Sunday, November 3, 2013

192 Quiz Answer


Here’s the answer: William Shakespeare’s “Othello” is a classic tragic love story.  At the heart of the story lies a simple object, a handkerchief (“with a strawberry pattern”), that summons up ideas of love, broken promises and possible infidelity.

(Also for Three Word Wednesday and ABC Wednesday: "Q" is for Sergeant Quade)
Here’s this week’s Berownial quiz question.  I wrote the following scenelet thinking it might remind you of a famous Shakespeare play.  Which play?

On an important army base, the wife of the general pays a visit to Master Sergeant Quade.

“Sit down, please, sergeant.  This is nothing military; I just wanted to ask a favor of you.”

“Well, when you’re a humble soldier, ma’am, and the general’s wife drops in to see you, you have a tendency to stand at attention.”

“‘Humble soldier,’ Master Sergeant?  Everyone knows that you’re the one who really runs things around this base.”

“Always in the service of your husband, ma’am.  What can I do for you?”

“Well, this is going to seem odd.  It’s a bit embarrassing because it’s going to sound so trivial but believe me it’s important.”

“I hope I’ll be able to help.”

“Let me amplify.  It has to do with an item, a gift - in fact the very first gift my husband gave me, long before we got married.  It’s a handkerchief.”

“A handkerchief?”

“I knew this would seem rather foolish.  But it’s an unusual handkerchief; it has a special significance for both of us.  I carry it with me everywhere.  I’m almost never without it.”

“And now it’s lost.”

“Exactly.  I don't mean to moan about it, but you see it doesn’t have just sentimental value; it’s actually a kind of expensive work of art.  A silk handkerchief with a pattern of strawberries.” 

“Is it possible it’s not lost; maybe someone took it?”

“Yes, that thought had occurred to me.  I asked around and someone suggested, ‘Ask Sergeant Quade.  There’s nothing going on around the base that he doesn’t know about.’”

“I can see it’s important to you, ma’am.  I’ll do my best to find it.”

“And it’s important to the general; it’s like a fable, part of his Moorish background I suppose.  He expects me to have it with me wherever I go.  It sort of symbolizes our marriage.  It's not just that he'd criticize; he’d be very upset if I lost it.”

The most interesting thing about this conversation is that all the while Quade is talking with the general’s wife - he has the handkerchief in his pocket.

(Also submitted to Sunday Scribblings)

47 comments:

Jae Rose said...

Ouch - the first to comment and limited knowledge of Shakespeare..Richard II ?

New York Erratic said...

I'm going to guess this one without looking up anything: Othello. Too easy.

Berowne said...

New York Erratic was the first with the right answer, and commented: "Too easy."
We shall see...

Helen said...

Othello

Friko said...

Othello, of course.

I’ve just seen it with Rory Kinnear as Iago and Adrian Lester as Othello.

Kathe W. said...

Othello?

Berowne said...

Kathe W, Friko and Helen have all stepped up with the correct answer.






Other Mary said...

Othello?

Jae Rose said...

Second try after a little Google search - Othello?

Berowne said...

Other Mary has it right, and Jae Rose is back again, this time with the correct answer.

Kay said...

watching the show on tv of 50 years of the national theater gives me a clue....othello?

Sharp Little Pencil said...

Is it Othello? Nothing much to add except that the studios based a weird movie with Ronald Colman playing the part of an actor playing "Othello," so he was essentially in modified blackface for half the movie. He goes nuts. Colman won his only Oscar as well as a Golden Globe for the role.

Bekkie Sanchez said...

I got this one! Othello isn't it?

humbird said...

"Othello" ? :)

Roger Owen Green said...

OK, my Billy Shakes is shaky, but the only Moor I know is Othello.

Berowne said...

What a lineup of "winners" - Kay,Sharp Little Pencil, Bekkie Sanchez,humbird and Roger Owen Green all had the right answer. Who's next?

oldegg said...

Othello is my guess

Berowne said...

Oldegg is the latest to cough up the right answer.

Frankie Jay said...

Going on the army setting and the moorish reference-othello.

Kutamun said...

O.k , time i got one right, Othello
A census officer tried to test me once , i ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti "
Who said that !

Zafaran said...

Othello. :-)

Little Nell said...

It’s poor old Desdemona in Othello, with Quade being the dastardly Iago.

Karen S. said...

I say give it back to her! My thoughts are that this could be Othello.

Tess Kincaid said...

Othello...

Berowne said...

Wow. We've had a veritable Niagara of responders - Frankie Jay, Kutamun, Zafaran, Little Nell, Karen S and Tess Kincaid - all with the right answer. Who's next?

Berowne said...

Kutamun asked me a quiz question. Who said that line about eating a person's liver with fava beans and a nice chianti?
Answer: Dr. H Lecter. And I would have preferred a riesling. :-)

Altonian said...

It's Tuesday, and I have only now looked at Sunday Scribblings. My word Berowne! You certainly invited a flood of answers with this one. I A GO will have, and say this is Othello.

Berowne said...

Altonian checked in with the correct answer - and with it some great wordplay that I'd love to publish here but can't because it would give the answer away. And the answer, as usual, is given Thursday.

Meryl said...

What is Othello?

Karen S. said...

Cool!!!!! It always feels so good to get it right!

Carver said...

Quite a good one for Q. Carver, ABC Wed. Team

Meryl said...

I think of this as a very creative Jeopardy and look forward to the "clues" each week !! :-)

Leslie: said...

I know this one - it is Emilia, Iago's wife looking for the handkerchief Iago gave her, but was stolen by Cassio. Iago is plotting against Othello out of pure evil spite.

Leslie
abcw team

Berowne said...

Leslie has just joined us with the correct answer.

Berowne said...

Meryl: I think of this as a very creative Jeopardy...
I, and my cousin Alex Trebek, thank you. :-)

Reader Wil said...

Macbeth?

Reader Wil said...

No, sorry, I mean Othello!
Wil,

Hildred said...

This must be Othello......

ChrisJ said...

If the answer is "Othello" then I got it right because of the opera and not Shakespeare's play. Shame on me I couldn't even remember if Shakespeare even wrote "Othello" and I know I haven't read it. Like so many other facts I used to know it had gone swirling off into outer space.

Sharp Little Pencil said...

That Hannibal Lechter line in "Silence of the Lambs" always gets me. Not only the way he purposely mispronounces "chianti," but that fa-fa-fa noise he makes after, which was Hopkins' improvisation at work. Ah, Trivia, thy name is Amy... or Roger Green!! A.

uberrhund said...

I think this is Othello!

Berowne said...

As we head down the home stretch we have some more bloggers with the right answer: ChrisJ, Hildred and uberrhund. Reader Wil changed her mind and also gave us the correct answer.

Sheilagh Lee said...

Othello?

Berowne said...

Another blogger head from: Sheilagh Lee, who also has the correct answer.

Betty Luckhurst said...

I've never been good at pop quizzes!

Berowne said...

Altonian: "I A GO will have..."
Now, you've got to admit that's pretty clever. :-)

Bekkie Sanchez said...

I got one right! Wow! Thanks so much!

 
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