Joseph Papp writes an engaging biography introducing William Shakespeare in the Forward of Bantam Classic's The Merchant of Venice. His imagery and description of an excitable young Shakespeare writing Hamlet is one that every student should read before tackling the archaic language. It brings the playwright to life in a way that any person in any time can connect with.
For these reasons, I have created a set of ten questions to follow this short passage. These questions are meant to be answered in sentence form instead of the typical multiple choice as a way to trigger conscious thought from the student. Topics include author's purpose, style and mechanics, context clues and tone.
This resource is a fantastic pre-reading activity for any Shakespearean unit, though I created it for Romeo and Juliet.