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Shakespeare: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
What Is a Sonnet?
The sonnet is a poem written in a strict poetic form that was very popular during Shakespeare’s lifetime. Here we identify the characteristics of a sonnet.
Top 10 Shakespeare Love Quotes
Discover the top 10 Shakespeare love quotes with the world's most romantic poet and dramatist. Shakespeare is responsible for 'Romeo and Juliet' and Sonnet 18, the greatest love story and poetry ever written.
5 Most Romantic Shakespeare Sonnets
The Shakespeare sonnets are considered by many to be the most romantic poems ever written. We pick out the top 5 Shakespeare sonnets to get you into a romantic mood.
How the Renaissance Affected Shakespeare
The renaissance was in full swing during Shakespeare's time and the Bard was a product of the huge cultural shifts occurring at the time.
What Makes Shakespeare’s Tragedies Tragic?
The Shakespeare tragedies share a number of common features, as this introduction to the Shakespeare tragedies reveals.
4 Ways to Identify a Shakespeare Comedy
What are the common characteristics of a Shakespeare comedy? Our guide shows you how to identify a Shakespeare comedy.
How Shakespeare Uses Meter
Iambic pentameter is the meter that Shakespeare nearly always used when writing in verse. This guide tells you everything you need to know about iambic pentameter. Read on.
Plays by Shakespeare
What are the top 5 plays by Shakespeare? Find out in our top picks list and see if your favorite plays by Shakespeare are included.
How Ambition Causes Macbeth’s Downfall
In 'Macbeth', ambition is presented as a dangerous quality. It causes the downfall of both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and triggers a series of deaths in 'Macbeth'. Ambition is the driving force of the play as this analysis reveals.
Everything You Need to Know About Iambic...
This collection of iambic pentameter examples from Shakespeare’s plays reveals how much the Bard used Iambic Pentameter. Examples are drawn from a range of plays.
Study Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18
A study guide to Shakespeare's love poem, 'Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?' including study questions.
Introducing Prose
Shakespeare moved between verse and prose in his writing to give his characters more depth and vary the overall rhythmic structure of his plays. His treatment of prose is as skillful as his verse.
Shakespeare's Top 3 Love Sonnets
Looking for Shakespeare sonnet examples? We bring you a collection of Shakespeare’s most renowned sonnets as examples.
How to Know if It's a Tragedy, Comedy, or History
Three lists of the plays by William Shakespeare- one for his tragedies, a second for his comedies, and a third for his histories.
What Happens in "Hamlet"?
This condensed version of 'Hamlet' captures the essence of Shakespeare’s longest play.
About Shakespeare Plays
The ultimate guide to Shakespeare’s plays - Everything you need to know about Shakespeare plays in one place.
How to Study Shakespeare's Sonnet 73
Our study guide to Shakespeare's Sonnet 73 provides translations and a sonnet analysis. In Sonnet 73, the poet is concerned with his own mortality.
What Happens in "The Tempest"?
This ‘The Tempest’ summary captures the essence of Shakespeare’s most magical play. ‘The Tempest’ summary is an ideal study .
What Types of Plays Did Shakespeare Write?
What Types of Plays Did Shakespeare Write? The answer is revealed here along with other essential facts about Shakespeare's plays.
Why 'Romeo and Juliet' Is Such an Iconic Love...
'Romeo and Juliet' has become forever associated with love. But Shakespeare's treatment of this theme is complex and multifaceted.
How to Identify a Shakespeare History Play
The Shakespeare histories share a number of common features, as this introduction to the Shakespeare histories reveals.
Why Guilt Is So Important in “Macbeth&rdq...
An analysis of guilt in Shakespeare's tragedy. It softens Macbeth's callousness and, though unconscious for Lady Macbeth, makes her life unbearable.
What to Know About Lady Macbeth’s Character
This Lady Macbeth character analysis introduces one of Shakespeare’s best female villains and asks if her presentation is misogynistic.
A Complete List of Shakespeare’s Plays
A complete, chronological list of Shakespeare plays. This list of Shakespeare plays brings together all 38 plays in the order in which they were first performed.
