Monday Mystery

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Good Monday, gentle readers! Today let’s look at some of the things people have said about Shakespeare. There’s a list of possible suspects; can you match the person to his or her witty remark? We’ve tried to help you out with some dates and other clues! (The answers will be revealed on Wednesday.)

Do you think this crow resents being compared to the Bard?

1. “…for there is an up-start Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tygers hart wrapt in a Players hyde, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blanke verse as the best of you: and being an absolute Johannes fac totum, is in his owne conceit the onely Shake-scene in a countrey.” Harsh! Also, those aren’t spelling mistakes; this quote is from Shakespeare’s time (aka the 16th century!).

Mmm… bacon!

2. “I know not, sir, whether Bacon wrote the works of Shakespeare, but if he did not it seems to me that he missed the opportunity of his life.” This playwright is known for making children live forever…

3. “He was not of an age, but for all time!” How true! The writer of this remark has a tasty name (which you’ll see in another one of these quotes).

Goethe doesn’t deserve such harsh words!

4. “There are times in my life I have read through Shakespeare and Goethe from end to end. And I never could make out in which their charm consisted.” Ouch! This great Russian writer really hated the Bard.

5. “Hamlet is a coarse and barbarous play . . . One might think the work is a product of a drunken savage’s imagination.” Do you agree with this Frenchman?

6. “Have you ever thought how much we all, and women especially, owe to Shakespear for his vindication of women in these fearless, high-spirited, resolute and intelligent heroines?” What do you think of Shakespeare’s female characters? Does this actress get it right?


A. J.M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan

B. Voltaire, French political thinker and satirical writer

C. Leo Tolstoy, 19th century Russian novelist

D. Robert Greene in A Groatsworth of Wit (1592)

E. Ellen Terry, a famed Shakespearean actress of the 19th century

F. Sir Francis Bacon, Elizabethan author, scientist and general wit

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