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In the last decade of his reign, this ancient Babylonian king conquered the last of
his rivals to create a unified Mesopotamian state. His most enduring historical
legacy, however, was one of the earliest written code of laws. Who was this sixth
king of Babylon's Amorite [AM-uh-ryt] Dynasty?
Hammurabi [hah-moo-RAH-bee]
Picking up where Genesis left off, this Biblical book describes the escape of the
Israelites from Egypt and the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses. Which
book of the Bible is it?
(Book of) Exodus
This question requires a two-part answer. As told of in chapter 19 of the Book of
Genesis, God rained down "brimstone and fire" to destroy what two "cities of the
Plain" as punishment for their evil ways?
Sodom AND Gomorrah
Around 400 B.C. the Indian grammarian Panini [pah-NEE-nee] published his
Eight Books in which he systemized the rules of what ancient language?
On his seventh voyage, he was attacked by corsairs. On his sixth voyage, he
visited the land of Serendip. On his third voyage, he encountered the Cyclops.
Name this seaman whose tale is told in the Thousand and One Nights.
Sinbad (the Sailor) (Accept: Sindbad)
The death of Moses is recounted in which final book of the Biblical Pentateuch
Deuteronomy [doot-ur-AHN-uh-mee]
In 1901, an ancient stone slab was unearthed in Iran. On this slab was inscribed
what collection of Babylonian law which prescribed "an eye for an eye" and "a
tooth for a tooth"?
Code of Hammurabi (Accept:Hammurabi's Code)
Around 1225 A.D, the historian Snorri [SNOR-ee] Sturluson [STUR-loo-sohn]
wrote the Heimskringla [HAYMS-kring-lah], a prose history about the kings of
which Scandinavian country?
The Song of Hildebrand is one of the earliest complete poems from the writings
of which European country?
The Indian sage Valmiki is said to be the author of what great Sanskrit epic in
which the prince Rama tries to regain his throne and rescue his wife Sita.
(The) Ramayana [rah-MAH-yuh-nuh]
The ancient tale of Gilgamesh describes a hero who goes on a perilous quest in
search of a magical herb that will give anyone who eats it what magical power?
Written on seven clay tablets, the Enuma Elish [en-OO-muh EL-ish] is a sacred
creation epic from which ancient civilization?
What ridge located east of Jerusalem across the Valley of Kidron is mentioned in
the New Testament as the site of Jesus' Ascension?
Mount of Olives
This question requires a multiple answer. These three young princes of Judah
were carried into captivity with Daniel.
When they refused to worship
Nebuchadnezzar's [neb-uh-kuhd-NEZ-urz] golden image, they were cast into the
fiery furnace but their faith in the Lord saved them. Name these three Biblical
Shadrach, Meshach, AND Abednego
In an ancient epic, what "wild man of the woods" is created by the gods as a foil
for the wicked king Gilgamesh?
Enkidu [en-KEE-doo]
The medieval literature of Iceland is broken down into three categories. These
consist of Eddic poetry, saga literature, and what third category of literature made
up of sophisticated poems composed by the court poets?
Skaldic [SKAWL-dik] (Poetry or Literature)
Used in ancient times, give the name for the type of carved, upright stone slab
that was often inscribed with funerary prayers for the deceased or with the
accomplishments of great rulers.
Stele [STEE-lee]
This question requires a multiple answer. What two Indian epics make up the
principle sources of Hindu social and religious doctrine?
(The) Mahabharata [muh-hah-BAH-ruh-tuh] AND (The) Ramayana
In Babylonian mythology, she was regarded as the mother of all life and as the
goddess of love and war. Name this principle goddess of the ancient
It recounts the history of Persia from the dawn of man to the fall of a great empire
in the 7th century A.D. Give the title of this national Iranian epic completed in
1010 after its author Firdawsi [fur-DOW-see] worked on it for more than 35 years.
Shah Namah [shah nah-MAH] (Accept: The Book of Kings)
Identify the 11th century Persian mystic, poet, and theologian whose most
famous work is the Munajat, a collection of mystical prayers in rhymed prose.
Ansari [ahn-SAHR-ee]
Born of the air and water, he controls the elements through magical words and
songs. Who is this greatest Finnish wizard and the hero of the Kalevala [KAH-levah-lah]?
Vainamoinen [VIE-nuh-moy-nun]
Dating from the 13th-century, what saga tells the story of Iceland's greatest poet
and his lifelong feud with the Norwegian crown?
Egil's Saga
According to the book of Colossians, he was a Gentile and a physician. Later, he
became the patron saint of doctors and artists. Name this author of the third
Gospel of the New Testament as well as the Acts of the Apostles.
(Saint) Luke
It was regularly used during the time of the Roman Empire, but in the Middle
Ages it began to be replaced by parchment, which would didn't cost as much.
Identify this ancient writing material used by the people of Palestine, Syria, and
Papyrus [puh-PY-ruhs]
After many daring adventures and escapes, he manages to gain great wealth,
power, and the hand of the sultan's daughter. Name this character from the
Arabian Nights who finds a magic lamp with a genie inside.
Arabic for "readings," the Koran is said to contain the sacred scriptures of which
second largest world religion?
Today, this bird has become a symbol of death and resurrection. Name this
eaglelike bird from ancient Arabia which would burn itself to death at the end of
its 500-year lifecycle only to arise young again from the ashes.
In the book of Exodus, God sent ten plagues to punish the Egyptians for holding
the Israelite people captive. The first plague caused the waters of the Nile River
to turn to blood, while the last plague resulted in the death of all the firstborn
Egyptian children. This final plague is remembered each year in which Jewish
festival celebrated in late March or early April?
What 11th and 12th century astronomer and mathematician from ancient Persia
is best known for his sensual poem The Rubaiyat [ROO-by-yaht]?
(Omar) Khayyam [ky-AHM]
Dating from about 3,200 years ago, oracle bones are the earliest evidence of
writing from what country?
An ancient epic composed about 2000 B.C. has the brave king Gilgamesh ruling
the city of Uruk [OO-ruk]. In what modern-day Middle Eastern country is the
ancient Sumerian city of Uruk [OO-ruk] located?
In the Bible, this substance was described as "white, powdery, and as fine as
hoarfrost." Every day except on the Sabbath, God sent this miracle food falling
from the sky to feed the Israelites as they fled to the Promised Land. What was
this substance?
In Babylonian mythology, she was regarded as the mother of all life and as the
goddess of love and war. Name this principle goddess of the ancient
In the Bible, Goliath was a great warrior who was defeated by King David.
Goliath was a member of what group of ancient Sea Peoples who settled on the
southern coastal plain of Canaan?
Philistines [FIL-uh-steenz]
An example of Old Attic Comedy from ancient Greece, what satire of the
Athenian judicial system by Aristophanes [air-uh-STAHF-uh-neez] includes the
name of stinging insects in its title?
(The) Wasps
Plato's Phaedo describes a scene in which what influential Greek philosopher
meets his end by drinking hemlock?
Vergil's Aeneid [i-NEE-id] describes the arrival of Aeneas [i-NEE-uhs] and the
Trojan refugees at her court. Identify this queen of Carthage who eventually
killed herself after Aeneas left Carthage for Italy.
Dido [DY-doh]
Aristotle credited this dramatist with several theatrical innovations, including the
introduction of a third actor into the plot. Who was this Greek playwright from the
5th century B.C. who authored the plays Ajax, Antigone, and Oedipus Rex?
Sophocles [SAHF-uh-kleez]
In 58 B.C. he was exiled for his role in the murders of several conspirators, but
after Julius Caesar's assassination in 44 B.C., he returned to politics, attacking
Mark Antony and allying himself with Octavian. Identify this ancient Roman
political leader who is also famous for his many eloquent orations.
(Marcus Tullius) Cicero [SIS-ur-oh]
A patron and censor, Cato the Elder advocated the complete destruction of what
North African city, the opponent of Rome during the Punic Wars?
She so loved Odysseus that she offered to grant him immortality if he would only
consent to stay with her. Identify this nymph from Homer's Odyssey, on whose
island the hero Odysseus spent seven years on his way home from Troy.
In what satiric drama by Aristophanes [air-uh-STAHF-uh-neez] do 30,000 geese
and cranes build the fantastic city of Cloudcuckooland?
(The) Birds
His works were influenced by his military experience in the Battles of Marathon
and Salamis during the Persian Wars. The author of the earliest surviving
tragedies, what Greek dramatist is known for Prometheus Bound and the
Oresteia [or-es-TEE-uh] trilogy?
Aeschylus [ES-kuh-luhs]
Born in Cordoba, Spain, he went to Rome as a young boy to study rhetoric and
philosophy. In 59 AD, he was made tutor to the emperor Nero, but he soon fell
out of favor and went into retirement. Name this author known for his Moral
Letters and Moral Essays.
This Athenian author of the 5th century B.C. is considered the greatest historian
of ancient Greece. Identify this ancient aristocrat remembered for his unfinished
History of the Peloponnesian War.
Thucydides [thoo-SID-uh-deez]
Although he influenced the creation of more realistic dramas, the ancient tragic
author Euripides [yur-IP-uh-deez] introduced what highly improbably dramatic
device in which a god would be lowered onto the stage to resolve any crisis in
the plot?
Deus Ex Machina [DAY-uhs eks MAH-kin-uh]
Aristotle introduced what term that refers to the purging of the emotions of pity
and fear experienced by the audience viewing a classical tragedy?
Catharsis [kuh-THAR-sis]
Taken from the name of an ancient king and military figure, what two-word term
has come to refer to a victory won at such a heavy cost to the victor that it is
equivalent to a defeat?
Pyrrhic [PEER-ik] Victory
It was the site of Early Bronze Age settlements and became a part of the Delian
[DEL-ee-uhn] League in 479 B.C. Give the name of this Greek island in the
Aegean Sea that was the home of such poets as Alcaeus [al-SEE-uhs] and
Sappho [SAF-oh].
The only complete surviving example of this type of drama from ancient Greece
is Cyclops by Euripides [yur-IP-uh-deez]. Give the name for this type of brief,
burlesque comedy dedicated to Dionysus and presented by actors who dressed
in animal skins and tails.
Satyr (Play)
It is a genealogical account of the Greek gods from the beginning of time and is
the earliest surviving Greek religious work. In what 8th century B.C. work does
the poet Hesiod [HES-ee-uhd] describe Chaos, the Titans, and finally the
creation of the Olympian gods?
Theogony [thee-AHG-uh-nee]
From what first and second century Greek author did Shakespeare borrow the
information needed to write his last tragedy, Coriolanus?
Plutarch [PLOO-tahrk]
Give the name of the 1st century A.D. poet from ancient Rome who arranged
over 1,500 of his short poems into the 14 book collection Epigrams.
His works inspired the medieval tradition of courtly love. Name the ancient
Roman poet who is chiefly known for the lyric poems he wrote and dedicated to
his beloved mistress Lesbia.
Catullus [kuh-TUHL-uhs]
As a youth, he was seduced by Aphrodite who later bore his son Aeneas [I-NEEuhs]. Give the name of Aeneas's father who is carried to safety in Vergil's
Aeneid [i-NEE-id] after the fall of Troy.
Anchises [an-KY-seez]
A common sight at theatres of ancient Greece was an architectural background
through which the actors entered onto the stage. Give the name for this type of
covered building that also functioned as a dressing room and storage area.
The French musician Maurice Ravel [rah-VEL] based one of his ballets on what
ancient pastoral romance about two simple goatherds written by the third century
Greek author Longus [LAWNG-guhs]?