How Shakespeare Uses Revenge in “Hamlet&r...
Why doesn’t Hamlet take revenge? Discover how the theme of revenge in ‘Hamlet’ drives the narrative of the play.
A Closer Look at the Montague-Capulet Feud in...
The Montague-Capulet feud dominates 'Romeo and Juliet' and helps drive the plot to its tragic ending. But, who's who in the Montague-Capulet feud? This article lists the play's characters by family.
What Was Shakespeare’s Theater Like?
Exploring the context of Shakespeare's theater and the theater experience in Shakespeare's lifetime gives you a fuller understanding of his plays. Shakespeare wasn't writing for today's literary audience; he was writing for the masses, many of whom couldn't read or write. Dicover the theater experience in Shakespeare's lifetime
How to Understand Iago in “Othello”
This Iago analysis provides detailed study notes for the character of Iago. Analysis and commentary for Shakespeare's 'Othello'.
How Fate Controls “Romeo and Juliet”
Are Romeo and Juliet fated to fall in love and die from the very start? Discover how fate permeates the events and speeches of 'Romeo and Juliet'.
Capulet
The House of Capulet in Romeo and Juliet is one of “fair Verona’s” two feuding families, the other being the House of Montague.
'Macbeth' Quiz - How well do you know 'Macbeth'?
'Macbeth' Quiz - How well do you know 'Macbeth'? Sorry, but this quiz requires that you have javascript
What’s the Significance of the Witches in...
The 'Macbeth' witches are essential to the plot of 'Macbeth' because their prophesies drive Macbeth’s thirst for power and enable Lady Macbeth to pursue her own ambitions.
The Controversy of Shakespeare’s Death
Discover the facts surrounding Shakespeare's death in 1616. Where did Shakespeare die and what could have caused Shakespeare’s death?
Famous Shakespeare Quotes
Discover the top 10 famous Shakespeare quotes from the world's greatest poet and dramatist. Famous Shakespeare quotes come from great plays like 'Hamlet' and 'Romeo and Juliet'.
What to Know About Romeo from 'Romeo and Juliet'
Romeo and Juliet are literature's most famous lovers. Read our character profile of Romeo here.
7 Types of Female Characters You'll See in...
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Yes, You Can Understand Shakespearean English
Shakespeare Words - Shakespeare’s words and phrases are easier to understand than one might think. This month our
Shakespearean Verse
Unlike modern plays, Shakespeare and his contemporaries wrote plays in verse. This is a poetic framework that gives characters a structured speech pattern and enhances their authority.
Understand Caliban’s Character in...
Prospero is one of Shakespeare's most memorable and magical characters, yet it is sometimes difficult for an audience to identify with him, as this Prospero character analysis reveals.
Macbeth Character Analysis
Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's most intense and attractive villains. However, as this Macbeth character analysis reveals, he is a complex and multi-faceted character.
Read the Full Text of 3 Shakespeare Sonnets
We bring you the complete texts of the three most popular sonnets by William Shakespeare together with commentary on what makes them such popular sonnets.
How Power Relationships Explain “The...
In 'The Tempest', power and control are dominant themes. Many of the characters are locked into a power struggle for their freedom and for control of the island.
Teaching Shakespeare
Share your top tips for teaching Shakespeare with English and drama educators from around the world.
What to Know About Shakespeare’s Sonnets
The Shakespearian Sonnet has had a long and confusing history. We ask to whom they were dedicated, how they have been misprinted over the years, and question whether Shakespeare even want them published in the first place?
Oberon and Titania – Character Analysis
Oberon and Titania from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' are central characters. This character analysis will help you understand these complex characters.
'Macbeth' Summary
What happens in 'Macbeth'? The story of Shakespeare's most intense tragedy is condensed into this summary, from the three witches to the final battle.
What Are the Themes of “Othello”?
What are the main themes in 'Othello'? We examine the top 'Othello' themes, including race, jealousy and duplicity.
Study Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116
Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 is romantic poetry at its best! Discover why in our study guide to Sonnet 116, complete with a modern-day translation.
