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Latest Introduction to Literary Studies ( English Literature ) MCQs – English Literature MCQs
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What are the basic questions literary theory asks ?
A. Why do people write literature?
B. What is literature?
C. What are the effects of literature?
D. All of these.
A work of criticism that considers how English imperialism affected native Indian authors would be an example of_______________?
A. psychoanalytic theory
B. Marxist theory
C. postcolonial theory
In “Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays”, what does William Hazlitt mean when he states the following: “We do not like to see our author’s plays acted, and least of all, ’Hamlet’. There is no play that suffers so much in being transferred to the stage” ?
A. Hamlet is not relevant to the Romantic age.
B. Hamlet cannot be staged properly because of the complexity of the play’s use of language.
C. The role of Hamlet cannot be properly played by any actor.
D. Hamlet is a work that was written to be read, not performed.
Which of the following offers the best definition of the theatrical concept of a chorus ?
A. Characters who remind the audience that the play is fictional
B. Members of the audience who comment on the play’s actions
C. A group of characters who comment on the actions of the play while participating in them
D. A group of characters who comment on the actions of the play while not participating in them
Which of the following poems can be described as a haiku ?
A. Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro”
B. Auden’s “Paysage Moralisé”
C. Bishop’s “One Art”
D. William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18”
Which of the following are examples of poetic structures ?
A. Lines of text with words that rhyme at the end
B. Unrhymed lines
C. A continuous block of text
D. All of these
Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” can be described as what kind of play ?
A. A comedic play
B. A modern play
C. A tragic play
D. A tragi-comedy
Which of the following offers the best definition of a fable ?
A. A story in which the author provides an explicit moral
B. A story that takes place in the distant past
C. A story told to little children
D. A light-hearted, humorous story in which viewers are shown proper ways to behave
Which of the following concepts does Aristotle consider to be the most important element of a Greek tragedy ?
B. Song composition
C. Poetic diction
D. Stage design
Which of the following assertions would William Wordsworth most likely agree with ?
A. Poetry should be written in the common language of ordinary people.
B. Poetry should never concern itself with the natural world.
C. Poetry should focus on the lives and thoughts of elite people.
D. Poetry should rhyme.
Which of the following are examples of literary interpretation ?
A. Investigating the relationship between words and objective reality
B. Comparing the Bible to folk tales from other cultures
C. Researching what previous critics have said about a literary work
D. Researching an author’s biography for clues about how to understand his or her writing
What form of verse is usually sung and details a dramatic or exciting episode ?
A. An elegy
B. An ode
C. An epitaph
D. A ballad
Which of the following is a component of a gothic novel ?
A. An isolated protagonist
B. An atmosphere of dread, fear, and darkness
C. A hero or protagonist who is tempted by a villain
D. All of these
In Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, why does the Mariner kill the albatross ?
A. To bring forth life-in-death
B. To change the weather
C. For revenge
D. It is never directly stated why he does so.
Which of the following statements offers the best definition of “rhetoric” ?
A. Writing that is complicated and scholarly
B. Persuasive writing and speaking
C. Questions for which the answers are obvious
D. Logical writing and speaking
A picaresque novel dramatizes the life of what kind of person ?
A. A child as he or she develops into an adult
B. A lowborn, wandering adventurer
C. A member of the middle class engaging in self-exploration
D. A member of the royalty
Which of the following statements is a proper example of what Aristotle termed a syllogism ?
A. All dogs have hair, all people have hair, hence anything with hair is a dog or a person.
B. All men breathe air, all dogs breathe air, hence all men are dogs.
C. All mammals are warm-blooded, all dogs are mammals, hence all dogs are warm-blooded.
D. All dogs have four legs, all creatures do not have four legs, hence all creatures with four legs are dogs.
In Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, what does Hamlet mean when he states that, “there is more in heaven and earth … than are dreamt of in your philosophy” ?
A. Dreams always tell the truth.
B. There is such a thing as an afterlife.
C. There are some aspects of existence that cannot be explained through reason.
D. Heaven exists on earth.
Which of the following statements best exemplifies the main idea put forward by John Milton in book 9 of Paradise Lost ?