Daphnis and Chloe
"Do not trust the horse, Trojans. Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks, even when
they bring gifts." In what epic masterpiece by Virgil can the preceding quote be
(The) Aeneid
By what name did the Romans call the brave title hero written about by Homer in
his Odyssey?
A prolific poet from Rome's Golden Age, what 1st-century B.C. author wrote
about many mythological changes in his masterpiece the Metamorphoses [metuh-MOHR-fuh-seez].
Ovid [AHV-id]
In Homer's Odyssey, Polyphemus [pah-luh-FEE-muhs] traps Odysseus and his
crew in a cave and refuses to let them leave. Polyphemus was a member of a
race of one-eyed giants in Greek mythology who were given what name?
Cyclops (Accept: Cyclopes)
What 4th century B.C. Greek philosopher included the famous allegory of the
cave in Book 7 of his political dialogue The Republic?
First produced in 429 B.C., the title character of this drama learns that he has
murdered his father and married his mother. Name this Sophocles drama, the
first in his famous trilogy.
Oedipus Rex (Accept: Oedipus Tyrannus)
She was born around 630 B.C. on the Greek island of Lesbos in the Aegean
Sea. Who was this Greek poet whose many love lyrics were addressed to
Sappho [SAF-oh]
The Greek poet Theocritus [thee-AHK-ri-tuhs] is known for his 30 short poems
called the Idylls. These poems greatly contributed to the development of what
type of literature which extols a rustic life in the countryside?
Pastoral (Literature)
His plays attacked the social and political abuses of his time and jeered at the
tragedies of other playwrights of the period. Name the ancient Greek author of
such comedies as The Clouds, The Wasps, and The Birds.
Aristophanes [ar-uh-STAHF-uh-neez]
Deserted by her husband Jason, the title character of what play by Euripides
[yur-IP-uh-deez] murders her own children to get even?
Medea [meh-DEE-uh]
In the Old English epic Beowulf, the hero vanquishes the monster Grendel and
his nightmarish mother. By what creature is the warrior Beowulf finally killed?
(Fire) Dragon
The Lay of the Cid [SID] is a medieval epic concerning a brave warrior and his
deeds. In what country was this famous poem written?
In 1859, Edward Fitzgerald translated what Persian poet's The Rubaiyat into
(Omar) Khayyam [ky-AHM]
In The Castle of Perseverance, the soul of Humanum Genus resides in a castle
that is encircled by the forces of good and evil. This play is representative of
what type of allegorical drama from the Middle Ages which presented the fall of
man and his eventual redemption?
Morality Play(s)
This epic poem begins on Good Friday in the year 1300 when the narrator finds
himself lost in the wood of Error. Soon, he is met by the spirit of Vergil and led
through the Inferno, Purgatory, and into Paradise. Give the title of this epic poem
by Dante.
(The) Divine Comedy (Accept: La Divina Commedia)
Northumbrian, Mercian, Kentish, and West Saxon were four dialects of what
language used in Britain from the 5th century until the Norman Conquest in
Old English (Accept: Anglo-Saxon)
A favorite of England's Richard the Lionhearted, Blondel [BLAWN-del] was a
French minstrel who composed about 20 song-poems. Give the name for these
wandering French minstrels of the Middle Ages who mostly sang long ballads of
courtly love.
She has been married five times and tells a tale about one of King Arthur's
knights who is given one year to save his life by finding out "what women most
desire." Name this character who appears in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
(The) Wife of Bath
Through the treason of Ganelon, he is killed in a pass in the Pyrenees while
returning from an invasion of Spain in 778. Who was this legendary nephew of
Charlemagne and the hero of a French song cycle from the Middle Ages?
The works of Chaucer and the enduring stories of Piers Plowman and "Sir
Gawain and the Green Knight" were originally written in what form of the English
language that was spoken from the time of the Norman invasion in 1066 until the
introduction of printing in England in 1476?
Middle English
Versions of this English ballad exist in Italy, Holland, Germany, and Scotland,
where the hero is called Ronald. Sir Walter Scott postulated that it originally
referred to the death of the Earl of Murray, the nephew of Robert Bruce. Name
this English melody in which a young man and his hunting hounds are poisoned
and await death.
"Lord Randal"
Identify the medieval theologian who wrote the following lines in a famous 5th
century work. "From these and similar testimonies, all of which it were tedious to
cite, we have learned that there is a city of God, and its Founder has inspired us
with a love which makes us covet its citizenship."
(Saint) Augustine
By what two-word name is the supposed author of the medieval tale "Sir Gawain
and the Green Knight" known?
Pearl Poet
In Malory's Morte D'Arthur, this figure hunts the Questing Beast. He is the father
of the knights Dornar and Percival, among others, and was killed by Sir Gawain
in revenge for the death of his father. Who was this character from the Arthurian
(King) Pellinore
Its discovery was the prime objective of all the medieval alchemists. Name this
hypothetical substance which could, according to legend, convert all baser
metals into gold.
Philosopher's Stone
The main character of this type of play is usually either a Shinto god or a
deceased nobleman looking for salvation. Give the name for this type of one-act
play, the oldest form of traditional drama in Japan.
No [NOH] (Drama)
Until the 12th century A.D. most literary writings produced in Gaul were written in
what language?
This Germanic epic is based on tales from the Poetic Edda and the Volsung
Saga. The story of the warrior Siegfried is presented in this medieval tale which
served to inspire Richard Wagner's [VAHG-nur] Ring cycle. Name it.
Nibelungenlied [nee-be-LUNG-en-leet]
This cycle of medieval plays dramatizes events from the creation of the universe
to the hanging of Judas Iscariot. Name this series of mystery plays that was
originaly acted at the English fairs of Widkirk.
Wakefield Plays (or Mysteries) (Accept: Towneley Plays or Mysteries)
This character from German folklore was said to live in the Black Forest and lure
children to their deaths. Name this king of the elves, the subject of famous works
by Goethe [GUR-tuh] and Schubert [SHOO-bairt].
Erl-King (Accept: Erlkonig)
During the Middle Ages, the seven liberal arts were divided into two categories.
Grammar, rhetoric, and logic made up the trivium while arithmetic, geometry,
astronomy, and music made up what other category?
A contemporary of Geoffrey Chaucer, what 14th century alliterative poet is
regarded as the author of the Middle English poem Piers Plowman?
(William) Langland (Accept: William Langley)
The Parliament of Fowls and Troilus and Creseyde [TROY-luhs and KRES-uhduh] are two works by what medieval English poet who is best remembered for
his Canterbury Tales?
(Geoffrey) Chaucer
It was a form of allegorical drama from the Middle Ages that depicted the fall of
man, his life in sin, and his eventual redemption. What is this type of play, an
example of which is the drama Everyman?
Morality Play
The female entertainer Okuni first performed this type of theater in which stylized
acting is combined with lyric singing and dancing. Later, however, women were
banned from professional stages and this form of drama has since been
performed only by men. Name this theater spectacle from Japan.
Kabuki [kah-BOO-kee]
"Learn, therefore, first to cleanse, purify and sublime, to dissolve, congeal, distill
and sometime to conjoin and separate, and how to do all, that when you think to
rise, thou do not fall." These words were written by Simon Forman about what
ancient science that was concerned with transmuting base metals into gold?
In which story from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales does one of King Arthur's
knights go on a quest to find out "what women most desire"?
"(The) Wife of Bath's Tale"
An influence on Chaucer, what collection of stories by Boccaccio [boh-KAH-choh]
is set in Florence during the time of a great plague?
Decameron [dee-KAM-uh-rahn]
What 15th century English author retold many of the King Arthur stories in his
1469 romance Le Morte Darthur [mohrt DAHR-THUR]?
(Sir Thomas) Malory
After the legendary King Arthur was killed by his nephew Mordred at the battle of
Camlan, he was taken to what island where his wounds would be healed?
Above the Wicket Gate is written, "Knock and it shall be opened unto you." In
what allegory would you find the Wicket Gate, the entrance to a road leading to
the Celestial City?
Pilgrim's Progress
The 16th and 17th century poet John Donne [duhn] was the leading exponent of
the metaphysical style of poetry. In his poem "A Valediction: Forbidding
Mourning" Donne compares two lovers' souls to the legs of what mathematical
device used for drawing circles?
Bottom and his crew of artisans, Oberon and Titania, and Hermia and Lysander
all appear in what 1595 comedy by Shakespeare?
(A) Midsummer Night's Dream
The title of this 1516 work literally translates as "no place." The island described
in the essay was supposedly located somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere.
As described by the character of Raphael Hythloday, this island was an ideal
community ruled by reason. Name the island and you've also named what essay
by the English statesman Sir Thomas More?
At the end of Hamlet, this character is left alive after a bloody scene in which
Hamlet, Laertes, and the king and queen all die. Name this trusted friend of
Which character from Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queen was meant to signify
Queen Elizabeth I?
After an apprenticeship to his bricklayer stepfather and military service in
Flanders, he tried his hand at acting and playwrighting. Name this Elizabethan
dramatist whose comedies include Bartholomew Fair, Volpone [vohl-POH-nee],
and The Alchemist.
(Ben) Jonson
Sir Thomas Wyatt, John Milton, Christopher Marlowe, and Sir Thomas More all
lived and wrote during what period in English history which lasted from 1485 until
Written in two parts, what 1590 play by Christopher Marlowe chronicles the rise
of a lowly shepherd to an ambitious conqueror?
Tamburlaine the Great
By the end of the drama, a total of 9 characters have died bloody deaths on
stage. Give the title of this 1586 revenge play by Thomas Kyd in which Bel
Imperia's lover, Horatio, is murdered by her brother Lorenzo.
(The) Spanish Tragedy
This question requires a multiple answer. Their works were praised for their
authentic portrayal of manners and served to influence the ribald comedies of the
Restoration period. Name these two Jacobean playwrights, contemporaries of
Shakespeare, who wrote A King and No King and The Woman Hater.
(Francis) Beaumont [BOH-mahnt] and (John) Fletcher
An English dramatist, he is known for his portrayal of passion and for his
concentration on incest, as evidenced in the plays 'Tis Pity She's a Whore and
The Broken Heart. Who was this playwright from the early Stuart period?
(John) Ford
This play was first performed for the Queen of England for the Christian feast of
Epiphany in January of 1601. Much of the comedy is supplied by Sir Toby Belch
and Andrew Aguecheek while the power of love is illustrated by Sebastian and
Viola. Give the title of this comedy by Shakespeare.
Twelfth Night
Name the 17th century metaphysical poet famous for such works as "The
Garden" and "To His Coy Mistress".
(Andrew) Marvell
In what parody of a famous Christopher Marlowe poem would you find the
following lines? "If all the world and love were young / And truth in every
shepherd's tongue / These pretty pleasures might me move / To live with thee
and be thy love."
"(The) Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd"
In what work by John Donne can the following quote be found? "Any man's
death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never
send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."
"Meditation 17"
To what character does Richard Lovelace dedicate the words "I could not love
thee, Dear, so much / Loved I not honor more"?
In 1471, he visited Germany, where he learned the art of printing. Five years
later, what merchant and writer established the first printing press in England?
(William) Caxton
Ben Jonson pioneered a dramatic form in which he exposed the follies of men on
stage in the hope that, seeing their humanly defects ridiculed before an
audience, people would mend their ways. Give the three-word term for this type
of comedy written by Ben Jonson.
Comedy of Humors
The 1566 drama The Supposes was the first English prose comedy. The 1573
play Jocasta was one of the earliest English blank-verse tragedies. The 1576
play The Steele Glass was the first true English satire. Identify the innovative
Elizabethan playwright and poet who authored all of the preceding works.