Other Characters in 'Romeo and Juliet'
A guide to the other characters in 'Romeo and Juliet' including profiles for Friar Lawrence, Mercutio, Paris, The Prince, Friar John and Rosaline.
Did Shakespeare Write 38 or 39 Plays?
How Many Plays Did Shakespeare Write Altogether? Discover the answer on About.com along with answers to other essential Shakespeare questions.
What to Know About Juliet from 'Romeo and Juliet'
Romeo and Juliet are literature's most famous lovers. Read our character profile of Juliet here.
Helena and Demetrius – Character Analysis
Discover the lovers from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' with our character analysis of Helena and Demetrius.
Why the Women of Shakespeare's Play Are...
Discover how Shakespeare presented women in his plays and what this says about the Bard's view of women and their status in Elizabethan and Jacobean society.
16 Surprisingly Common Phrases Invented by...
You have probably quoted Shakespeare thousands of times without realizing it. His writing lives on in our everyday language - testament to his powerful influence over the English language.
Hermia and her Father – Character Analysis
Hermia and her Father from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' are central characters. This character analysis will help you unpick the relationship between these complex characters.
A Breakdown of “Romeo and Juliet,”...
A scene-by-scene breakdown for the greatest love story ever told.
Shakespeare Sources
The stories told in Shakespeare’s plays are not original. We reveal the main Shakespeare sources used to write the plays.
How to Read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29
Our study guide to Shakespeare's Sonnet 29 provides translations and a sonnet analysis. Find out why Sonnet 29 is considered one of Shakespeare’s greatest poems but is also described as 'fluff' by others.
What Happens in “Much Ado About...
A plot summary and scene-by-scene breakdown of Much Ado About Nothing.
Death in 'Hamlet'
Discover how the theme of death permeates ‘Hamlet’ from the very start.
Understand the Characters in “Much Ado...
Who's who in 'Much Ado'? Read our character profiles here.
Desdemona and Othello
The relationship between Desdemona and Othello is central to Shakespeare’s 'Othello'. This character analysis explores Desdemona and Othello.
Character Analysis – Puck, 'A Midsummer...
A character analysis of Puck, A Midsummer Night's Dream's most magical character. Discover Shakespeare's most mischievous sprite in our in-depth character analysis.
5 Reasons Shakespeare Is Still Popular
Why has Shakespeare been popular for over 400 years? We look at the secret to his success.
Do You Know What Year Shakespeare Wrote 'Romeo...
What Year Did Shakespeare Write ‘Romeo and Juliet’? Discover the answer on the Shakespeare pages of About.com alongside your other essential Shakespeare questions.
'Romeo and Juliet' Study Guide
Our 'Romeo and Juliet' study guide and Summary is the best place to kick-start your study of Shakespeare's best loved play. Find out why 'Romeo and Juliet' has been so enduring.
What We Really Know About Shakespeare's Life
This Shakespeare biography reveals the life and times of William Shakespeare. Amazingly, historians know very little about his life. This Shakespeare biography looks at the surviving evidence and paints a picture of the world’s most famous playwright.
How to Study Shakespeare's Sonnet 1
Find out why Sonnet 1 is the first of Shakespeare's 17 poems that explore the issue of procreation in our study guide to Shakespeare's Sonnet 1. Expect to find analysis and translations.
A Shakespeare Lesson Plan for Students new to...
It’s essential for teachers to make their first Shakespeare lesson practical, accessible and fun. This month our “Teaching Shakespeare Columnist” shows you how to introduce the Bard in your first Shakespeare Lesson.
Shakespeare's “Shall I Compare Thee to a...
Read the complete text to Sonnet 18
What to Know About Prospero in “The...
Prospero is one of Shakespeare's most memorable and magical characters, yet it is sometimes difficult for an audience to identify with him, as this Prospero character analysis reveals.
‘Hamlet’ Act 1 Scene Guide
‘Hamlet’ Act 1 scene guide - This ‘Hamlet’ Act 1 scene breakdown guides you through Act 1 of Shakespeare’s longest play.
'A Midsummer Night's Dream' Act 1, Scene 1...
