I was attempting to check how well my English GCSE repeaters had grasped the niceties of plot in 'Two Gentlemen of Verona'. I decided to spice things up a bit with a quickfire quiz and divided the pupils into two teams, the Reds and the Blues, with one mark for each correct answer.

It was the Blues' turn. I asked Phil - whose sum knowledge of Shakespeare is "that Leonardo de Cappuchino bloke" - for some background on the character Valentine. He struggled. The Reds twitched in excitement.

Rushing to his rescue, Andy said: "Isn't he the bloke who had that dog with him all the time?" To which Phil replied: "Yeah, that's him, 'cause he ends up married to her in act five."


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