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Within two years of writing his first play, "Henry VI, Part One," which put him on London's theatrical map, Williams Shakespeare was so famous that established playwright Robert Greene referred to him as an "upstart crow" in a critique of his work. Shakespeare wrote "Henry VI, Part One" while still living in his native Stratford. Shortly thereafter, he moved to London to continue writing plays as well as acting.

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  • What are some important Globe Theatre facts?

    Q: What are some important Globe Theatre facts?

    A: The Globe Theatre was a large, round and open-air theater made famous by its connection with the playwright William Shakespeare, who owned a 12.5 percent share in the theater. It was built by Richard Burbage in 1599 on the south bank of the River Thames in London. The Globe Theatre lasted 85 years, burning down once, before it was turned into tenement housing after the Puritans suppressed all stage plays.
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  • How did Hercules die?

    Q: How did Hercules die?

    A: Though the stories of Hercules' death have varying details, all recount that the Greek hero suffered the effects of an intense poison and ultimately died on a funeral pyre. His immortal spirit ascended to Olympus to stay with the gods.
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  • What themes are expressed in "The Happy Prince" by Oscar Wilde?

    Q: What themes are expressed in "The Happy Prince" by Oscar Wilde?

    A: Themes expressed in "The Happy Prince" by Oscar Wilde include sacrifice, mercy, repression, compassion, love, poverty and riches. The fairy tale focuses on the statue of the Happy Prince who watches over a town and weeps as some townsfolk suffer in poverty.
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  • What is "In Another Country" by Ernest Hemingway?

    Q: What is "In Another Country" by Ernest Hemingway?

    A: "In Another Country" is a short story written by Ernest Hemingway. It was published in 1927 as part of his "Nick Adams" series. The story revolves around the character of Nick as he recuperates in a Milan hospital during World War I.
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  • How many books did Shakespeare write?

    Q: How many books did Shakespeare write?

    A: Although William Shakespeare did not write actual books, he wrote 38 plays during his career as a playwright. His earliest written plays included "Richard III" and "Henry VI."
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  • Why did Roald Dahl start writing?

    Q: Why did Roald Dahl start writing?

    A: Roald Dahl started writing because he was encouraged to do so by author C.S. Forrester. Dahl is quoted as saying to Willa Petscheck of the New York Times, "[w]ithout being asked to, I doubt if I'd ever have thought to [start writing]."
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  • What is a short summary of "Black Beauty?"

    Q: What is a short summary of "Black Beauty?"

    A: Anna Sewell's 1877 novel "Black Beauty" is an autobiographical memoir told by the horse who gives the book its name that starts with the horse's whimsical days as a young colt before moving on toward tough times hauling cabs in London and ending with a peaceful rest in the country. Each phase of his story brings him many stories of compassion, but he also gives many accounts of cruelty. The chapters each have a lesson inside them that relates to the sympathetic and insightful ways that people ought to behave.
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  • What are some literary devices in "Wuthering Heights"?

    Q: What are some literary devices in "Wuthering Heights"?

    A: Some literary devices used in Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights" include motifs and symbolism. Some of the novel's motifs include doubling and repetition, and some symbols in the book include moors and ghosts.
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  • What time period did Jane Austen live in?

    Q: What time period did Jane Austen live in?

    A: Jane Austen was born in 1775 in England, on the cusp of the Industrial Revolution. She spent the majority of her adult life in the Regency Period, which began in 1811. During this time, King George IV was named regent; his father, King George III had been declared insane.
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  • Why is "Frankenstein" considered a Gothic novel?

    Q: Why is "Frankenstein" considered a Gothic novel?

    A: Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" is considered a Gothic novel because it incorporates numerous elements of Gothic literature, including a dark setting, the supernatural, the sublime and an atmosphere of terror and horror. Gothic literature examines anxieties over modernity, rationalism and the uncertainty raised by rapid scientific progress.
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  • What are the characteristics of "Hamlet"?

    Q: What are the characteristics of "Hamlet"?

    A: Hamlet is an elusive and mysterious character that is philosophical, contemplative, obsessive, impulsive, melancholy, intelligent and careless. Hamlet is a character in William Shakespeare's play, also titled "Hamlet."
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  • Why does Gatsby call Nick "old sport?"

    Q: Why does Gatsby call Nick "old sport?"

    A: In F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," Gatsby calls Nick "old sport" as a term of endearment. The phrase also references Gatsby's manufactured affectations and his transition from poor James Gatz to rich Jay Gatsby.
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  • Why did Thoreau leave Walden Pond?

    Q: Why did Thoreau leave Walden Pond?

    A: In his book, "Walden; or Life in the Woods," American naturalist and author Henry David Thoreau explained that he left his life at Walden Pond after two years and two months because he felt he could not afford to spend more time there. From Walden Pond, Thoreau moved back to Concord, N.H.
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  • What are the names of the Three Musketeers?

    Q: What are the names of the Three Musketeers?

    A: The names of the Three Musketeers are Athos, Porthos and Aramis. The main character of the novel, however, is d'Artagnan, a poor, young adventurer who leaves his home to join the famous Musketeers of the Guard.
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  • Why did William Shakespeare write "Romeo and Juliet?"

    Q: Why did William Shakespeare write "Romeo and Juliet?"

    A: William Shakespeare was inspired to write "Romeo and Juliet" by a poem titled "Romeus and Juliet" by Arthur Brooks. In fact, Shakespeare's play shares many of the details of Brooks' poem. The story, however, was a commonly told one throughout Europe and was not unique to Brooks either.
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  • What is a short summary of "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley?

    Q: What is a short summary of "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley?

    A: "Brave New World" takes place in a futuristic society in which people are grown as nearly identical embryos in bottles and conditioned to remove strong desires, the need for human relationships and strong emotions. Members of society take a drug called soma to help keep them docile.
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  • What is the name of the queen in "Snow White"?

    Q: What is the name of the queen in "Snow White"?

    A: Queen Grimhilde is the name of the queen in "Snow White." In the Disney film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," she is simply referred to as "The Queen."
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  • Why does Juliet ask Romeo not to swear by the moon?

    Q: Why does Juliet ask Romeo not to swear by the moon?

    A: Juliet asks Romeo not to swear by the moon because the moon is always changing its shape and position. Therefore, a promise sworn on the moon could also be prone to changing. Her request is part of the famous balcony scene, which is the second scene in Act II of the play "Romeo and Juliet."
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  • What is the relationship between Harry Potter and the NEWTs?

    Q: What is the relationship between Harry Potter and the NEWTs?

    A: Because Harry Potter did not attend Hogwarts for his seventh and final year, he did not take the N.E.W.T.s, which are the exams young wizards about to graduate must take before finishing school. J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter novels, has given no indication that Harry ever returned to Hogwarts to finish his final year, though she has said that Hermione Granger did so.
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  • What is the setting of the "Most Dangerous Game"?

    Q: What is the setting of the "Most Dangerous Game"?

    A: The setting of "The Most Dangerous Game" is in the Caribbean on both a Brazil-bound yacht as well as a dangerous and mysterious Caribbean island. The action of the short story takes place soon after World War I.
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  • What is a moral tale?

    Q: What is a moral tale?

    A: A moral or morality tale is a type of story, popular during the 15th and 16th centuries, that uses allegory to portray the struggle between good and evil, often culminating in a lesson. Typically, morality tales featured personifications or avatars of vices and virtues.
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