A. Adam and Eve were driven to evil by their children.
B. The fall of Adam and Eve was a tragic event.
C. Satan was ultimately heroic.
D. God abandoned the realm of Eden without reason.
Which of the following statements offers the best definition of a novel of manners ?
A. A novel set in Europe in the 18th century
B. A novel that attacks the lower classes
C. A novel that explores the behavior and values of a particular class of people
D. A novel that explores class conflict
Which of the following offers the best description of the concept of logos ?
A. Logos refers to a writer’s ability to inspire emotional responses in readers.
B. Logos refers to a writer’s ability to present evidence.
C. Logos refers to a writer’s ability to inspire action in readers.
D. Logos refers to a writer’s presentation of character and image.
A postmodern play would most likely not make use of which of the following theatrical traditions ?
A. A minimalist stage and strict adherence to the script
B. A pastiche of different literary and historical sources
C. Nonlinear storytelling and the embracement of popular culture
D. Video clips and the use of popular music
Feminist criticism focuses on exploring which of the following aspects of literary texts ?
A. How women are portrayed in literary texts
B. How women have been socially oppressed in literary texts
C. The psychologies of female writers
D. All of these
Which of the following represents a stage of development in the poetic form of the elegy ?
A. Consolation and solace
B. Praise and admiration for the dead
C. Lamentation, in which the speaker demonstrates grief
D. All of these
According to Dr. Mark Canada’s “An Introduction to the Novel”, Richard Chase identifies which of the following as a main difference between novels and romances ?
A. The way they are structured
B. The way they view reality
C. The language in which they are written
D. The type of people who write them
Which of the following statements demonstrates use of logos ?
A. No one under the age of 18 should be allowed to drive.
B. I began driving at the age of 16 and have never been involved in a serious car accident.
C. Research has demonstrated that some people under the age of 18 do not have the proper judgment skills to handle operating a car.
D. Every year countless people are killed by drivers under the age of 18.
Which of the following statements best describes Catherine Moreland in “Northanger Abbey” ?
A. She is mature and realistic.
B. She is a matchmaker trying to set up romances between her friends, all the while unable to find true love herself.
C. She is immature and has difficulty recognizing the difference between fact and fiction.
D. B and C
A work of literary criticism that considers how social and economic power structures are depicted in a 19th-century English novel would be an example of which type of literary criticism ?
A. Marxist criticism
B. Psychoanalytic criticism
C. Reader-response criticism
D. New Criticism
Which of the following are common literary elements used to analyze novels ?
D. All of these
Gerald Graff’s “They Say, I Say” encourages students to become______________?
A. aware that Hamlet is a remarkable work of literature.
B. involved in critical conversations about literary texts.
C. capable of realizing that the viewpoints of some critics are more important than others.
D. passive readers and critics of literary texts.
In Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot”, which of the following statements best describes the play’s setting ?
A. Stark and sterile
B. Ancient and sophisticated
C. Futuristic and technologically advanced
D. Flowery and ornate
A writer can establish ethos in a piece of writing by doing which of the following ?
A. Using logic and reason
B. Demonstrating a mastery of the topic
C. Appealing to the reader’s emotions
D. Using informal language
In his introductory lecture, how does Paul Fry define literary theory ?
A. A hypothesis about how literary texts can be understood
B. The practice of interpreting literary texts
C. A methodology for applying ideas to literary texts
D. A trend in university English departments
Which of the following lines of poetry is written in iambic pentameter ?
A. “To be or not to be, that is the question.”
B. “I wandered lonely as a cloud.”
C. “I played about the front gate, pulling flowers.”
D. “And the world didn’t even think of stopping for me.”
Psychoanalytic criticism during its earliest stages tended to focus on_____________?
A. the psychologies of individual authors.
B. translation issues.
C. the typographical structures of literary texts.
D. how children relate to their parents in terms of literary texts.
In Dr. R. Allen Shoaf’s article, “’Hamlet’: Like Mother, Like Son”, Shoaf argues which of the following points about the relationship between Hamlet and his mother ?
A. Hamlet is placed in a position that can be conceptualized as feminine.
B. Hamlet has a personality disorder.
C. Hamlet is entirely masculinized throughout the play, and thus, is ultimately unlike his mother in terms of his position in the play.