(George) Gascoigne [gas-KOYN]
Edmund Kean, John Gielgud, Alec Guinness, and Laurence Olivier have all
performed at this London theatre that opened in 1818. Give the popular name
for this theatre whose official name became the Royal Victoria in 1833.
Old Vic (Theatre)
It is a pastoral elegy written on the death of Edward King, a friend of the author.
What is this 1638 poem by John Milton in which Nature itself mourns the passing
of the young student?
The Forced Marriage and The Lucky Chance are two plays by what 17th century
dramatist, the first woman to write professionally for the English stage?
(Aphra) Behn [BAYN]
The plot for this 1599 play was taken from one of the biographies contained in
Parallel Lives by the Greek author Plutarch [PLOO-tahrk].
Name this
Shakespearean play in which the title character, a powerful Roman general and
dictator, is warned to "beware the ideas of March."
Julius Caesar
The nickname of the author William Shakespeare contains the name of what
English river, near which Shakespeare was born?
(River) Avon
A great English poet of the 17th century, he was bedridden in the last years of his
life. During this period, he was often visitied by many younger admirers who
were known collectively as the "Sons of Ben." Name him.
(Ben) Jonson
It was during this time period in European history that Cervantes [sair-VAHNtays], More, and Shakespeare lived and wrote. Name this period which lasted
from the early 1300s until the late 1500s.
In what European country is Shakespeare's revenge tragedy Hamlet set?
What character from a famous play by Christopher Marlowe asks the following
upon conjuring up the beautiful Helen of Troy? "Is this the face that launched a
thousand ships, and burnt the topless towers of Ilium?"
(Doctor) Faustus
Name the Elizabethan playwright famous for his tragedy The White Devil and for
his "blood and thunder" play The Duchess of Malfi.
(John) Webster
Along with Macbeth, this Shakespearean character receives prophecies from the
three witches. Name this character who is murdered on Macbeth's orders but
who later returns from the grave as a ghost that only Macbeth can see and hear.
This English poet left the long allegorical poem The Faerie Queene unfinished at
the time of his death. Name this "Prince of Poets" from the Elizabethan era.
(Edmund) Spenser
Which of King Lear's three daughters in a famous play by Shakespeare is the
only one who proves faithful to her aging father?
Besides being a monarch, Queen Margaret of Navarre was also an author. She
wrote the first collection of French tales, a work that was modeled on what mid14th century collection by Giovanni Boccaccio [boh-KAH-choh]?
(The) Decameron
Influenced by the study of the philosophy and literature of ancient Greece and
Rome, it developed in Europe during the Renaissance. What is this philosophy
that emphasizes the personal worth of the individual and the central importance
of human values?
What author wrote the following line in a famous 1513 work? "It is not essential
then that a prince should have all the good qualities which I have enumerated
above, but it is most essential that he should appear to have them."
(Nicolo) Machiavelli [mahk-ee-uh-VEL-lee]
In his Adages, he showed the consistency of Christian teachings with ancient
pagan wisdom. Who was this 15th and 16th century Dutch humanist who
satirized the corruptions of the clergy in his 1509 work The Praise of Folly?
(Desiderius) Erasmus [ir-AZ-muhs]
Taken from the Italian word for "little song," what type of poem is made up of 14
lines of iambic pentameter?
The French poet Adam de la Halle [duh lah ahl] wrote many lyrics of courtly love.
One of his plays makes use of an early version of the legends surrounding what
famous outlaw who lived in England's Sherwood Forest?
Robin Hood
Identify the popular 16th century author of the French Renaissance who is given
credit for developing the personal essay.
(Michel de [mee-SHEL duh]) Montaigne [mohn-TAYN]
This Renaissance scholar was patronized by the Colonna family of Rome. In
1342, he published his Song Book, a collection of love lyrics written to his
beloved Laura. Who was this famous Italian humanist?
Petrarch [PEE-trahrk]
Without the means for much of a formal education, he became a soldier and lost
the use of his left hand in the 1571 Battle of Lepanto. He later took up writing,
producing such works as Galatea and The Trip to Parnassus. This Spanish
author is better known, however, for his novel about an aged nobleman who,
because he has been deluded by notions of chivalry, believes himself a knight.
Name this author.
(Miguel de) Cervantes [sair-VAHN-tays] (Saavedra)
In his day, this Englishman was regarded as an ideal Renaissance courtier. He
is today better remembered for his literary works such as Astrophel and Stella
and The Defence of Poesie. Who was he?
(Sir Philip) Sidney
The Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto [ah-ree-AWS-toh] wrote Orlando Furioso about
a famous medieval hero whom the Italians called Orlando. By what name did the
French call Orlando?
Who am I? I was a 17th-century French novelist. Two of my works are
translated together as Voyages to the Moon and the Sun. I was noted for dueling
and my long nose, and I inspired a famous play by Edmond Rostand.
(Savinien [sah-veen-YAN]) Cyrano de Bergerac [see-rah-NOH duh bairzhair-ahk]
Accompanied by the talkative squire Sancho Panza, Don Quixote sets off on a
quest inspired by the love of what peasant girl?
Dulcinea [duhl-sin-AY-uh]
In an 1897 comedy by Edmond Rostand, Cyrano believes that his overly long
nose will discourage love from what lady?
Walther von der Vogelweide [FOH-gel-VY-de] was the most important German
lyric poet of the Middle Ages. Give the term for these love-singers of the 12th
through 14th centuries that were later replaced by the meistersingers [MY-stursing-urz].
Dr. Johann Faust was a 16th century student of magic and alchemy who inspired
two later works by Marlowe and Goethe [GUR-tuh]. In what country did the
historical Faust live?
He is credited with starting opera in Spain. Who was this 17th century Spanish
playwright, the author of the philosophical play Life is a Dream?
(Pedro) Calderon [kahl-day-ROHN] (de la Barca)
Immensely popular in Spain during the 16th century, what style of novel presents
a roguish hero who wanders from place to place suffering hunger and humiliation
before learning to survive by his wits?
Picaresque [pik-uh-RESK] (Novel)
The cultivation of fine manners was enormously important in the courts of 16th
century Europe. Identify the Italian writer who formulated the qualities of the
perfect courtier in his 1528 Book of the Courtier.
(Baldassare) Castiglione [bahl-dahs-SAH-ray kahs-teel-YOH-nay]
In the eleventh month of her pregnancy, this literary character goes into labor as
a result of eating too much tripe and gives birth to Gartantua [gahr-GAN-choo-uh]
through her left ear. Name this character from Gargantua and Pantagruel [panTAG-roo-el].
Supposedly founded by a Trojan hero, this city is home to Italy's second-oldest
university. From 1318 until 1405 it fell under the rule of the Carrara family.
Identify this city in northeastern Italy in which the Renaissance is recognized to
have begun.
Padua [PA-juh-wuh]
Italian for "four hundreds," what term is used to refer to the 15th century,
especially with reference to the art and literature of that period?
Quattrocento [kwat-roh-CHEN-toh]
This masterpiece of Spanish literature is considered second only to Don Quixote.
Give the common title of this 1499 drama about the lovers Calisto and Melibea
who are brought together by the character for whom the play is named.
Celestina [thay-lays-TEE-nah]
After observing the totalitarian government ruled by Cesare Borgia, the
Florentine political theorist Nicolo Machiavelli [mahk-ee-uh-VEL-lee] wrote what
treatise in which he argued that an effective ruler must be practical rather than
virtuous in his use of power?
(The) Prince
The 366 lyrics in this Italian author's Canzoniere give an account of the poet's
love for the idealized Laura. Identify the great Renaissance humanist who
authored the Canzoniere.
(Francesco) Petrarch [PEE-trahrk]
What was the nationality of the 16th century essayist Michel [mee-SHEL] de
Montaigne [mohn-TAYN]?
Cosimo patronized the arts and founded the Platonic Academy in Florence.
Lorenzo created a brilliant court culture of painters, poets, and philosophers.
Catherine greatly admired the doctrines of Machiavelli [mahk-ee-uh-VEL-lee].
Give the surname of the famous Florentine family whose members were among
the great patrons of the Italian Renaissance.
Medici [MED-uh-chee]
Because he viewed Latin as a unifying language, many of his works emphasize
the literary beauty and moral content of classic literature. In 1509 he published
The Praise of Folly in which he attacked the foolishness of his times. Name this
Dutch humanist.
(Desiderius) Erasmus [ir-AZ-muhs]
They ranged from political and religious tracts to lyrical ballads and sensational
stories. Give the name for these cheap, popular pamphlets that were sold during
the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries by wandering peddlers.
Printed in 1455, what is the two-word name of the most famous example of Latin
incunabula [in-kue-NAB-ue-luh]?
Gutenberg Bible
The Institutes of the Christian Religion is a 1536 work by what theologian who
guided the Protestant Reformation in France?
(John) Calvin
The cultivation of fine manners was enormously important in the courts of 16th
century Europe. Identify the Italian writer who formulated the qualities of the
perfect courtier in his 1528 Book of the Courtier.
(Baldassare) Castiglione [bahl-dahs-SAH-ray kahs-teel-YOH-nay]
He is a grotesque, comic giant who uses his dandruff as cannonballs. Name this
title character and father of the giant Pantagruel [pan-TAG-roo-el] who was
created by the French author Francois Rabelais [rahb-LAY].
Gargantua [gahr-GAN-choo-uh]
This man's sister-in-law was the first female printer in New England. A noted
printer himself, this Colonial statesman and author is known for the many
aphorisms printed in his Poor Richard's Almanack. Who was he?
(Benjamin) Franklin
Thomas Shepard's The Sincere Convert is one of the earliest spiritual
autobiographies written by members of what religious group that settled in the
Massachusetts Bay Colony?
Gilbert Tennent, George Whitefield, and Jonathan Edwards were active during
what period of history in which a great resurgence in religious interest swept over
the American colonies?
Great Awakening
Description of New England, Map of Virginia, and The General History of Virginia
are all documents which chronicle the early history of the English settlement in
North America. These documents were all written by what member of the
London Company whose life was saved by Powhatan's daughter Pocahontas?
(John) Smith
People of the Onondaga [ahn-uhn-DAW-guh] tribe have a creation myth in which
the entire Earth is supported on the back of what type of sea creature?
A religious separatist, William Bradford served as the governor of which New
World colony for more than 30 years?
Plymouth (Colony)
The year 1783 saw the first appearance of the "blue-backed speller," a spelling
book by what textbook author who is also known for producing the two-volume
American Dictionary of the English Language?
(Noah) Webster
This colonial author created a national mood for revolution with his pamphlet
Common Sense. Who was this early-American political author?
(Thomas) Paine
What type of writing did the pamphleteer Thomas Paine use to convince his
readers that it was time for a revolution?
Persuasive (Writing)
She gained much recognition in colonial America with the collection Poems on
Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. Identify this woman who is regarded as
America’s first black poet.
(Phyllis) Wheatley
Give the title of Anne Bradstreet's 1650 poetry collection that was the first book of
poems written in America.
(The) Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America
Freedom of the press in America was established due to an event that involved a
colonial newspaper printer charged with seditious libel for opposing the
government-controlled newspaper. Identify this German-born printer who was
acquitted because what he printed was true.
(John Peter) Zenger
This question requires a multiple answer. The 18th century author William Byrd
is famous for his History of the Dividing Line. This work resulted from a survey
expedition Byrd made to map the boundary line between which two colonies?
Virginia AND North Carolina
Using the pseudonym J. Hector St. John, he wrote a series of essays that
detailed life in colonial America. Who was this author of Letters from an
American Farmer?
(Michel de) Crevecoeur [mee-SHEL day krev-KUR]
The Puritan clergyman Richard Mather helped to translate this work into English.
