A story with a smile
Reading Comprehension Level A2
Read the story What Is Shakespeare?
Two businessmen were invited to dinner at the home of a college professor. One of the men didn’t have much education. His occupation had always been doing business and he hardly ever had time to work with books getting knowledge of different subjects. The man knew that many famous and respectable people would come and he
worried a lot as he didn’t want to show that he knew very little and he didn’t want to make a fool of himself. But his friend said, “Don’t worry! Just do what other people do, and don’t talk about paintings or sculptures or other things you don’t really understand.”
As the professor lived in a small village rather far from the center of the town where the friends’ office was, it took them an hour and a half to get there. The professor’s house was very nice with all modem conveniences: gas, electricity, central heating, hot and cold running water. A beautiful hall separated the sitting room from the place where the guests were talking to each other. They discussed different problems. The friends could hear talks about spaceships and exploration of other planets. Some old ladies were discussing their gardens of chrysanthemums and honeysuckle in blossom while some men were telling each other the latest sports news. Everything was OK.
The friends stopped here and there, saying a bit and listening a lot. The party continued. Everybody ate a lot of tasty things: fried pork, vegetables, beefsteaks, potatoes and fish. The drinks were excellent too. At the end of the evening the friends were not worried any longer. They understood that nothing could do them any harm, as the party consisted of very nice men and women, who laughed a lot, sang and danced and had a good time.
Suddenly a guest asked the first businessman if he liked Shakespeare. He thought a bit and said, “It’s a very nice game, but I prefer rugby”. All the guests looked at him (he was speaking very loudly). Soon people began to leave.
When the two friends were out of the house, the second man said to his friend: “You certainly made a fool of yourself making that silly remark, that Shakespeare was a game”.
“What do you mean?” asked the first businessman. “What was wrong with it?”
“Everybody knows that Shakespeare isn’t a sports game”, his friend said. “It is something we eat. I think it’s a kind of cheese”.
Make a choice “True” or “False”.
- A group of students were invited to the dinner at the home of a college professor. ___
- A friend gave a piece of advice not to speak about the things you had never heard of before. ___
- The guests discussed lots of interesting things.___
- A the end of the evening party the friends were not worried any longer.___
- One of the businessmen was asked if he liked to read. ___
- Everybody knows that Shakespeare is something we eat.___
Finish the sentences.
1.The men didn’t want to …
- speak with guests
- make fools of themselves
- show they knew very much
2. The friends could hear talks about …
- literature, computers
- spaceships, exploration of other planets
- music, theatre
3. They understood that nothing could do them any harm, as the party consisted of …
- very nice men and women
- very boring people
- very calm people
4. Suddenly some guest asked the first businessman if he liked …
- Shakespeare’s dramas
- Shakespeare’s poems
5. He thought a bit and said …
- “It is a very nice game, but I prefer rugby.”
- “It is a very tasty cheese.”
- “It is a very interesting poet.”
6. When the two friends were out of the house, the second man said …
- that the people were stupid
- that the answer was quite right
- that his friend made a fool of himself
Choose the best answer the questions.
1.Why did the two gentlemen worry about the invitation to a college professor?
- They didn’t want to go at all.
- They didn’t want to look stupid.
- They were afraid to be late.
2. What problems did the guests discuss at the party?
- Problems of social life
- Different problems
- Problems of discoveries
3. What did the businessmen do during the evening?
- They spoke a bit, listened a lot.
- They danced, ate a lot.
- They spoke much about everything
4. Why did they stop worrying?
- They were not interesting to any person at the party.
- The guests said they were clever.
- Nobody asked them any questions.
5. What did the guests suddenly understand?
- Two businessmen made fools of themselves.
- Two businessmen were very clever.
- It was difficult to speak with the businessmen.
6. What did they speak about when they were out of the house?
- They were a success.
- One of them made a mistake.
- The party was good.