15th January 1999 at 00:00
The test on 'Romeo and Juliet' that I'd designed for my Year 9 class seemed to cover all the areas we'd discussed.

One of their tasks was to to give three words to describe the character of Mercutio. I expected them to use some of the descriptions which had come up in discussion, all good, solid adjectives. No traps there, then.

But I didn't plan for the boy who, showing a commendable understanding of the play, used his three spaces - each on a different line - to describe Mercutio as a "Wind Up Merchant".

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today