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Can you pick the plain English versions of each Shakespeare quote that appears at the top?
Click the matching answer button below
Correctly selected answers will show up in green
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Look fresh and merrily, let not our looks put on our purposes.
O, I have fed upon this woe already, and now excess of it will make me surfeit.
Away to heaven respective lenity, and fire-ey'd fury be my conduct now!
Fewness and truth; ’tis thus:
Who finds the heifer dead and bleeding fresh, and sees fast by a butcher with an axe, but will suspect 'twas he that made the slaughter?
His flawed heart, alack, too weak the conflict to support, 'twixt two extremes of passion, joy and grief, burst smilingly.
His giving out were of an infinite distance from his true-meant design.
Speak’st thou in sober meanings?
I prithee vent thy folly somewhere else.
It’s monstrous labor when I wash my brain and it grows fouler.
Come, sir, leave me your snatches, and yield me a direct answer.
Your tale, sir, would cure deafness.
I would thou hadst been son to some man else.
You may as well go about to turn the sun to ice with fanning in his face with a peacock’s feather.
Even as a splitted bark, so sunder we.
It is not well done, mark you now, to take the tales out of my mouth ere it is made an end and finished.
My lungs began to crow like chanticleer.
Her wits I fear me are not firm.
I have a motion much imports your good; whereto if you’ll a willing ear incline, what’s mine is yours, and what is yours is mine.
Your sense pursues not mine.
Ram thou thy fruitful tidings in mine ears, that long time have been barren!
I play the torturer by small and small to lengthen out the worst that must be spoken.
An there be any matter of weight chances, call up me.
Direct not him whose way himself will choose.
Look what envious streaks do lace the severing clouds in yonder east.
Though I am not splenative rash, yet have I in me something dangerous which let thy wisdom fear.
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(Warning: comments may contain spoilers)
Shakespeare in Plain English Quiz
Created Apr 3, 2012 in
Featured Sep 20, 2012
Game Plays 42,008
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Le participe présent
Apr 3rd, 2012 at 04:31 GMT
Verily, shall thy orbs be multiplied in quinary measure, and recommend thee to thine stewards. Prithee, they darest not redact.
Apr 3rd, 2012 at 04:40 GMT
I'm not a big fan of the clickable quizzes that have taken over Sporcle, but this is an example of it done for a purpose, and done well. Superb.
Apr 3rd, 2012 at 05:23 GMT
"Shall not thy mind be vexed ceaselessly e'en as thy carriage becometh thy pumpkin?"
"Don't attempt a game like this when your brain is fried at 1:15 A.M."
Or, "Any attempt at coming up with a witty comment at this hour is doomed to failure."
Apr 3rd, 2012 at 23:41 GMT
Thou art a scholar, Druhutch, and e'en as just a man as e'er my conversation coped withal.
Apr 4th, 2012 at 15:01 GMT
I guess I don't know Shakespeare very well. In plain English: I'm an idiot.
Apr 5th, 2012 at 00:04 GMT
Most fun clickable quiz I have played yet :P
Apr 5th, 2012 at 21:10 GMT
Whew! I finally found a quiet moment to take this. Can't take this quiz any other way.
Apr 5th, 2012 at 21:41 GMT
Loved this! Wish I had a bit more time to figure them out
Apr 6th, 2012 at 04:35 GMT
Cool, I added a minute and cut the two least guessed answers. I wanted this to be a "fun" quiz and not a "challenge" quiz, so that everyone could appreciate how amazing the language is when you break down a line to it's basic meaning. I'm trying to make it as accessible/non-stuffy as possible.
@RandallPinkston: Thanks, I'd had this idea a long time ago, but it wasn't really practical in the old format. When the clickable format was unveiled, it was the first thing I thought of.
@MSUKent: I still think you're smart. :) If you try it again, think of it more as a language quiz. It shouldn't have anything to do with knowing the plots or plays or anything.
Apr 7th, 2012 at 15:15 GMT
Agreed with earlier comments: this is one of the better uses of the clickable quiz so far. Would love to see a sequel sometime!
Apr 8th, 2012 at 20:33 GMT
Apr 9th, 2012 at 19:59 GMT
I am rather swaying more upon your part Than cherishing the exhibiters against you. Good quiz ;)
Apr 10th, 2012 at 01:07 GMT
Curiously, for those of us late to the party, what were the two passages you cut?
Apr 10th, 2012 at 01:37 GMT
"Let my disclaiming from a purposed evil free me so far in your most generous thoughts that I have shot my arrow o’er the house and hurt my brother."