What is the common name for this 1640 compilation of psalms that was the first
book printed in the American colonies?
Bay Psalm Book
A sentimental and didactic tale of seduction, what 1791 novel by Susanna
Rowson was extremely popular in America?
Charlotte Temple
This question requires a multiple answer. According to a famous aphorism in
Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanack, a man who goes to bed early and
gets up early will be what three things?
Healthy, Wealthy, AND Wise
This question requires three names in your answer. In 1787 and 1788, what
three individuals collaborated in writing The Federalist Papers, 85 essays that
defended the new Constitution?
(Alexander) Hamilton, (John) Jay, AND (James) Madison
What 17th and 18th century American author did Robert Calef attack as an
extremist witch hunter in his work More Wonders of the Invisible World?
(Cotton) Mather
This question requires a first and last name answer. Washington Irving based
his short story "Rip Van Winkle" on this German legendary hero. Identify the
fabled goatherd who drank the wine offered him by twelve knights and then fell
asleep for twenty years.
Peter Klaus
Inspired by Sheridan's School for Scandal, this drama featured Jonathan, the first
of many so-called "stage Yankees." Identify this 1787 play by Royall Tyler,
America's first comedy.
(The) Contrast
Identify the Congregationalist minister who described the eternal punishments
that awaited all sinners in his long ballad The Day of Doom.
(Michael) Wigglesworth
"Bar's Fight" was the first poem to be published by a black American. Name the
Massachusetts slave who wrote this poem in 1746.
(Lucy) Terry
We see the sensitive side of him in a famous letter he wrote to his love, Sarah
Pierrepont. Name this Colonial-era pastor who shows us his darker side in the
fire-and-brimstone sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God."
(Jonathan) Edwards
The opening line of The American Crisis reads, "These are the times that try
men's souls." Who wrote this famous pamphlet?
(Thomas) Paine
In a speech to the Virginia Convention in 1775, what man uttered the nowfamous words, "Give me liberty or give me death"?
(Patrick) Henry
This man's sister-in-law was the first female printer in New England. A noted
printer himself, this Colonial statesman and author is known for the many
aphorisms printed in his Poor Richard's Almanack. Who was he?
(Benjamin) Franklin
Cotton Mather's Magnalia Christi Americana is a long historic memorial dedicated
to the efforts of what religious group who wanted to establish their version of
Christianity in the Western Hemisphere?
With only minor alterations, what important 1776 document is exclusively the
work of Thomas Jefferson?
Declaration of Independence
This question requires a first and last name answer. He held a deep faith in the
common people and effectively appealed to what was called his "trained mob."
Identify this statesman, pamphleteer, and cousin of John Adams, who earned the
nickname "Penman of the Revolution."
Sam(uel) Adams
Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanack was a very popular book in both
Europe and America. What was the only book in colonial America that was more
widely read than Franklin's almanac?
(The) Bible
Give the name of the colonial settler who described the newly settled colony of
Plymouth in his famous History of the Plymouth Plantation.
(William) Bradford
Every year since 1949 a cloaked stranger has visited the Baltimore grave of this
famous American poet and left three roses and a bottle of cognac. Name this
19th century author of Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque.
(Edgar Allan) Poe
In January of 1897, on an expedition to Cuba, Stephen Crane was shipwrecked
and spent two days in an open dinghy with three other men. This incident
provided Crane with the inspiration for which of his stories that was published the
following year?
"(The) Open Boat"
Hank Morgan, the protagonist of Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's
Court, is knocked unconscious and wakes to find himself back in the days of
Camelot. He is condemned to death, but his life is saved after he astounds his
captors by predicting what event?
This literary essay advises the reader to "trust thyself." In which of Emerson's
essays does he write that, "Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist"?
During the Civil War, he helped recruit African American soldiers for the Union
Army. Later, he fought vigorously for civil rights for African Americans. Who was
this 19th century orator who published his autobiography, My Bondage and My
Freedom, in 1855?
(Frederick) Douglass
"When I was a boy, there was but one permanent ambition among my comrades
in our village on the west bank of the Mississippi River. That was, to be a
steamboatman." What famous American author wrote these lines in his Life on
the Mississippi?
(Mark) Twain (Accept: Samuel Clemens)
Death is not to be feared or despised because we are all a part of death and
death is a part of us. That is the theme of what famous poem by William Cullen
Kate Chopin wrote The Awakening about Edna, a woman whose sexual and
artistic needs go unfulfilled. At the end of the novel, by what means does Edna
commit suicide?
Drowning (Accept: Like Answers)
This question requires a first and last name answer. "The Man Without A
Country" by Edward Everett Hale concerns a certain naval officer who curses
America and is condemned to live out his life aboard a ship.
Philip Nolan
Name this
Who spoke the following words at an 1851 women's rights convention in Akron,
Ohio? "That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages,
and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever
helps me into carriages, or over mud puddles, or gives me any best place! And
ain't I a woman?"
(Sojourner) Truth (Accept: Isabella Bomefree OR Isabella Van Wagenen)
In what work can the following definitions be found? Diplomacy- the patriotic art
of lying for one's country. Love- a temporary insanity curable by marriage. Sainta dead sinner revised and edited.
(The) Devil's Dictionary
To what figure did Edgar Allan Poe dedicate the following words? "How statuelike I see thee stand/ The agate lamp within thy hand/ Ah! Psyche, from the
regions which are holy land."
Helen (of Troy)
With a name meaning "laughing water," what Sioux Indian maiden becomes
Hiawatha's bride in a famous Longfellow work?
Of James Fenimore Cooper's five Leatherstocking Tales, the title of which one is
missing from the following list? The Last of the Mohicans, The Pioneers, The
Prairie, The Deerslayer.
(The) Pathfinder
As Peyton Farquhar falls to his death, he imagines that the rope around his neck
has broken and he is set free. Give the title of the Ambrose Bierce short story
whose true ending isn't quite as pleasant as Peyton dreamed.
"(An) Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"
This Quaker poet wrote and spoke in the old style, using words such as "thee,
thou, and thine." He never drank an alcoholic beverage and always wore a plain
black suit. Name this Fireside Poet who is remembered for "Maud Muller" and
"Barbara Frietchie."
(John Greenleaf) Whittier
Washington Irving wrote The Sketch-Book using the pseudonym of Geoffrey
Crayon. What nome de plume did he use when publishing his A History of New
York in 1809?
(Diedrich) Knickerbocker
A Massachusetts dowager orders her fiance, Lambert Strether, to rescue her son
Chad from a Parisian femme fatale in what 1903 novel by Henry James?
(The) Ambassadors
His photographs, articles, and books focused on the squalid living conditions of
poor people living in New York City. In 1890 his ground-breaking book How the
Other Half Lives was published. Identify this journalist who campaigned for
improvements in urban living conditions.
(Jacob) Riis [rees]
An ancestor of the Pyncheon family accussed him of witchcraft and he was put to
death for his crime. Before he died, however, he placed a curse on the family
that has plagued them for several generations. Identify this character in
Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables.
(Matthew) Maule
A group of 18th-century American poets, they attended Yale University. Their
goal was to establish a school of poetry based on uniquely American subjects,
but they mostly emulated neoclassical models from Europe. Name this poetry
school that included such prominent members as John Trumbull, David
Humphreys, and Joel Barlow.
Hartford Wits (Accept: Connecticut Wits)
A 1960's television series was based on what Owen Wister novel with a
geographical name?
(The) Virginian
His book The Old Swimmin' Hole and 'Leven More Poems made him one of the
highest-paid poets of his time. Identify this Indiana-born poet remembered for
"Little Orphan Annie" and "When the Frost Is on the Punkin".
(James Whitcomb) Riley
In his 1956 poem "A Supermarket in California," beat poet Allen Ginsberg makes
many references to what famous 19th century poet best known for his 1855
collection Leaves of Grass?
(Walt) Whitman
The following lines are an excerpt from a famous tale by which American author?
"Brer Fox went to work and got him some tar, and mixed it with some turpentine,
and fixed up a contraption what he called a Tar-Baby."
(Joel Chandler) Harris
Influenced by the English Graveyard Poets, what 1817 poem by William Cullent
Bryant advocates that death need not be feared but embraced?
In 1842 this American author was appointed U.S. minister to Spain, an office in
which he served for four years. Some of his pseudonyms include Geoffrey
Crayon and Diedrich Knickerbocker. Name this early 19th century author of A
History of New York and The Sketch Book.
(Washington) Irving
In one of her poems Emily Dickinson writes that "some keep the Sabbath going
to church." Give the three words which tell how the speaker of Dickinson's poem
keeps the Sabbath.
Staying at home
Sherriff Jack Potter narrowly avoids being shot and killed by the drunken troublemaker Scratchy Wilson in what 1898 short story by Stephen Crane?
"(The) Bride Comes To Yellow Sky"
From which 17th century English allegory did the American author William
Makepeace Thackeray borrow the title for his novel Vanity Fair?
Pilgrim's Progress
This question requires a first and last name answer. Harriet Beecher Stowe's
1852 novel Uncle Tom's Cabin did much to popularize the abolitionist cause. In
the novel, what cruel overseer of slaves is responsible for beating Uncle Tom to
Simon Legree
William Dean Howells and Henry James were two American writers who shifted
literary tastes from romanticism to what movement which sought to portray trueto-life events without idealization?
According to a 1794 poem by William Blake, what creature is "burning bright in
the forests of the night"?
In 1611, what English king authorized the publication of the first English
translation of the Bible?
(King) James I
In which of his satirical works did Jonathan Swift suggest that the children of poor
Irish families should be eaten for food?
"(A) Modest Proposal"
In his poem called "Song" this English poet advises readers to "Go and catch a
falling star." Name this 16th and 17th century metaphysical poet.
(John) Donne [duhn]
It was the first selection contained in the 1798 poetry volume Lyrical Ballads.
Name this Coleridge poem about a sailor who is haunted by his decision to kill an
innocent albatross.
"(The) Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
Horace Walpole's Castle of Otranto, Anne Radcliffe's Mysteries of Udolpho, and
Matthew Gregory Lewis's The Monk are all examples of what type of novel that
deals with mysterious and supernatural events?
Gothic (Romance)
Many of the poems in William Blake's Songs of Innocence have matching poems
in Songs of Experience. Give the title of the innocent Blake poem which is meant
to be the counterpart to his work "The Tyger."
"(The) Lamb"
This author wrote Shamela and Joseph Andrews, both based on works by
Samuel Richardson. An English author, his other works include the farce Tom
Thumb and his greatest novel Tom Jones. Who was this great 18th century
(Henry) Fielding
After she is caught stealing, the title character of what Defoe novel is forced to go
to America, where she starts a new and prosperous life?
Moll Flanders
It contains the well-known lyric "When Lovely Woman Stoops To Folly" and tells
of the misfortunes of Charles Primrose and his family after losing their income.
What is the title of the only novel by Irish author Oliver Goldsmith?
(The) Vicar of Wakefield
In Paradise Lost, Milton ranks him as one of the chief lords in Hell, second only
to Satan. Identify this character whose name translates from the Hebrew as
"Lord of the Flies."
He attacked his literary enemy, Thomas Shadwell, in his satiric work "Mac
Flecknoe" and memorialized Oliver Cromwell in his "Heroic Stanzas." Who was
this English author whose other works include All For Love and Marriage a la
(John) Dryden
In his later years, this author spent much of his time outdoors fishing. Identify
this 17th century English writer best known for The Compleat Angler, a discourse
on the quiet pleasures of fishing.
