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William and Philippa were rivals. They were considered the best students at New College. At the beginning of the third year they applied for the Charles Oldham Shakespeare prize for an essay. The chosen theme for the prize essay that year was "Satire in Shakespeare". Troilus and Cressida clearly called for the most attention, but both students 32 ______ to find satirical nuances in almost every play by Shakespeare. As the year was coming to an end, 33______ anyone doubted that either William or Philippa would win the prize while the other would come in second. 34______, no one was willing to express an opinion as to who the victor would be.
Before the prize essay submission date, they both had to take their final degree examinations. 35 ______ students studied as hard as William and Philippa. It came as no surprise to anyone that they both achieved first-class degrees in the final honors school. Rumor spread around the university that the two rivals had been awarded As in every one of their nine papers.
"I would be willing to believe that is the case," Philippa 36 ______ William. "But I feel I must point out to you that there is a considerable difference between an A-plus and an A-minus."
"I couldn't agree with you more," said William. "But 37 ______, when you discover who has won the Charles Oldham, you will know who was awarded less."
It turned 38 ______ that the examiners felt unable on this occasion to award the prize to one person and had therefore decided that it should be shared by William and Philippa.
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