Classics

A:

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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  • Why did the Capulets and Montagues hate each other?

    Q: Why did the Capulets and Montagues hate each other?

    A: It is presumed that the Montagues and the Capulets hated one another because both families wanted to be the most powerful in Verona. The famous play “Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare never fully explains the reason behind the feud, though it is assumed to have lasted for many years.
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  • What are the seven deadly sins of Dante's "Inferno"?

    Q: What are the seven deadly sins of Dante's "Inferno"?

    A: The seven deadly sins of Dante's "Inferno" are lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. Dante crossed paths with souls condemned to eternal damnation as he journeyed through the Inferno, gaining deeper understanding as he studied their plight. The sinners that Dante encountered were being punished for the specific deadly sin which they were most guilty of in life.
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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 kind of people come to Gatsby's parties?

    Q: What kind of people come to Gatsby's parties?

    A: The text of "The Great Gatsby" implies that all kinds of people came to his parties when it says, "men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars." Many of his guests were the newly rich and not always an upstanding crowd.
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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 ghosts in "A Christmas Carol"?

    Q: What are the names of the ghosts in "A Christmas Carol"?

    A: The three ghosts named in "A Christmas Carol" are the ghosts or spirits of Christmas past, present, and future. These three ghosts tell Ebenezer Scrooge of his future if he does not change his ways.
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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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  • In which city was "Lord of the Flies" published?

    Q: In which city was "Lord of the Flies" published?

    A: Lord of the Flies was first published in London in 1954. It was written by William Golding, and is a current staple of many high school reading lists.
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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 are some examples of foreshadowing in Frankenstein?

    Q: What are some examples of foreshadowing in Frankenstein?

    A: Some of the instances of foreshadowing in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” include the use of the words fate and omen multiple times during the story. Another example of foreshadowing is when the author refers to the character of Clerval in the past tense, which foreshadows his death.
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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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  • What are interesting facts about Mary Wollstonecraft?

    Q: What are interesting facts about Mary Wollstonecraft?

    A: English writer Mary Wollstonecraft was born in London, England, on April 27, 1759, and died on September 10, 1797; she traveled through Europe during her life, eventually returning to the city of her birth, and earned a reputation as a passionate advocate for the advancement of women's rights. Mary Wollstonecraft, a self proclaimed feminist, eventually married and assumed the name of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin. She outlived an attempt at suicide in 1795 following a painful breakup with her lover, American Captain Gilbert Imlay, and gave birth to a daughter a year earlier, in 1794.
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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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  • What are some examples of simile in "Julius Caesar"?

    Q: What are some examples of simile in "Julius Caesar"?

    A: A simile is a comparison using "like " or "as." One of the most famous similes in William Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar" comes in Act 1, Scene 2, when Cassius compares Julius Caesar to a huge statue, or Colossus, that straddles the "narrow world." The play has many other similes, as well.
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  • What is the book summary of Black Beauty?

    Q: What is the book summary of Black Beauty?

    A: The book "Black Beauty" is an autobiographical story told from the perspective of Black Beauty: the main character who is a spirited stallion. "Black Beauty" tells the story of Black Beauty’s life in several phases, beginning with his birth then journeying through his life as a foal, a yearling and ultimately as a mature stallion.
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  • What are some allusions present in "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe?

    Q: What are some allusions present in "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe?

    A: In his poem "The Raven" Edgar Allen Poe makes allusions to two famous sources, the Bible and Greek mythology. Poe alludes to Greek mythology by bringing up Pallas Athena and a Plutonian shore. He alludes to the Bible by mentioning seraphim and referencing the balm of Gilead.
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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 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 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 many books did Edgar Allan Poe write?

    Q: How many books did Edgar Allan Poe write?

    A: According to the Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore, American author and poet Edgar Allan Poe published in his lifetime one novel and three collections of his tales. His vast literary contributions include poems, stories, essays, sketches and letters.
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  • What are examples of personification in "Hamlet"?

    Q: What are examples of personification in "Hamlet"?

    A: "The world's grown honest" and "For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak / With most miraculous organ" are both quotes from Act II, scene ii that are examples of personification in William Shakespeare's play "Hamlet." Personification is a figure of speech in which inanimate objects are given traits normally ascribed to humans. In the above examples, the world and murder are given human qualities.
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