This analysis of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' Act 1, Scene 1 provides a plain-English summary to the opening scene of this play.
Montague
The House of Montague in 'Romeo and Juliet' is one of
Facts About Shakespeare
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Summary: 'The Tempest' Act 4 and 5
How does The Tempest end? Find out in our summary of The Tempest Act 4 and 5.
An Introduction to Shakespeare Sonnets
Introducing the Shakespeare sonnets – what makes this collection of 154 Shakespeare sonnets the most important poetry ever written? Find out with our Shakespeare sonnets guide.
'Othello': Cassio and Roderigo
Discover Cassio from 'Othello' and Roderigo from 'Othello' with our character analysis.
Is Sonnet 18 the Most Romantic Valentine’...
The most romantic Valentine’s Day poem ever written is surely Shakespeare's Sonnet 18: Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?
'The Tempest' Analysis
Study 'The Tempest' with our 'The Tempest' analysis. This 'The Tempest' analysis discusses Shakespeare’s presentation of morality and fairness in the play.
Who Was Shakespeare's Wife?
Who was Anne Hathaway? Read our biography for Anne Hathaway, William Shakespeare's wife.
Shakespeare Soliloquy
This month our columnist shows you how to develop the perfect Shakespeare soliloquy.
What Was William Shakespeare's First Play?
What Was William Shakespeare's First Play? Discover the answer on the Shakespeare pages of About.com alongside your other essential Shakespeare questions.
Hamlet Character Analysis
This Hamlet character analysis reveals Shakespeare’s most complex character. Explore Hamlet’s emotional turmoil in our Hamlet Character Analysis.
Quotes from Shakespeare Plays
Shakespeare's comedies offer some of the most memorable quotes from Shakespeare plays. Here, we delve into every one of the Bard's comedies and pick the most famous quotes from Shakespeare Plays. Enjoy!
What Are the Major Themes in 'Much Ado About...
An analysis of the major themes in Much Ado About Nothing.
'Othello' Act 1 Summary
Our 'Othello' Act 1 summary examines the opening scenes of Othello and establishes all of the key characters in this classic play.
Shakespeare Authorship Controversy
The Shakespeare authorship controversy has been raging for years. We bring the key facts and historical evidence behind the Shakespeare authorship controversy.
Shakespeare Timeline
This Shakespeare timeline covers all the significant events that shaped Shakespeare's life. When was 'Hamlet' written? When did Shakespeare get married? Find out all this and more with our Shakespeare timeline.
Shakespeare Quotations Quiz - Test Your...
Know Your Shakespeare Quotations? Sorry, but this quiz requires that you have javascript turned on. Please
Emilia from Othello
Our character analysis of Emilia from 'Othello' clearly explains everything you need to know about this strong character from Shakespeare's 'Othello'.
How to Analyze Othello’s Character
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‘Hamlet’ Act 3 Scene Guide
‘Hamlet’ Act 3 scene guide - This ‘Hamlet’ Act 3 scene breakdown guides you through Act 3 of Shakespeare’s longest play.
What Tragedies Did Shakespeare Write?
What Tragedies Did Shakespeare Write? Discover the answer on the Shakespeare pages of About.com alongside your other essential Shakespeare questions.
Shakespeare Authorship Debate
A look at the debate and the numerous theories surrounding the authorship of the plays attributed to Shakespeare.
Magic in 'The Tempest'
A look at the magic in Shakespeare's play, from Prospero's books to Caliban's uncertain humanity to the storm that provides the title.
Where was Shakespeare Born?
Where was Shakespeare born? And When? Did you know you can still visit the actual house where Shakespeare was born? Discover more!
Introducing Shakespeare's Dark Lady Sonnets
The Dark Lady Sonnets are the second sequence in Shakespeare's sonnets in which a
'Hamlet' Study Guide
Your ultimate 'Hamlet' study guide to Shakespeare's longest play. Find out why 'Hamlet' has stood the test of time and is considered to be one of the best plays ever written in our 'Hamlet' study guide.
Was Shakespeare Gay?
One question has sparked controversy for years: was Shakespeare gay? This article looks at the facts and asks if Shakespeare was homosexual.
