is no "title role" in Tempest. Unless he played the storm itself! Quite misleading...

Apr. 23 2015 03:02 PM
Les from Miami, Florida

I missed the question about the most musical of Shakespears's plays, that being "The Tempest". I also was expecting to see questions about Gounod's Rome'o et Juliette" and Thomas's "Hamlet".

Apr. 20 2015 09:34 AM
Barry Owen Furrer

@Marshallin and @Suzanne~
Try clicking onto the down arrow in the upper right corner of the quiz box - good luck!

Apr. 18 2015 12:37 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute,

Long before I composed my two Shakespeare operas ['Shakespeare' and "The Political Shakespeare'] at the urging of my acting mentor Lee Strasberg, I acted Shakespearean roles, but my singing voice and the Wagner rep prevailed in priority of my available time. Decisions are what we make very day of our lives from childhood on. Soon after I resumed full time my composing and singing I got leading tenor or title roles to premiere in operas by George Antheil, Serge Prokofieff, Marc Blitzstein and others and to sing as the leading tenor with the General Platoff Don Cossacks, touring all of the USA, Canada and Mexico and singing four solo three hour long concerts in the main hall of Carnegie Hall. I am in favor of REAL voices, not highly amplified and cosmetised timbres, singing musicals without amplification. ." I knew personally Wieland, Wolfgang and Ftiedelinde Wagner, the grandchildren of the composer and Cosima Liszt Wagner. Friedelinde attended one of my performances in the revival of Most Happy Fella at the New York City Center, the old home of the NYCO. In the "old days" operatic voices were doing the operettas of Victor Herbert, Rudolf Friml, Cole Porter, Franz Lehar, Jerome Kern and Gershwin. Anything that promotes comprehension of and familiarity with the masterpieces of art , music, literature and architecture serves the better good for all. My own experience as a 10 year old with hearing Wagner's Gotterdammerung on New York's radio station WNYC gave birth to my career as an opera composer and Wagnerian heldentenor. For those interested in hearing a real, echt, Wagnerian heldentenor voice my next concert reprising my 4 three hour long main hall, Isaac Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall solo concerts in which i sang nearly 100 selections will be at the New Life Expo at New York's Pennsylvania Hotel at 8 PM at either the Madison or Penntop venue on the eighteenth floor on Sat. May 30th. The concert will consist of 13 selections in 8 languages: German, Italian, French, Norwegian Swedish, Spanish, Latin and English. The composers represented will be Wagner, Verdi, Beethoven, Handel, Grieg, Sibelius, Jacopo Peri, Cilea, Halevy, Gastaldon and Alvarez. My singing may be downloaded, free, at Recorded Selections at my website www.WagnerOpera.com. I am an opera composer ["Shakespeare" and "The Political Shakespeare"], who in these days of turmoil believes Shakespeare's thoughts might render some message of value to those who feel victimized. My operas will be obtainable on my web site in 2 years.I am also the director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute in Boonton, NJ where there is training for actors for all the roles of the Shakespeare's plays and for big-voiced singers coaching for all the Wagner opera roles

Apr. 18 2015 11:07 AM

Ah, yes, the devil is in the details.


Apr. 25 2014 07:33 PM
Suzanne from New York

No, Marschallin from Manhattan, you're not the only one. I've drawn a blank on the quiz as well.

Apr. 24 2014 11:25 AM
Gary Heilsberg

Simon Keenlyside did not play "the title character" in 'The Tempest,' although he did do a bit of storming around. He played the title character in "Hamlet" a few seasons before, but that was not one of the options.

Apr. 24 2014 12:33 AM
The Marschallin from Manhattan

Is everybody able to access the Quizz but me? All I get is a blank...

Apr. 23 2014 01:47 PM
Bonnie Stevens from Chappaqua, NY

I was able to enter the ticket giveaway for "Much Ado About Nothing" in honor of the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth, but think that too little time was allowed to enter (6 hours). For people like me who have no computer at home, but use the public library when I need the Internet, it is rather inconvenient. Fortunately I am now retired and could get to the library when it opened between 9:00 AM and noon. Had I still been working, that would not have been possible. Anyway, if I win, I will be happy to go with my elderly mother (age 96) to see this wonderful play. Also, many thanks to WQXR for its recent instrument collection. Many, many children will be able to benefit from being able to receive a musical instrument while in school, as I did in 4th-8th grade (the violin).

Apr. 23 2014 11:38 AM

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