(Izaak) Walton
This period in English literature began when Charles II regained the throne until
the year 1789. Name this period in which Ben Jonson, Alexander Pope, and
John Dryden all lived and wrote.
Restoration (Period or Era)
Consisting almost entirely of anecdotes and character sketches, what Laurence
Sterne novel is a chaotic account of the life of its title character?
Tristram Shandy [TRIS-truhm SHAN-dee]
What objects are being described in the following excerpt from a William
Wordsworth poem? Continuous as the stars that shine / And twinkle on the milky
way, / They stretched in never-ending line / Along the margin of a bay; / Ten
thousand saw I at a glance, / Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
This author's own life and exploits were reflected in those of his amoral
characters. Who was this Restoration-era dramatist whose successes include
The Comical Revenge and Man of Mode?
(Sir George) Etherege [ETH-uh-rij]
The overly jealous husband Pinchwife brings his wife Margery to London, where
she becomes familiar with the fashionable ways of society and ends up
cuckolding him with the libertine Horner in what Restoration drama by William
(The) Country Wife
An influence on later gothic works, what late 18th century tale by William
Beckford focuses on a young caliph's search for meaning and satisfaction?
This author wrote the domestic dramas The Christian Hero and Fatal Curiosity,
but he is best known for the break he made with theatrical conventions in his
tragic drama The London Merchant. Identify this English author.
(George) Lillo [LIL-oh]
Gulliver encounters this race in his fourth voyage. Although he longs to stay with
them forever, they see him as just another Yahoo and he is forced to leave their
land. Give the name for this race of rational horses who rule over the brutish
Yahoos in Swift's Gulliver's Travels.
Houyhnhnms [HWIN-umz]
It narrates the ascension of the goddess of Dulness and her newly appointed
prince to reign over the realm of all humane and intellectual pursuits. Identify this
1743 mock-epic that is considered Alexander Pope's finest literary achievement.
(The) Dunciad
A founding member of the Royal Society, he wrote his first volume of poems,
Poetical Blossoms, when he was only 15. The other collections of what English
metaphysical poet include The Mistress and Miscellanies?
(Abraham) Cowley
This English publisher was the first to print attractive and inexpensive books for
children. Who was this publisher after whom an award for children's literature is
(John) Newbery
Christian sets off on a quest to find peace in the Celestial City in what allegorical
work by author John Bunyan?
(The) Pilgrim's Progress
Considered the greatest poet of the 18th century, he wrote "Ode on the Death of
a Favorite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes" and the famous "Elegy Written
in a Country Churchyard." Name this author.
(Thomas) Gray
Subtitled "A Vision in a Dream," this 1798 poem is based on the historical
founder of a thirteenth-century Mongol empire. Name this poem by Samuel
Taylor Coleridge in which the title character decrees a stately pleasure-dome in
Xanadu [ZAN-uh-doo].
"Kubla Khan"
The 17th century poet Robert Herrick wrote the line, "Gather ye rosebuds while
ye may" in his famous poem "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time." In this line,
Herrick advocates what poetic motif which translates from Latin as "seize the
Carpe Diem [KAR-pay DEE-em]
One of the most popular comic authors of Restoration dramas, what 17th and
18th century English author wrote Love for Love and The Way of the World?
(William) Congreve
He attacked his literary enemy, Thomas Shadwell, in his satiric work "Mac
Flecknoe" and memorialized Oliver Cromwell in his "Heroic Stanzas." Who was
this English author whose other works include All For Love and Marriage a la
(John) Dryden
The Lament for Art O'Leary by Eileen O'Connell was a eulogy for her husband
who was killed by the sheriff of Cork. In what country was this eulogy set?
On his third voyage, Lemuel Gulliver is rescued by inhabitants of the island of
Laputa. What is so unusual about this large island?
This period in English literature began when Charles II regained the throne until
the year 1789. Name this period in which Ben Jonson, Alexander Pope, and
John Dryden all lived and wrote.
Restoration (Period or Era)
The police officer, Sergeant Cuff, first appears in what 1868 work by Wilkie
Collins, the first full-length detective novel?
(The) Moonstone
She is a rich, eccentric old recluse who lives in a decaying mansion. Who is this
character from Dickens's Great Expectations who was jilted on her wedding day
and has never taken off her wedding dress?
(Miss) Havisham
Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth collaborated to produce what
famous collection of poems in 1798?
Lyrical Ballads
This question requires a first and last name answer. Mary Wollstonecraft wrote
the famous work Vindication on the Rights of Women. Wollstonecraft was the
mother-in-law of what other famous author famous for the poem"To A Skylark"
and for the lyrical drama Prometheus Unbound?
Percy (Bysshe) Shelley
In 1823, this authored joined the Greek war for liberation from the Turks. Who
was this Romantic poet, the author of Don Juan?
(Lord) Byron (Accept: George Gordon)
While at a house party on the shore of Lake Geneva in Switzerland in the
summer of 1816, Lord Byron suggested that each of his guests compose a ghost
story to entertain the company. What famous Gothic work by Mary Shelley
resulted from this contest?
What English author wrote the work from which William Makepeace Thackeray
took the title for his novel Vanity Fair?
(John) Bunyan
"Porphyria's Lover" and "My Last Duchess" are two poems by Robert Browning.
These works are examples of what type of poem in which a fictional speaker
addresses a silent listener about some critical experience in his past?
Dramatic Monologue
After reading a composition in which a friend claimed that poetry no longer had a
place in society, this Romantic author wrote A Defense of Poetry to counter that
argument. Name this poet.
Percy (Bysshe) Shelley
Before writing Narrative of an Expedition to the Zanzibar and Its Tributaries, this
Scottish-born English missionary and explorer discovered the Zambezi River and
Victoria Falls. Name this man, the object of a famous search by Henry Stanley.
(David) Livingstone
"Gareth and Lynette," "Geraint and Enid," and "The Passing of Arthur" are all
works included in what series of poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson?
Idylls of the King
In what 1833 poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson does the author tell of an elderly
king from Roman mythology who yearns to return to the sea and sail away from
his home on the island of Ithaca?
During the first part of the 19th century, Gothic novels were so popular that the
English author Jane Austen wrote what 1818 novel meant to parody the popular
novels of her day?
Northanger Abbey
Identify the 19th and 20th century English author who gained popular success
with his novels of African adventure King Solomon's Mines and She.
(H. Rider) Haggard
This question requires a multiple answer. Two sisters in a famous 1811 novel by
Jane Austen are said to represent sense and sensibility. Name these two
Elinor AND Marianne (Dashwood)
An intelligent carpenter loves the young Hetty Sorrel, but she is seduced by the
village squire Arthur Donnithorne. As the novel progresses, the title character
comes to realize through his observations of Hetty that his own selfrighteousness is a form of pride. Identify this work by George Eliot.
Adam Bede
Charles Dickens's Barnaby Rudge is exemplary of this style of popular novel that
explored the nature of criminals and violence. What was this type of English
novel whose name was drawn from a famous London prison?
Newgate (Novel)
Identify the London-born female novelist and social critic who contrasted the
socioeconomic conditions in urban and rural areas of England in her 1855 work
North and South.
(Elizabeth) Gaskell
Name the fictitious artist who created a portrait of the title character in Robert
Browning's poem "My Last Duchess."
(Fra) Pandolf
Often known as the "Ettrick Shepherd," he spent his early life tending sheep.
Later, however, Sir Walter Scott encouraged him to write poetry. Name this 19th
century Scottish author of The Queen's Wake and The Private Memoirs and
Confessions of a Justified Sinner.
(James) Hogg
This poem is based on the legend that on a certain evening of the year, a young
girl who performs a certain ritual will be granted a glimpse of her future husband.
Give the title of this 1820 dreamlike poem by John Keats about the lovers
Madeline and Porphyro.
"(The) Eve of St. Agnes"
In which long poem by John Keats does the author write of a mortal beloved by
the moon goddess and of his despairing search for her?
"Endymion" [en-DIM-ee-uhn]
What 1898 work by Oscar Wilde resulted from a 2 year imprisonment for
indecent acts?
(The) Ballad of Reading Gaol
In his "In Memorian," Alfred Lord Tennyson writes that of fifty seeds nature often
brings how many to bear?
This question requires a first, middle, and last name answer. What poet wrote, "I
love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach" in her 1850
poem "How Do I Love Thee?"
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The Talisman, The Bride of Lamermoor, and The Lady of the Lake are all works
by what romantic author who is also known for his novel Ivanhoe?
(Sir Walter) Scott
The poem "Jabberwocky" can be found in what 1872 novel by Lewis Carroll, the
sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland?
Through the Looking Glass
Born with a clubfoot, George Gordon was a famous English Romantic poet. By
what name does the literary world better know George Gordon?
(Lord) Byron
In what 1833 poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson does the author tell of an elderly
king from Roman mythology who yearns to return to the sea and sail away from
his home on the island of Ithaca?
His real name is Jack Dawkins, but what is the more common name of the chief
pickpocket in Fagin's gang in Dickens' novel Oliver Twist?
Artful Dodger
This question requires a first and last name answer. Which of the three Bronte
sisters wrote The Professor, Shirley, Villette, and Jane Eyre?
Charlotte Bronte
In which century did the author of the poems "The Cotter's Saturday Night" and
"Tam o'Shanter" live?
18th (Century)
Name the fictitious artist who created a portrait of the title character in Robert
Browning's poem "My Last Duchess."
(Fra) Pandolf
"Gareth and Lynette," "Geraint and Enid," and "The Passing of Arthur" are all
works included in what series of poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson?
Idylls of the King
After reading too many novels about chivalry, this legendary character loses his
mind and goes through the Spanish countryside on a magnificent quest. On one
occasion, he attempts to fight a group of windmills because he believes them to
be giants. Name this title character of a famous 1605 novel by Miguel de
Cervantes [sair-VAHN-tays].
Don Quixote
These German siblings are considered the founders of modern German philology
as a systematic study. They are more famous, however, for their book of folk
and fairy tales for children. Who were they?
(Jacob and Wilhelm) Grimm (Accept: Brothers Grimm)
According to a drama by Friedrich von Schiller, the tyrannical Gessler forced
what Swiss hero to shoot an apple off his son's head?
William Tell
Montesquieu and Rousseau were active in what intellectual movement of the
18th century that was influenced by the rise of modern science?
Enlightenment (Accept: Age of Reason)
During Russia's Kievan period, these folk chants were associated with the 10thcentury Grand Prince Vladimer of Kiev. Give the collective term for these
important oral tales in early Russian literature.
Byliny [by-LEE-nee]
He devoted his entire life to the theater, and he even died after collapsing while
on stage. Name this popular 17th century French playwright who authored
Tartuffe and The Misanthrope.
Moliere (Accept: Jean-Baptiste Poquelin)
The famous line, "Let us cultivate our garden," was meant by its author to
encourage common sense in the readers. This is the concluding line of which
1759 philosophical tale by Voltaire?
Candide [kan-DEED]
Aleksandr Radishchev's [rah-DEESH-cheffs] Journey from St. Petersburg to
Moscow so enraged what empress that she banished him to Siberia?
Catherine the Great (Accept: Catherine II)
Traditionally, when a red flag flew above the Globe Theater, a history was being
performed. A white flag signified a comedy. What color flag was flown to show
that a tragedy was being staged?
Often considered the founder of French tragedy, name the 17th century
playwright whose works include Horace and Le Cid.
(Pierre) Corneille [kohr-NAY]
The French playwright Pierre Corneille [kohr-NAY] wrote the drama Le Cid in
1637. In this work, Corneille retold popular legends surrounding a warrior from
which country?