D. Hamlet despises his mother and suspects she has killed his father.
In poetry, each unit of rhythm is known as______________?
A. a measure.
B. a foot.
C. a line.
D. a meter.
Which of the following statements about the plot of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” is not true ?
A. Ophelia dies by drowning.
B. It is never proven within the play that Claudius murdered King Hamlet.
C. Hamlet doubts the proper course of action to take.
D. Hamlet is deeply disturbed by his father’s death.
Which of the following serves as the best definition of the literary critical practice of formalism ?
A. Formalism focuses on examining the historical contexts and backgrounds of literary texts.
B. Formalism focuses on examining the structural dynamics of poems.
C. Formalism focuses on examining the use of literary devices within a literary text.
D. Formalism focuses on examining how a text exemplifies its writer’s psychology.
Which of the following poetic lines is an example of a couplet ?
A. “Into my head there will come / a beach of cotton, a dock where from.”
B. “I heard a car crash / just as I died.”
C. “To kiss the sky / to be the sun / is to live forever.”
D. “Death comes for all of us / even you.”
What is the relationship between the practices of New Historicism and New Criticism ?
A. New Historicism was a reaction against New Criticism, which was seen as too narrowly focused on text rather than context.
B. Both fields of study are strictly focused on how readers interpret and invent meanings for literary texts.
C. New Historicism is simply an early form of Cultural Materialism.
D. Both fields of literary study are American in origin.
Which of the following statements best defines the poetic form of the villanelle ?
A. A poem that eulogizes the dead
B. A poem that has no rhyme scheme
C. A poem that carries a pattern on two rhymes and offers an alternating refrain
D. A poem that celebrates the life of a cruel person
Sophocles’ “Oedipus the King” explores which of the following themes ?
A. Fate and free will
B. The power of religious faith
C. The corruptive force of technology
D. Disobedient children
Jane Austen’s “Northanger Abbey” pursues which of the following themes ?
A. The ways in which appearances don’t always match realities
B. The conflict between marriages based on love and those based on money
C. The danger in not recognizing the difference between reality and fiction
D. All of these
Which of the following statements best summarizes the main idea behind Anthony DiMatteo’s essay, “Shakespeare and the Public Discourse of Sovereignty: ’Reason of State’ in ’Hamlet’” ?
A. Hamlet is a tragedy focusing on the plight of the early-modern self.
B. Hamlet is a tragedy that reflects upon enlightened and progressive political systems that developed during Shakespeare’s time.
C. Hamlet is a tragedy that focuses on the Elizabethan era’s loss of faith in humanity’s ability to govern itself without violence.
D. Hamlet is a tragedy that reflects Shakespeare’s own political circumstances.
As a mode of literary criticism or theory, gender theory attempts to bring which of the following to literary texts ?
A. An understanding of how standard histories of western societies are presented in terms of heterosexual identity
B. An understanding of gender as a human construct
C. An understanding of the various conceptions and understandings of gender that have carried throughout various cultures
D. All of these.
What does Percy Shelley mean when he refers to poets as being the “unacknowledged legislators of the world” ?
A. He is suggesting that artists serve to develop culture.
B. He is suggesting that artists are repressed throughout society.
C. He is suggesting that all artists are from high social classes.
D. He is suggesting that the making of laws is itself an art.
Which of the following statements would Percy Shelley, author of “A Defense of Poetry”, agree with ?
A. Artists are dangerous to social order.
B. Art’s supreme function is to entertain the public.
C. Art serves a particular worldly purpose.
D. Artists serve to construct the foundations of culture.
Which of the following offers the best definition of a frame narrative ?
A. A narrative that summarizes the plot of the novel
B. A narrative that introduces readers to the main characters of a story
C. A story within a story
D. A story that reminds the reader that the story is fictional
Which of the following offers the best definition of the concept of persuasion ?
A. Persuasion is the art of making readers or listeners believe what the writer or speaker is stating.
B. Persuasion is the opposite of rhetoric.
C. Persuasion is the art of lying to good effect.
D. Persuasion is the use of syllogisms to influence the opinions of readers and listeners.