Macbeth Ambition Quotes
A guide to Macbeth's character development, quote-by-quote. The best resource for Macbeth ambition quotes with character analysis.
Shakespeare Dialogue - How to Read Shakespeare...
Shakespeare dialogue is easier to read aloud than you think. Everything you need is in the dialogue – you just need to know what you’re looking for!
No Fear Shakespeare - Why you shouldn't be...
Have no fear of Shakespeare - Duncan Fewins explains how to overcome your fear of Shakespeare.
How Many Sonnets Did Shakespeare Write?
How Many Sonnets Did Shakespeare Write? Discover the answer on About.com along with answers to other essential Shakespeare questions.
Quotes from Shakespeare Plays - The Tragedies
Shakespeare Quotes on Tragedy are the most remembered lines from Shakespeare. Discover the Bard at his best!
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
A brief history of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London from 1598 to the present day. Discover Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.
Love in Shakespeare
Love in Shakespeare is a recurrent theme. The treatment of love in Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets is
'Othello' Act 1, Scene 3 Summary
In 'Othello' Act 1, Scene 3 is an important scene. Find out why in our scene by scene 'Othello' summary.
What Was The First Play Shakespeare Wrote?
What Was The First Play Shakespeare Wrote? Discover the answer on the Shakespeare pages of About.com alongside your other essential Shakespeare questions.
Who are Theseus and Hippolyta in 'Midsummer...
Theseus and Hippolyta are the rulers in Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. Read all about them in this Theseus and Hippolyta character analysis.
Shakespeare Lesson Plans
Free Shakespeare lesson plans. Our free collection of Shakespeare lesson plans and workshop ideas has been designed for teachers looking to breathe new life into Shakespeare’s plays. Our Shakespeare lesson plans are written by our resident expert.
'King Lear' Themes
This guide explores justice, madness, compassion, appearance vs. reality, nature and blindness in the Bard's great tragedy.
'Macbeth' Study Guide
Our 'Macbeth' study guide is the ultimate guide to Shakespeare's shortest play. Find out why 'Macbeth' is Shakespeare’s most widely studied play in our 'Macbeth' study guide.
Can You Name Shakespeare's First Play?
What Was Shakespeare's First Play? Discover the answer on the Shakespeare pages of About.com alongside your other essential Shakespeare questions.
Shakespeare Sonnet 2 - Analysis
Find out why Shakespeare's Sonnet 2 furthers the poets plea for the fair youth to procreate. Discover translations and a sonnet analysis.
'The Tempest' Facts
We bring you 'The Tempest' facts for students who need info quickly! Discover the key things you need to know about Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' in our concise guide.
Sonnet Summary for Shakespeare's Poems
Shakespeare's sequence of 154 sonnets revolves around the poet's relationship with his two muses - a young man and an older lady.
Ariel
Need to know about Ariel in 'The Tempest'? Our characters analysis of Ariel in 'The Tempest' reveals all about Shakespeare’s most magical spirit.
Portia from 'The Merchant of Venice' -...
Discover Portia from 'The Merchant of Venice' is one of Shakespeare’s most loved characters.
Performing Shakespeare
Ben Crystal is the author of 'Shakespeare on Toast', a new book that dispels the myth that Shakespeare is difficult. Here, he shares his thoughts about performing Shakespeare and reveals his top tips for first-time actors.
Love in 'As You Like It'
Shakespeare presents us with many different types of love in 'As You Like It'. We explain each type of love in 'As You Like It' clearly and concisely.
'Othello' Act 3, Scenes 1-3 Summary
To aid your study of Shakespeare's 'Othello', we have put together scene summaries. Here, we delve into 'Othello' Act 3, Scenes 1, 2 and 3. Enjoy!
Fair Youth Sonnets
What are the Fair Youth Sonnets? The first 126 of Shakespeare’s sonnets are addressed to the fair youth with whom the poet has a deep and loving friendship.
Who Was Edward de Vere?
Edward de Vere has become the strongest candidate in the Shakespeare authorship debate. Discover the case in support of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, and reach your own conclusion in the Shakespeare authorship debate.