This practice can be traced to ancient times when spirits were thought to live in
trees. In Ireland, it's believed that this practice is performed to thank leprechauns
for good luck. What is this common practice performed in hopes of bringing luck
or good fortune?
Knocking on Wood
In what country did the theatrical genre known as commedia dell arte [kohmMAY-dee-ah del AHR-tay] develop in the mid-1500s?
What word does the Talmud use to describe food that has been prepared so that
it is fit and suitable under Jewish law?
Kosher [KOH-shur]
What city in southeastern Wisconsin on Lake Michigan has the same name as a
great French tragic dramatist of the 17th century?
Racine [ruh-SEEN]
In the 1630 play The Love Rogue, Tirso [TEER-soh] de Molina [moh-LEE-nah]
created what legendary Spanish character known for his womanizing?
Don Juan
This question requires a multiple answer. They originated in the farcical
commedia dell arte [kohm-MAY-dee-ah del AHR-tay] sometime in the early 17th
century. Name these two main heroes in countless English puppet shows.
Punch AND Judy
The plot of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera revolves around what rakish
highwayman and his rivalry with Jeremy Peachum?
(Captain) Macheath
"Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains." What French thinker of the
Enlightenment wrote this in The Social Contract?
(Jean Jacques) Rousseau [roo-SOH]
This English author is considered to be the father of the satirical novel. Identify
this 18th century author of the picaresque novel Roderick Random and the
epistolary novel The Expedition of Humphry Clinker.
(Tobias) Smollett [SMAHL-it]
This work classifies governments into three categories- monarchies, republics,
and despotisms. It also describes the separation of governmental powers into
three branches- the executive, legislative, and judicial. Name this work by
Charles Montesquieu [mohn-tess-kee-OOH].
(The) Spirit of the Laws
Identify the French Enlightenment thinker who compiled a famous encyclopedia
of rationalist thought.
(Denis) Diderot [dee-der-OH]
Often considered Russia's greatest poet, the works of what author include the
short story "The Queen of Spades" and the play Boris Godunov [guh-doonAWF]?
(Aleksander) Pushkin
Its major exponents were Goethe [GUR-tuh] and Schiller, and its chief goals
were freedom and a return to nature. What was this German literary and
intellectual movement of the 1770s and early 1780s whose name translates as
"storm and stress"?
Sturm und Drang [SHTOORM unt DRAHNG]
Dating from the early 17th century, what type of prayer is recited at the close of
Jewish religious services and by relatives of a deceased person at times of
William Makepeace Thackeray and A.A. Milne were writers for what British
humor magazine known for its cartoons of public figures and satirical
commentary on political issues?
The action takes place in a Russian provincial town whose officials mistake a
new arrival for an imperial government investigator assigned to look into
allegations of corruption. The officials set about impressing and bribing the
visitor, who makes the most of his false identity and escapes before the real
investigator appears. This is the plot of which drama by Nikolai Gogol [GOHgul]?
(The) Inspector General
What character says the following to the tyrant Gessler in a well-known drama?
"If that my hand had struck my darling child, this second arrow I had aimed at
you. And, be assured, I should not then have missed."
William Tell (Accept: Wilhelm Tell)
The Russian author Ivan Krylov [krih-LAWF] is famous for writing what type of
moral tales with animals as characters?
Often called the world's greatest novel, it is a chronicle of the Napoleonic Wars in
Russia. Name this novel by Leo Tolstoy.
War and Peace
His stories include "The Black Monk" and "Ward Number Six." His dramas
include The Wedding, The Seagull, and The Cherry Orchard. Which Russian
author is he?
(Anton) Chekhov
Twenty Years After is a sequel to what Alexandre Dumas novel about Athos,
Porthos, and Aramis?
(The) Three Musketeers
It is the story of Emma, a French woman who is unhappy in her marriage. Emma
finds that love affairs are not as romantic as they seem in novels. Name this
work by Gustave Flaubert [floh-BAIR].
Madame Bovary
Thus Spake Zarathustra introduced the concepts of the will to power, the
superman, and the death of God. Which German philosopher wrote this work?
(Friedrich) Nietzsche [NEE-che]
The Austrian author Max Brod [BROHT] was the chief editor and loyal friend of
this writer who is remembered for The Trial, The Castle, and The
Metamorphosis. Name him.
(Franz) Kafka
This adjective is applied to writing that is characterized by seemingly pointless or
often disturbing complexity. What is this adjective that was derived from the
author of "The Metamorphosis"?
Set in 19th century Holland, what novel by the American writer Mary Mapes
Dodge tells of a 15-year-old boy whose family is so impoverished that he enters
a skating contest to earn some money?
Hans Brinker (or, The Silver Skates)
This Russian author moved from literary romanticism to his own brand of realism.
Name this 19th century author of such works as "Taras Bulba," The Inspector
General, and Dead Souls.
(Nikolai) Gogol [GOH-gul]
His first play, Cromwell, was so bad that he was advised to try anything except
writing. He stuck with it, however, and produced a series of novels that he titled
The Human Comedy. Name this French author.
(Honore de [oh-nohr-AY]) Balzac [bahl-ZAHK]
In 1816, the Italian composer Gioacchino Rossini [rohs-SEE-nee] adapted a play
by what French author into a celebrated opera titled The Barber of Seville?
(Pierre de) Beaumarchais [boh-mahr-SHAY]
It expresses the incompatibility between a rich inner life and the practical life
required by society. What autobiographical novel by Johann von Goethe [GURtuh] earned him an international reputation and proved influential in the
development of romanticism?
(The) Sorrows of Young Werther
What German author used his first-hand knowledge of trench warfare in World
War I to write the popular work All Quiet in the Western Front?
(Erich) Remarque [ruh-MAHRK]
His works foreshadowed the psychological novels that would appear in the 20th
century. What 19th century French author is remembered for the two novels The
Charterhouse of Parma and The Red and the Black?
Stendhal [stan-DAHL] (Accept: Henri Marie Beyle)
Called the father of the modern Italian novel, what author's works include The
Fifth of May and The Betrothed?
(Alessandro) Manzoni
Harry Haller is depicted as a man with dual personalities in which of Herman
Hesse's [HES-ehz] works?
The old parable "The more you have, the more you want" comes into play in this
short story by Leo Tolstoy. Name the story in which the peasant Pahom has
dreams of acquiring more and more land.
"How Much Land Does A Man Need"
In Goethe's [GUR-tuhz] Faust, the title character searches for the beautiful Helen
of Troy on this night. Traditionally held on the night preceding May the first, what
is the name for this night when witches held a Sabbath at which they
rendezvoused with the devil?
Walpurgis Night (Accept: Walpurgisnacht)
Translating as "truth," give the name of the Russian periodical that served as the
official newspaper of Lenin's Bolshevik party since 1912 and of the Soviet Union
from 1918 until 1991.
Pravda [PRAHV-duh]
What 1846 novel by Dostoyevsky has been hailed as the quintessential
doppelganger story?
(The) Double
This question requires a multiple answer. What are the first names of the title
characters in Anton Chekhov's drama The Three Sisters?
Irina, Masha, AND Olga
The daughter of a French politician, she had numerous affairs, the most famous
one being with the novelist Benjamin Constant. In her works, she helped to
develop modern literary criticism. Name this author of Corinne and The Influence
of Literature upon Society.
(Madame de) Stael [STAHL]
The title character falls in love with Count Vronsky and leaves her husband and
child to be with him. Name this adultress and you've also named what 1877
novel by Leo Tolstoy?
Anna Karenina [kah-RAY-nee-nah]
The French author Victor Hugo first published The Hunchback of Notre Dame in
1831. Name the wild gypsy girl to whom the hunchbacked bellringer Quasimodo
is devoted in this classic novel.
What was the nationality of the author of the famous symbolist poetry volume
The Flowers of Evil?
Name the California county which holds an annual frog jumping contest that was
inspired by a popular short story by the American humorist Mark Twain.
Calaveras (County)
Four men set out on a whitewater canoe voyage in the Georgia wilderness. They
encounter savage backwoodsmen and escape down the river in what 1970 novel
by James Dickey?
In 1996, Donald Foster at Vassar College identified a previously unknown elegy
by this English author. This was the first newly discovered piece to be attributed
to him since parts of the play Sir Thomas More were credited to him in 1871.
Identify this Elizabethan playwright known for his 36 plays and 154 sonnets.
(William) Shakespeare
Name the 9th century English monarch who established The Anglo-Saxon
Chronicle as the continuous register of national events.
Alfred (the Great)
The American writer Sarah Josepha Hale is credited with authoring what popular
children's rhyme inspired by an actual case of a child being followed to school by
her pet?
"Mary Had A Little Lamb"
In 1921, what writer became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction
for her work The Age of Innocence?
(Edith) Wharton
It concerns the members of the Baltimore Gun Club who conceive the idea of
building an enormous cannon to shoot a "space-bullet" into the air. Give the title
of this classic science fiction novel by Jules Verne.
From the Earth to the Moon
Ba! Ba! Black Sheep was one of the original working titles of what classic novel
about Scarlett O'Hara?
Gone With the Wind
This American writer died from complications after swallowing part of a toothpick
at a 1941 cocktail party. Name this author of Windy McPherson's Son and
Winesburg, Ohio.
(Sherwood) Anderson
In the story "The Birds of Killingsworth," farmers kill a group of birds because
they believe them to be harmful to their crops. With the birds gone, however, the
caterpillars do even more damage to the crops. What author included this ironic
story in his Tales of a Wayside Inn?
(Henry Wadsworth) Longfellow
He witnessed the Plague and the Great Fire of London in 1666.
Englishman who wrote about these events in his famous diary.
(Samuel) Pepys [PEEPS]
Name the
Name the Norwegian-American novelist whose work Giants in the Earth conveys
a realistic portrait of immigrant life on the Dakota prairies.
(Ole E.) Rolvaag [RURL-vawk]
Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote the popular Anne of Green Gables. This work is
set in which smallest Canadian province?
Prince Edward Island
The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel was based on a story by what
Hungarian author?
(Ferenc) Molnar
In which state is the Erskine Caldwell novel Tobacco Road set?
John's hunger for knowledge drives him to enter the forbidden ruins and learn the
secrets of the "gods." What is this Steven Vincent Benet short story in which the
son of a priest reveals to his people all he has learned of the terrible past?
"By the Waters of Babylon"
From which famous American short story has the following first lines been taken?
"Far out in the country there was an old Negro woman with her head tied in a red
rag, coming along a path through the pinewoods. Her name was Phoenix
"(A) Worn Path"
Name the English mystery writer who is famous for her classic detective novels
featuring the amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey.
(Dorothy L.) Sayers
Born into a wealthy Geneva family, he developed an early fascination with the
scientists Albertus Magnus and Paracelsus. Name this fictional "mad scientist"
who tells his story to Captain Walton while stuck in the Arctic in a famous Mary
Shelley novel.
(Dr. Victor) Frankenstein
In what 1925 novel did Bruce Barton portray Jesus and his disciples as
successful businessmen?
The Man Nobody Knows
Dating back to the 7th century, this festival promotes the Welsh tradition and
national language. Name this annual festival at which bards compete in poetry,
drama, and music.
Eisteddfod [y-STETH-vuhd]
Under the guidance of Merlin, he rescues his sister from Elfland, where the
fairies have taken here. Name this younger brother of "the fair Burd Ellen" in an
old Scottish ballad.
(Childe) Rowland
She is the daughter of the king's official storyteller. When she is born, it is
prophesied that she will be the most beautiful woman of Ireland but that she will
bring bloodshed and death. Who is this heroine of the Ulster Cycle.
