Who was Oscar Wilde? Read text A to find out.
Oscar Wilde (1854−1900) was a popular Irish poet, novelist and dramatist. His most famous works include ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, as well as some excellent short stories like ‘The Canterville Ghost’. This story is about an American ambassador and his family who buy a house although the locals warn them that ghosts live in it. After several incidents, the Otis family begin to notice the Canterville Ghost.
a) Read the title of the story and listen to the sounds. What do you think happens in this extract?
b) Listen, read and check.
The Canterville Ghost
When Mr Hiram B. Otis, the American ambassador, bought Canterville Chase, everyone told him it was a very foolish thing to do, as the place was haunted.
At eleven o’clock the family went to bed, and by half−past all the lights were out. Some time after, Mr Otis woke up because of a noise outside his room. It sounded like the clank of metal. He got up at once, struck a match, and looked at the time. It was exactly one o’clock. Mr Otis was quite calm. The strange noise continued, and with it he heard the sound of footsteps. He put on his slippers, took a small bottle out of his dressing case, and opened the door. Right in front of him he saw an old man. He looked terrible. His eyes were red; his hair was long and grey; his clothes were old−fashioned and dirty, and there were handcuffs and rusty chains on his wrists and ankles.
“My dear sir,” said Mr Otis, “those chains need oiling. Here take this small bottle of lubricant. I will leave it here for you and I will give you more if you need it.” With these words the ambassador put the bottle down on a marble table, and went back to bed, closing the door behind him.
Complete the sentences. Explain the words in bold.
1. Mr Otis was the _ .
2. Mr Otis bought _ .
3. People said that Canterville Chase _ .
4. Mr Otis woke up because _ .
5. Outside his bedroom, he saw _ .
6. Mr Otis gave the ghost _ .
What did the man Mr Otis met look like? Draw a picture.
Portfolio: Act out a short dialogue between Mr Otis and the Canterville ghost.
Portfolio: What do you think happened afterwards? In groups, continue the story. Then, listen and check.