1. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow/Creeps in this petty pace from day to day/To the last syllable of recorded time.
Which Shakespeare character spoke these lines upon learning of his wife's death?
A) Macbeth; B) Julius Caesar; C) Hamlet; D) King Lear.
2. The smooth songs "Satin Doll" and "Mood Indigo" came from the musically trained mind of:
A) George Gershwin; B) Harold Arlen; C) Duke Ellington; D) Glenn Miller.
3. The famous fresco The Last Supper was created by the same artist who also painted
A) The School of Athens; B) Mona Lisa; C) The Starry Night; D) Madonna in Moonlight.
4. Abe Lincoln was able to use only one of these: A) the electric light; B) the phonograph; C) the telephone; D) the telegraph.
5. Bifocal glasses were the brainchild of A) Thomas Edison; B) Thomas Jefferson; C) George Eastman; D) Ben Franklin.
6. Flapper was a term for A) a young woman dressed unconventionally in the 1920s; B) a jazz dancer in the Gay Nineties; C) a baseball player who struck out too often; D) an unfortunate sky diver.
7. Called the "Father of the Constitution," this Virginian was U.S. president when this event occurred: A) the Erie Canal was opened; B) British soldiers set fire to our capitol; C) Burr shot Hamilton in a duel; D) the Whiskey Rebellion was put down.
(answers further down)
That first question brings to mind how important a casual comment can be if it comes from the right person. It was lunchtime at Oakland Tech. As I was walking past, my track coach, Gil Callies, asked about a book I was carrying. I answered it was Shakespeare stuff and I hated it. "Really?" he said. "I took a course in his plays in college, and I liked him."
The statement surprised me. He's a nice guy and smart, too, I thought, and he likes Shakespeare. Maybe I'm missing something. My attitude did a 180 as I learned to appreciate the best writer in the English language. I even read 17 plays by him in a course at Cal a few years later. Proving again, it doesn't pay to be prejudiced.
Quiz answers: 1. A; 2. C; 3. B; 4. D; 5. D; 6. A; 7. B (James Madison was president during the War of 1812, and luckily, the rain put the fire out or our capitol would have burned to the ground!)
Those who nailed all seven can be regarded as Renaissance champs. Six in the win column is super good. Five right just regular good. Four correct equals OK. Three right means you missed FOUR! And two or less indicates "Trouble, trouble, trouble, right here in River City," as professor Harold Hill would say ... Or did you miss that movie?
My Uncle Bill used to say you could put people into three categories: those who can count and those who can't.
Contact Joe King at email@example.com.