Deirdre (of the Sorrows)
Lady Charlotte Guest was the first to translate what collection of medieval Welsh
tales into English?
(The) Mabinogion
The Tale of Genji [GEN-jee] is often considered the world's first novel. In what
country was this work written?
The Circle of Chalk is a classical play from the literature of which Asian country?
He was born in Poland in 1904 but later emigrated to the United States. The
works of which Nobel Prize-winning Yiddish author include The Family Moskat
and Shadows on the Hudson?
(Isaac Bashevis) Singer
Scheherazade told these stories to her husband the sultan every night to save
her life. What is this famous collection of folktales from Persia and India?
Arabian Nights (Accept: The Thousand and One [Arabian] Nights)
In 1629, women were banned from professional stages in Japan. Since that
time, what type of stylized drama has been performed only by men?
Kabuki (Accept: Bunraku)
After Humbert Humbert moves to the United States, he falls in love with what
much-younger title character of a Vladimir Nabokov novel?
The Indian-born author Salman Rushdie was forced to go into hiding after the
publication of which of his novels so enraged Ayatollah Khomeini that a reward
was offered for his murder?
(The) Satanic Verses
The Japanese author Matsuo Basho [BAH-shoh] is famous for writing what type
17-syllable poems?
Nora Helmer and her husband Torvald are the leading characters in which of
Henrik Ibsen's dramas?
(A) Doll's House
More than 2,500 years ago, Sun Tzu composed this military masterpiece. Give
the title of this military treatise that shows the way to a clean and aesthetic
triumph over life's obstacles.
(The) Art of War
In what work can the following four lines be found? "Come, fill the Cup, and in
the fire of Spring / Your Winter-garment of Repentance fling: / The Bird of Time
has but a little way / To flutter--and the Bird is on the Wing."
(The) Rubaiyat [ROO-by-yaht] (of Omar Khayyam)
Also called the Festival of the Two Worlds, the Spoleto [spoh-LAI-toh] Festival is
a famous literary and artistic fair that takes place on a yearly basis. In what
country was this festival originally held?
What is the nationality of the internationally-acclaimed playwright Athol Fugard
South African
In 1973, what novelist and playwright became the first Australian to win the Nobel
Prize for literature?
(Patrick) White
What Czech author coined the word "robot" in his 1921 play R.U.R.?
(Karl) Capek [CHAH-pek]
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting is the most celebrated novel of what Czech
writer who also penned The Art of the Novel and The Unbearable Lightness of
(Milan) Kundera [KUN-duh-ruh]
In 1963, the poet George Seferis [se-FAIR-is] became the first person of what
nationality to win the Nobel Prize for literature?
In 1938, he wrote The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel, a work which picks up where
Homer's story left off. He is more famous, however, for such novels as The Last
Temptation of Christ and Zorba the Greek. Name him.
(Nikos [NEE-kohs]) Kazantzakis [kah-zahnd-ZAH-kees]
Name the 19th and 20th century Lebanese poet who wrote such works as The
Prophet, Love Letters, and A Tear and a Smile.
(Kahlil) Gibran [juh-BRAHN]
The scene is a battlefield with the prince Arjuna pitted against his own family, but
no sooner does the poem begin than the action reverts inward. Krishna, Arjuna's
avatar and spiritual guide, points the way to the supreme wisdom and perfect
freedom that lie within everyone's reach. Give the title of this Indian epic that is
regarded to be one of the greatest spiritual books ever written.
Bhagavad Gita
Inspired by elements from Yoruba folklore and mythology, what was the first
novel written by the Nigerian author Amos Tutuola [too-too-OH-luh]?
(The) Palm-Wine Drinkard
Cao Chan wrote 80 chapters of what greatest Chinese novel that was completed
by another author, Kao Eh?
(The) Dream of the Red Chamber
Winner of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1920, this author's most famous novel
is the story of one family's struggles in the Norwegian wilderness. Name this
author of The Growth of the Soil.
(Knut) Hamsun [kuh-NOOT HAHM-sun]
It emerged in the 16th century when it was developed by Basho [BAH-shoh] from
Buddhist and Taoist [DOW-ist] traditions. Give the name for this type of short
poem from Japan which contains 17 syllables arranged in lines of 5, 7, and 5
Haiku [HY-koo]
The Book of the Dead is a collection of songs, hymns, and prayers from what
ancient civilization?
In The Arabian Nights, Ali Baba opens the door to the thieves' cave by uttering
what magical phrase?
"Open Sesame"
The Analects is a collection of the sayings and teachings of what ancient
Its English translation consists of 54 chapters and provides a look at the
Japanese court life of the 11th century. Give the title of this book, considered to
be the world's oldest novel.
(The) Tale of Gengi
"Good fences make good neighbors" writes what American poet in his work
"Mending Wall"?
(Robert) Frost
Thomas Hardy's poem "The Convergence of the Twain" was written in
remembrance of what ocean liner which sank in April of 1912 after it collided with
an iceberg in the North Atlantic?
Wilfred Owen's poem "Dulce et Decorum Est" was written about the horrors of
which major war?
World War I
In what long poem of the beat generation does Allen Ginsberg speak of a society
that has "destroyed the best minds of [his] generation"?
Rudolf Fisher, James Weldon Johnson, Zora Neale Hurston, and Langston
Hughes are all writers who are associated with what New York City literary
movement of the 1920s and early '30s?
Harlem Renaissance
In what fictitious locale are the poems "Mr. Flood's Party" and "Richard Cory,"
both by E.A. Robinson, set?
Tilbury Town
When she returned to California from a world lecture tour, she wished to visit her
childhood home in Oakland. However, once she arrived this author could not
locate her former home, which prompted her famous statement, "There is no
there there." Name this 20th century author.
(Gertrude) Stein
This 1915 poetry collection is set in the cemetery of a small Midwestern town
where the deceased townsfolk entertain the reader with anecdotes, images, and
advice from their past lives. Name this best-known work of American poet Edgar
Lee Masters.
Spoon River Anthology
The American poet Archibald MacLeish wrote the poem "Ars Poetica" in 1926.
The title of this work is an allusion to a poetical treatise by what 1st century B.C.
Roman poet?
Horace [HOHR-uhs]
Known as the "renegade of American poetry," what beat-generation author wrote
such poems a "Marriage" and "Bomb"?
(Gregory) Corso
"Sailing to Byzantium" and "The Second Coming" are two poems by what Irish
author of the late 19th and early 20th centuries?
(William Butler) Yeats [YAYTS]
Whom did Whitman call our country's first "great martyr chief" in his elegy "When
Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd"?
(Abraham) Lincoln
This question requires a full-name answer. He was always quietly arrayed and
he was always human when he talked, but still he flutered pulses when he said,
"Good morning," and he glittered when he walked." Identify this E.A. Robinson
title character who "went home and put a bullet through his head."
Richard Cory
Richard Bone and Lucinda Matlock are two of the former inhabitants of a small
town who speak from their graves to tell us their story in what collection by Edgar
Lee Masters?
Spoon River Anthology
Give the word which fills in the blank in the following excerpt from a Carl
Sandburg poem. "Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo. Shovel them
under and let me work--I am the BLANK; I cover all."
Each year two neighbors meet in the spring to repair a stone divider separating
their properties in this Frost poem. Which poem is it?
"Mending Wall"
Amy Lowell, Hilda Doolittle, and Ezra Pound were all active in what literary
movement of the early 20th century that attempted to revitalize the language of
Name the American poet who wrote in his poem "Reflections on Ice Breaking"
that "Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker."
(Ogden) Nash
In which of A.E. Housman's poems do the following lines appear? "The time you
won your town the race / We chaired you through the market-poace / Man and
boy stood cheering by, / And home we brought you shoulder-high."
"To An Athlete Dying Young"
Oliver Wendell Holmes first published this poem in his "Breakfast-Table" column
in the Atlantic Monthly in 1858. Identify this poem about a horse-drawn vehicle
which, despite the fact that it was built to last forever, spontaneously turns to dust
exactly 100 years after it was built.
"(The) Deacon's Masterpiece" (Accept: "(The) Wonderful 'One-Hoss
In "The Great Figure" by William Carlos Williams, the speaker says that he sees
what figure painted in gold on a red fire truck?
(The Number) Five
Give the title of the Theodore Roethke poem in which a young boy enjoys a
romping dance with his father.
"My Papa's Waltz"
This 10-volume work is the author's attempt to explain history, economics, and
culture. What epic poem by Ezra Pound stirred up controversy when one of its
volumes was awarded the 1949 Bollingen Prize in Poetry?
(The) Cantos
His poetry collections The Broken Ground, Wheels, and Sabbaths all deal with
farming life in Kentucky. Identify this contemporary poet, a graduate of the
University of Kentucky, who is known for his studies of American farming and its
(Wendell) Berry
Lunch Poems and A City Winter are two works by what U.S. author, a leading
member of the New York School of poets and artists?
(Frank) O'Hara
In what 1965 poem does Sylvia Plath confront conflicting feelings about the
death of her father when she was a child?
Between 1906 and 1912, he toured the United States on foot, giving readings of
his poetry in exchange for food and lodging. Name this poet whose first
recognition came in 1913 for the poem "General William Booth Enters Into
(Vachel [VAY-chul]) Lindsay
"Nocturne at Bethesda" and "Reconnaissance" are among the best-known
poems of this Harlem Renaissance author. Name this author of the poetry
collection The Old South and the novel Black Thunder.
(Arna) Bontemps [BOHN-tohm]
In what 1939 drama does Lillian Hellman tell of the Hubbard family and depict the
rise of industrialism in the South?
(The) Little Foxes
Which city serves as the setting for Tennessee Williams' nostalgic play The
Glass Menagerie?
St. Louis
Homecoming, The Hunted, and The Haunted are the three parts of this dramatic
trilogy by Eugene O'Neill. Name this series inspired by the Oresteia [or-es-TEEuh] of Aeschylus [ES-kuh-luhs].
Mourning Becomes Electra
Although he believed that humans are free, he also believed that we are
responsible for the choices we make. Identify this 20th century dramatist whose
existentialist philosophy can be seen in such works as The Flies and No Exit.
(Jean-Paul) Sartre [SAHR-truh]
This question requires a first and last name answer. As he slips away from
reality, he imagines that he sees his brother Ben, a successful diamond-miner
and a man with all the luck. By the end of the play, he can no longer relate to his
oldest son Biff, and he sees suicide as the only option. Who is this main
character in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman?
Willy Loman
The title of which of Arthur Miller's plays could be restated as The Heat-Resistant
Container for Melting Metals?
(The) Crucible
Eugene O'Neill's 1943 drama A Moon for the Misbegotten is a sequel to which of
his other plays about the dysfunctional Tyrone family?
Long Day's Journey Into Night
Considered innovative for its lack of props and scenery, this play is revered for its
sentimental yet realistic depiction of rural America. The Stage Manager acts as
the narrator of which of Thornton Wilder's dramas that is set in Grover's Corners?
Our Town
This black American author completed only two plays before her death in 1965.
Identify this author of The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window and A Raisin in the
(Lorraine) Hansberry
A comedy dealing with a family of lovable eccentrics won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize
for its authors Moss Hart and George S. Kaufmann. What was the play's title?
You Can't Take It With You
This early 20th-century French author influenced the development of modern
literature with his experimental writing and narrative techniques. Identify this
author of The Immoralist, Straight is the Gate, and The Counterfeiters.
(Andre) Gide [ZHEED]
Fool For Love, The Tooth of Crime, and The Curse of the Starving Class are all
dramas by what Pulitzer Prize winning playwright?
