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Phần 12

Queen Elizabeth isn't very happy today! We show you how to use the phrase spotless reputation from William Shakespeare's Richard II - and bring you some useful expressions for talking about both good - and bad - reputations.

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    Bài tập 1
  • 0 / 4
    Bài tập 2
  • 0 / 5
    Bài tập 3

Bài tập 1

To the tower, or not to the tower...

The worst crime of all
Queen Elizabeth I ruled England from 1558 until her death in 1603. She was a powerful and frightening queen, who often imprisoned her enemies or sentenced them to death. Treason, the most serious of all crimes, received a particularly horrible punishment (we'll spare you the details)! 

To do

William Shakespeare is at the palace. He looks terrified - but what has he done to make the Queen so angry? While you watch, answer the question: Why is Will so scared? The answer's under the video – no looking.

Xem video và hoàn thành bài tập

Hiển thị văn bản ghi âm (hay video) Giấu văn bản ghi âm (hay video)

Narrator
It was a spring morning in 1601. William Shakespeare is visiting Queen Elizabeth I of England. She's not very happy today...

Queen Elizabeth I
I will not allow my enemies to live. Tomorrow that ill-faced, murderous coward the Earl of Essex will die, and the people will know that I commanded it.

Will
Very good, your Majesty.

Queen Elizabeth I
Your players will perform Richard II for me tomorrow.

Will
A great honour, your Majesty.

Queen Elizabeth I
Even though they performed that same play for the filthy, crooked Earl of Essex while he was planning to kill me…

Will
Your Majesty…

Queen Elizabeth I
I really ought to punish you and your players for that, Shakespeare – I should cut off all your heads, or at least imprison you in the Tower…

Will
Your Majesty…

Queen Elizabeth I
Lucky for you that I am a merciful Queen – but I am not weak. I will not allow anyone to speak badly of my character or my actions. I am Queen of England and my reputation is everything. My enemies must fear and respect me and the people must love me. Gossips must be silenced and traitors must be punished. Do you not agree?

Will
Your Majesty is the wisest of queens. A good reputation is everything. Indeed, in my play, Richard II, Thomas Mowbray says: "My dear dear lord, The purest treasure…

Thomas Mowbray
My dear dear lord,
The purest treasure mortal times afford
Is spotless reputation

Queen Elizabeth I
Well said, Shakespeare – a spotless reputation is truly the most important and precious thing in any life. You may go.

Will
Your Majesty…

Narrator
We'll leave them there for now. In Shakespeare's day, your reputation – the things other people believed and said about your character and actions – was very important. In fact, William Shakespeare's own reputation as a writer was so good that during his lifetime, several dishonest publishers published other, lesser writers' work, pretending that it was Shakespeare's. These days, the phrase spotless reputation describes a person or organisation that has a good, clean character and behaves decently and honestly. Take news website Scottish Herald, discussing the 2015 Volkswagen emissions data falsification scandal. It said:

Clip 1
Analysts have also asked whether the revelations will cause irreversible damage to Volkswagen's previously spotless reputation.

Clip 2
Another athlete caught taking drugs? I'm surprised at this one though – she always had a spotless reputation.

Will
Robert, Thomas, give me some ale… we're doing Richard II, tomorrow. And it'd better be good, or it could be the Tower.

Robert Harley & Thomas Swann
Oh dear. Oh no. To the tower, or not to the tower: that is the question.

Answer
Will is scared of Queen Elizabeth. The Queen is angry with the Earl of Essex for plotting to kill her. She is also annoyed with Will because he performed his play, Richard II, for the Earl of Essex.

Will is worried that if she doesn't enjoy the performance of his play tomorrow, she will lock him and his actors in the Tower.

To do

Do you want to keep Queen Elizabeth happy? Then answer these questions! If you succeed, you'll save Will and his friends from the Tower. Watch the episode again first if you like.

To the tower, or not to the tower...

5 Questions

Answer these true / false questions about the video.

Note: if you are on a computer you should drag each phrase to the correct box. If you are on a mobile device you need to select 'true' or 'false'.

Chúc mừng bạn đã hoàn thành Trắc nghiệm
Excellent! Bạn làm rất tốt! Bad luck! Điểm bạn đạt được:
x / y

To the tower, or not to the tower...

5 Questions

Answer these true / false questions about the video.

Note: if you are on a computer you should drag each phrase to the correct box. If you are on a mobile device you need to select 'true' or 'false'.

Chúc mừng bạn đã hoàn thành Trắc nghiệm
Excellent! Bạn làm rất tốt! Bad luck! Điểm bạn đạt được:
x / y

How many did you get right?
3-5 - Phew! Will and the actors have been saved – for now!
0-2 - Oh dear: it's off to the Tower...

Next

We’re not going to send you to the Tower, but we would like to send you to the next activity. On the next pages, we’ll explore the meaning and use of spotless reputation, and bring you some useful phrases to talk about good and bad reputations.

Session Vocabulary

  • For more great Shakespeare content visit our partner, The OU >

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    Spotless reputation

    Meaning
    These days, the phrase spotless reputation describes a person or organisation that has a good, clean character and behaves decently and honestly.

    Example sentence
    Another athlete caught taking drugs? I'm surprised at this one though – she always had a spotless reputation.

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    Extra vocabulary

    treason
    the crime of betraying one’s country, especially by attempting to kill or overthrow the king or queen

    plot (verb)
    to make a ​secret ​plan to do something ​wrong or illegal

    to be spot on
    to be completely accurate or correct

    to hit the spot
    to be exactly right

    to tarnish someone's reputation 
    to damage someone's reputation

    to have a good track record
    to have a good reputation, based on the things that you have done

    to be squeaky clean
    to always behave in a completely moral and honest way

    someone's name is mud
    describes someone who has a bad reputation or who people are angry with

    to lose face
    to lose your status and the respect of others 

    to give something / someone a bad name
    to damage the reputation of something / someone

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    About Shakespeare Speaks

    Shakespeare Speaks is a co-production between:

    BBC Learning English

    The Open University

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