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Shakespeare & Beyond

Quiz: It’s a Henry play. But which one?

Henry images
Henry images
Henry images

(left-right) Mr. Lewis Waller as Henry V (ca. 1910); Peter Crook as King Henry IV, Folger Theatre, 2019, C. Stanley Photography; Zach Appelman as Henry V, Folger Theatre, 2013. Photo by Scott Suchman; Edwin Booth as King Henry VIII.

Shakespeare wrote seven plays about kings named Henry, and it can be tricky sometimes to keep them all straight. See if you can identify each play based on a short plot description drawn from the Folger Shakespeare.


Fun quiz, and more fun to get 7 correct of the 7. Congrats to me! Cheers!

Charles W Spurgeon — July 21, 2021

Surprisingly, this quiz has one question where the correct answer (2 Henry VI) is LESS popular than one of the wrong ones (1 Henry VI). I think that’s partly to do with the unpopularity of the Henry VI plays in general but also perhaps due to the fact that there is the famous rose-picking scene in Act II that establishes the white rose of the Lancastrians vs. the red rose of the Yorkists, as well as the fact that William de la Pole, the 1st Duke of Suffolk meets and woos Margaret on the king’s behalf (though the king doesn’t meet here in the play, but only learns of her through Suffolk’s report).

Nullifidian — August 2, 2021

What do we know about Shakespeare’s box office? Is it possible that arguably Shakespeare’s least successful mature play, Timon of Athens, was influenced in part by his desire to try to emulate the virtually contemporary success of Ben Jonson in plays such as Volpone and The Alchemist with their depictions of greed and avid cupidity?

Ben Lenthall — August 19, 2021