Monday Mystery

In As You Like It, Jacques famously proclaims that “all the world’s a stage / and all the men and women merely players; / They have their exits and their entrances, / And one man in his time plays many parts.”

The “exits and entrances” that Jacques mentions, also known as stage directions, are normally included in the script in brackets.

For this week’s Monday Mystery, let’s look at some of Shakespeare’s most interesting stage directions. I wonder if the actors found these notes more amusing than informative.

Can you name the plays in which these exits and entrances appear?

1. [Thunder and Lightening. Enter Three Witches]

2. [Enter a messenger, with two heads and a hand]

3. [Exit, pursued by a bear]

4. [Goes into the trunk. The scene closes]

5. [Exeunt all, except Clown]

6. [Exit the ghost]

Hint: the last stage direction appears in three plays. Can you name all of the plays involving ghosts?

Good luck and remember…

Beware of Bears



  1. 1. Macbeth
    2. Titus Andronicus
    3. The Winter’s Tale
    4. Pericles
    5. Twelfth Night
    6. Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard III, Julius Caesar, Henry the Sixth Part Two, Cymbeline

  2. Great job, Bill!

    This blogger just saw an outdoor performance of The Winter’s Tale – and the bear stole the show, even though he didn’t have any lines. What a strange but fun piece of stage direction.

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