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Dublin: 23°C Tuesday 9 August 2022

Can you identify these Irish literary quotations?

Go on, give it a go…

Image: Luigi Crespo Photography via Creative Commons/Flickr

A RECENT SURVEY revealed that almost a third of British schoolchildren under the age of 13 had never heard of William Shakespeare – and a further 12 per cent of British adults never had either.

And, of those who did have an inkling about England’s most celebrated playwright, a worrying number believed his best known work was Cinderella.

But before we get too smug, why not explore how deep Ireland’s literary appreciation goes?

Try to identify the writer and work (novel, play or poem) below to find out…

1. “The reason I will not exhibit this picture is that I am afraid that I have shown in it the secret of my own soul.”

2. “But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”

3. “I gave her gifts of the mind I gave her the secret sign that’s known; To the artists who have known the true gods of sound and stone.”

4. “Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest, away at school; As my mother held my hand in hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs.”

5. “Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.”

6. “The tears of the world are a constant quantity. For each one who begins to weep somewhere else another stops. The same is true of the laugh.”

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7. “Home is a place in the mind. When it is empty, it frets. It is fretful with memory, faces and places and times gone by.”

8. “When the Count saw my face, his eyes blazed with a sort of demoniac fury, and he suddenly made a grab at my throat. I drew away, and his hand touched the string of beads which held the crucifix.”

9. “Knowledge is power – and power of one sort or another is the secret lust of human souls”.

10. “Drink a health to the wonders of the western world, the pirates, preachers, poteen-makers, with the jobbing jockies; parching peelers, and the juries fill their stomachs selling judgements of the English law.”

Check here for the answers

Read: One third of British children have never heard of Shakespeare – survey>

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