= "I'm sorry."
"The state whereon I studied is, like a good thing being often read, grown sere and tedious."
="I changed my mind."
Apr 10th, 2012 at 10:13 GMT
"Shut up and listen" and "Don't interrupt" are too close in meaning for my taste. Other than that, I quite like this one.
Apr 10th, 2012 at 16:33 GMT
@tabbyclaw: You're right. I'm going to ditch one of those, and the "name your price" one, bumping it down to 26 answers.
Apr 12th, 2012 at 17:47 GMT
How shall we beguile the lazy time, if not with some delight? This quiz looks like a good way to beguile it.
Aug 7th, 2012 at 04:55 GMT
I just finished reading Measure for Measure, and I'm pretty sure "Your sense pursues not mine" meant "YOU'RE not following ME", not the other way around. Angelo says it to Isabella after about the third time he propositions her without her seeming to realize what he wants. Also, in context, "Direct not him whose way himself will choose" means "Don't tell HIM what to do" -- that shows up in Richard II, when the Duke of York tells John of Gaunt not to bother reasoning with the king.
Aug 9th, 2012 at 07:59 GMT
@Amy82986: I actually went through the passages you referenced, and...yup, you're totally right. Those answers have been fixed. Glad you're here--I'm a fan already.
Aug 10th, 2012 at 10:52 GMT
This is a really fun and well thought out quiz! Glad to see I'm not the only one who enjoys sitting around and analyzing Shakespearean language...
Game published: Sep 20th, 2012 at 15:00 GMT
Sep 20th, 2012 at 15:27 GMT
Click damn spot!
Sep 20th, 2012 at 15:31 GMT
Your quiz, sir, would cure internet hunger.
Sep 20th, 2012 at 15:41 GMT
This quiz made my brain melt...SO difficult. But fun nonetheless. I feel lucky to have escaped with the score I did.
Sep 20th, 2012 at 15:53 GMT
This quiz is filled with awesomeness!!!
Sep 20th, 2012 at 16:11 GMT
As one who can't stand Shakespeare, I found this enjoyable.
Sep 20th, 2012 at 16:13 GMT
Shakespeare is just SO DAMN BEAUTIFUL!
Sep 20th, 2012 at 16:14 GMT
In want of spirit for a fellow mortal's questions, and an opportune time for giving completion to the same, I diverted myself to thy quiz, o druhutch, and the aspirations of thy design have fulfilled themselves thus. (Good quiz!)
Sep 20th, 2012 at 16:27 GMT
Funny thing is, in Shakespeare's times, these quotes were "plain English" as he wrote for the masses.
Sep 20th, 2012 at 16:28 GMT
All the globes awarded. I'm off to get more globes to up the score. More of these, please!
Sep 20th, 2012 at 16:48 GMT
Out, out brief Sporcle
Sep 20th, 2012 at 19:36 GMT
I was really hoping you'd use this quiz to educate people that "wherefore" means "why", darn it!
Sep 20th, 2012 at 21:27 GMT
Wow, I only missed 5, and I can't stand Shakespeare. I know it's good for me, but I just never dug it.
Sep 20th, 2012 at 21:28 GMT
All the world's a game, and all the men and women merely sporclers: They have their fortes and their fallacies; And one man in his time writes many words...
Sep 20th, 2012 at 22:49 GMT
@Halfdwarf: And most of those words are Kyrgyzstan.
Sep 21st, 2012 at 01:58 GMT
My absolute favorite line from Henry VI, Part 2. It's just a hilarious mental image: A man walks into a butcher shop, sees a butcher with a bloody axe, and a freshly killed cow. The man's first question is "Did I do this?"
Sep 21st, 2012 at 02:07 GMT
@spartacat: Actually, the man suspects the butcher. The "he" refers to the butcher, not the other man. If the man's first question were "Did I do this?", the plain English version would not be "Duh!".
Sep 21st, 2012 at 02:38 GMT
great quiz not too difficult not too easy
Sep 21st, 2012 at 04:15 GMT
@erak: You and others like you are the reason I made this quiz--so despite the fact that your comment was voted down, I greatly appreciate it. I
that this might give you reason to reconsider your opinion of Shakespeare.
Sep 21st, 2012 at 04:33 GMT
This made my day. 26/26 on my first try. Out, out, damn nerdiness.
Sep 21st, 2012 at 13:08 GMT
Shakespeare might exclaim three score words without tarry, where three alone would suffice. (= jeez, he beats about the bush)
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