Women in Shakespeare: 'Shrews' in Shakespeare...
We explore women in Shakespeare comedies, looking closely at the so-called 'shrews'.
List of Shakespearean Sonnets
A full list of Shakespearean Sonnets - all 154 sonnets sorted by section.
'As You Like It' – Summary
Shakespeare's 'As You Like It' has a complex plot. Unpick it with our 'As You Like It' summary and understand the events of the play.
5 Things You Might Not Know About the Globe...
This remarkable building was built as an open-air theater that could contain 3,000 spectators. Shakespeare was a shareholder.
Top 5 Shakespeare Characters
Shakespeare characters – Who's made it into our top 5 list of Shakespeare characters? Find out with our essential guide to the best Shakespeare characters.
Shakespeare
Think you know the Bard? Here are 5 facts about Shakespeare to get you thinking. How many did you know?
Lysander from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'...
Lysander is one of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream's' most likable characters, as this Lysander character analysis shows.
Holy Trinity Church is Shakespeare's final...
Holy Trinity Church - Shakespeare was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, where you can still visit his grave and read his epitaph.
'A Midsummer Night's Dream' Act 2, Scene 1...
Our modern-English summary of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' Act 2, Scene 1 is designed to help you study the play.
Shakespeare Plays - Study Guides to Shakespeare...
Shakespeare Plays - Our collection of study guides to Shakespeare Plays are designed to accompany your own reading. They are an ideal way to introduce newcomers and immerse more experienced readers deeper into Shakespeare Plays.
'A Midsummer Night's Dream' Act 3, Scene 2...
'A Midsummer Night's Dream' Act 3, Scene 2 is a complex scene to follow; this guide walks you through the scene to aid your understanding.
Other Themes in 'Hamlet'
Find out why the state of Denmark, sexuality, incest and uncertainty are all important themes in 'Hamlet'.
Regan and Gonerill: Character Profile
A character profile of Regan and Goneril from 'King Lear' - two of the most disgusting villains ever written!
Cordelia from King Lear: Character Profile
Cordelia from 'King Lear'. In this character profile, we take a close look at Cordelia from 'King Lear'.
'King Lear': Act 4 Analysis (Scenes 1-5)
An in-depth analysis of Shakespeare's 'King Lear', Act 4 (Scenes 1-5). Our Analysis is designed to improve your understanding of Shakespeare's 'King Lear'.
'The Tempest' Act 1
Our summary for 'The Tempest' Act 1 is the perfect study guide to the opening act of Shakespeare's most magical play. 'The Tempest' Act 1 Summary and Analysis.
King Lear Character Analysis
A King Lear Character Analysis that outlines the essential study points for your King Lear Character Analysis.
Shakespeare Sonnet 3 - Analysis
Study guide, translation and analysis for Shakespeare's Sonnet 3.
'Macbeth' Quiz Results
Thanks for taking our Macbeth quiz.
How Many Shakespeare Sonnets Are There?
How Many Shakespeare Sonnets Are There? Discover the answer on About.com along with answers to other essential Shakespeare questions.
Benedick: “This can be no trick”
Benedick is one of Much Ado About Nothing’s most lively and interesting characters making him an ideal candidate for audition.
Understand the Themes of “Hamlet”
A list with links for further study of revenge, death, uncertainty, sexuality and the state of Denmark in Shakespeare's tragedy.
Shakespeare Lost Years
The gaps in Shakespeare’s biography have become known as the Shakespeare lost years. Our guide explores the main theories surrounding the Bard’s activities and whereabouts during the Shakespeare lost years.
'Romeo and Juliet' Theme
This 'Romeo and Juliet' theme analysis reveals how love and fate are treated in 'Romeo and Juliet'. Theme analysis can help you study Shakespeare’s classic love story in more depth.
William Shakespeare: Timeline of his Life
Our William Shakespeare timeline pieces together the most important events from the life of William Shakespeare.
'Othello' - Scene by Scene Summary
This 'Othello' scene by scene summary is the perfect study guide to Shakespeare's play. Each scene is clearly summarised in plain English to aid study.

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