(Sam) Shepard
After several unsuccessful attempts on Broadway, he cofounded the Circle
Repertory Company in 1969. He finally achieved success on Broadway in 1980
with Fifth of July and his Pulitzer-Prize winning play Talley's Folly. Who is this
contemporary American dramatist?
(Lanford) Wilson
For what play was Alfred Uhry awarded the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1988?
Driving Miss Daisy
German in origin, it was an outgrowth of post-World War I theatrical
expressionism. The playwright Bertolt Brecht was its greatest proponent. What
is this form of episodic drama that shattered the unities of Aristotelian drama?
Epic Theater
His bizarre comedies were noted for their violence, precise plotting, and comic
dialogue. Which 20th century English playwrights works include What the Butler
Saw and Entertaining Mr. Sloane?
(Joe) Orton
The lives of a group of lonely women in a small Kansas town are dirupted by the
appearance of a charming drifter in what three-act drama by William Inge?
Of the following four dramas, which one or ones did the English playwright
Harold Pinter write? A) The Birthday Party B) Six Characters in Search of an
Author C) Watch on the Rhine D) The Caretaker
A AND D (Accept: The Birthday Party AND The Caretaker)
The political satires of this Italian dramatist recall the improvisatory nature of the
commedia dell'arte [kohm-MAY-dee-ah del AHR-tay]. Give the name of this
contemporary author whose works include Mistero Buffo and Accidental Death of
an Anarchist.
(Dario) Fo
Give the title of the 1907 play, the most popular "native theme" drama of
Augustus Thomas, that thrilled audiences with its portrayal of hypnotism.
(The) Witching Hour
Stephen Crane wrote the short story "The Blue Hotel" and Toni Morrison wrote
the novel The Bluest Eye, but what three-act tragedy by James Baldwin has this
color in its title?
(The) Blues for Mister Charlie
Temptation and The Garden Party are two plays by this contemporary Czech
playwright. Identify this individual who became Czechoslovakia's leader after
that country's Communist regime was ousted in 1989.
(Vaclav [VAHTS-lahv]) Havel [HAH-vul]
The film script for the 1959 version of Ben Hur was written by what English
playwright whose works include Venus Observed, A Sleep of Prisoners, and This
Lady's Not For Burning?
(Christopher) Fry
He began his Broadway career in the 1950's and has authored such works as
Come Blow Your Horn, Plaza Suite, and the Brighton Beach Memoirs. Name
this man, contemporary American theatre's most commercially successful
(Neil) Simon
Martha and George engage in a series of verbal arguments in what 1962 drama
by Edward Albee?
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
A "tragicomedy in two acts," it concerns the tramps Vladimir and Estragon who
await the title character. Give the name of this 1952 drama by Irish author
Samuel Beckett that comments on the utter absurdity of the human condition.
Waiting For Godot
The poet T.S. Eliot wrote the verse drama Murder in the Cathedral about the
martyrdom of which archbishop of Canterbury?
(Thomas a) Becket
This author almost stopped writing after his 1959 play A Loss of Roses failed on
Broadway. He did, however, have many successes such as Picnic, Come Back
Little Sheba, and Bus Stop. Name this American playwright of the 1950s who
committed suicide in 1973.
(William) Inge [INJ]
Lorraine Hansberry's best known play, A Raisin in the Sun, is set in a whitedominated suburb of which major American city?
Arthur Miller's 1964 drama After the Fall portrays the author's unhappy marriage
to what famous film actress?
(Marilyn) Monroe
A lawyer turned playwright, he began his writing career with the courtroom drama
On Trial. Name this 20th century dramatist better remembered for The Adding
Machine and Street Scene.
(Elmer) Rice
Set in 1900s San Francisco, the play I Remember Mama was written by what
London-born American dramatist?
(John) Van Druten
Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley appear in what 1926 novel by Lost
Generation-author Ernest Hemingway?
(The) Sun Also Rises
This question requires a first and last name answer. What author won the 1945
Pulitzer Prize for his novel A Bell For Adano?
John Hersey
The Mummy, The Witching Hour, and The Tale of the Body Thief are all works by
what contemporary American author known for her Vampire Chronicles?
(Anne) Rice
This 1902 novella was drawn from its author's own experiences as the captain of
a West African river steamer in 1890. Give the title of this work in which Marlowe
journeys up the Congo River in search of the ivory trader Mr. Kurtz.
Heart of Darkness
In which of Daniel Keys' short stories does he write of the mentally-challenged
janitor Charlie Gordon who suddenly becomes very intelligent through
experimental procedures?
"Flowers For Algernon"
This author wrote about the Depression in his nonfiction work Let Us Now Praise
Famous Men and took a look at effect a man's death has on his 6-year-old son in
the autobiographical work A Death in the Family. Name this Pulitzer Prizewinning author.
(James) Agee [AY-jee]
The American author Joseph Heller is widely known for his novel Catch-22.
What title did Heller originally want to give to this work?
Name the 20th century American author best known for such panoramic
Westerns as The Big Sky, These Thousand Hills, and The Way West.
(A.B.) Guthrie
Set in Russia during 1913, what 1966 novel by Bernard Malamud earned him the
Pulitzer Prize and his second National Book Award?
(The) Fixer
This short story has no human characters and is an ironic reflection on the
strengths and weaknesses of human nature. Identify the Ray Bradbury work in
which he warns that technology can be very dangerous if we do not have the
wisdom to use it correctly.
"There Will Come Soft Rains"
From what 1906 novel were the following lines taken? "Up to a year or two ago,
it had been the custom to kill horses in the yards--ostensibly for fertilizer, but after
long agitation the newspapers had been able to make the public realize that the
horses were being canned."
(The) Jungle
This question requires a first and last name answer. "Man without enemies like
dog without fleas" is just one of the clever proverbs spoken by what Chinese
detective created by Earl Derr Biggers?
Charlie Chan
First published in 1930, it is considered one of William Faulkner's greatest works.
Identify this novel about a poor family's wagon journey to bury the deceased
Addie Bundren.
As I Lay Dying
After its protagonist has been expelled from prep school, he wanders New York
City searching for truth and railing against the "phoniness" of the adult world.
Give the title of this 1951 novel by J.D. Salinger that chronicles two days in the
life of 16-year-old Holden Caulfield.
Catcher in the Rye
This author's The Witches of Eastwick inspired a movie starring Jack Nicholson
and Cher. He wrote the story collection Pigeon Feathers, but he is best known
for such novels as Rabbit Run and Rabbit is Rich. Who is this contemporary
(John) Updike
The wealthy financier Charles Yerkes provided the inspiration for this author's
Cowperwood trilogy. Name this leading exponent of naturalism whose works
such as Sister Carrie and Jennie Gerhardt were considered immoral.
(Theodore) Dreiser
Cup of Gold and The Pastures of Heaven are two early works by this Californiaborn author who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962. What author's other
works include Tortilla Flat and The Grapes of Wrath?
(John) Steinbeck
He begins his career by battling the special interests and ends his life totally
corrupted, the victim of an assassin's bullet. Name this Southern backwoods
politician whose story is told in All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren.
(Willie) Stark
Her works include Girls of Slender Means and A Far Cry From Kensington, but
she is best remembered for her 1961 novel about a highly unconventional
teacher at an Edinburgh girl's school. Identify this contemporary Scottish author
of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
(Muriel) Spark
A harsh critic of the Soviet Union's government, name the 20th century author of
The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.
(Aleksandr) Solzhenitsyn [sohl-zhuh-NEET-sin]
Give the title of Joseph Heller's 1994 novel that was written as a sequel to his
1961 novel Catch-22.
Closing Time
The Chinese detective Charlie Chan was created by what author in 1925's The
House Without A Key?
(Earl Derr) Biggers
Framton Nuttel takes a trip to the country to improve his health in this ironic short
story. Give the title of this Saki story in which Vera convinces Mr. Nuttel that he
has actually seen ghosts.
"(The) Open Window"
The young Paul has the names of winning racehorses revealed to him in what
short story by the English author D.H. Lawrence?
"(The) Rocking Horse Winner"
This question requires a first and last name answer. At the conclusion of James
Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, what character discovers his
identity as a writer and leaves Ireland for the greater freedom of Europe?
Stephen Dedalus
Sam Spade is hired by a vulnerable young woman to find a priceless, ancient
statue in what "hard-boiled" detective novel by Dashiell Hammett that was made
into a memorable film in 1941 that starred Humphry Bogart and Mary Astor?
(The) Maltese Falcon
This author's The Quiet American was based on his experience as a journalist in
French Indochina. His earlier work, The Power and the Glory, told of an alcoholic
priest in revolutionary Mexico. Identify the British author who wrote these works.
(Graham) Greene
When asked why he wrote one of his novels, this Italian author replied, "I felt like
poisoning a monk." Name this contemporary author known for the 1980 novel
The Name of the Rose.
(Umberto) Eco
A Russian peasant is briefly captured by the Germans at the end of World War II.
He manages to escape and return to fight with the Soviet forces, but he is sent to
a forced labor camp as a traitor. Give the title of this Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
[suhl-zhuh-NEE-tsin] novel that depicts a single day for a typical Soviet prisoner.
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Soon after arriving on Earth, a young Martian is exploited by scientists,
newsmen, and politicians. Eventually, he founds his own church which teaches
Martian customs that contradict those of Earth. These events transpire in what
science fiction classic by Robert Heinlein?
Stranger in a Strange Land
Which of his novels did the British author Malcolm Lowry [LOW-ree] describe as
"a drunken Divine Comedy"?
Under the Volcano
In the 2003 book An Unfinished Life, author Robert Dallek traces the life of what
notable American from his birth in 1917 to his assassination in 1963?
(John F.) Kennedy
The 2002 Pulitzer Prize for biography was awarded to David McCullough for his
book about the life of which president?
(John) Adams
It was the result of a six-year study of the murder of a rural Kansas family by two
young drifters. Name this 1966 nonfiction novel by Truman Capote.
In Cold Blood
He turned to piracy after a career as a privateer during the War of Spanish
Succession. Operating from a base in North Carolina, he attacked ships in the
Caribbean and along the Atlantic coast of North America during the early 18th
century. Who was this English pirate whose real name was Edward Teach?
Pierre Galente's 2002 book Operation Valkyrie describes a 1944 plot to kill which
world leader?
(Adolf) Hitler
In what 1959 novel did James A. Michener describe the geological creation of a
famous island group and the successive human migrations up to the time the
islands became a U.S. state?
In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt coined what term that is applied to such
writers as Ray Baker, Ida Tarbell, and Upton Sinclair who expose corruption in
business and politics?
Her 1942 autobiography was titled Dust Tracks on a Road. Name this AfricanAmerican folklorist who wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God.
(Zora Neale) Hurston
The theme of the 2002 book Nothing Is Impossible is that we are all capable of
overcoming seemingly insurmountable hardships. What film actor wrote this
book to show readers how, despite his paralysis, he still continues to believe that
"life is worth living"?
(Christopher) Reeve
Paul Elie's 2003 biography The Life You Save May Be Your Own describes a
20th century literary group jokingly dubbed "the School of the Holy Ghost."
Among the members of this group were Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, Walker
Percy, and what chronically ill, Georgia-born author of Wise Blood and
Everything That Rises Must Converge?
(Flannery) O'Connor
Give the word which completes the following humorous clerihew by E.C. Bentley.
"Sir Humphrey Davy / Abominated gravy / He lived in the odium/ Of having
discovered…" what?
What five words complete the following verse about a well-known murderer?
"Lizzie Borden took an ax/ And gave her mother forty whacks/ And when she saw
what she had done…"
"She gave her father forty-one"
This Scotsman became a lawyer like his father and went on to become a writer.
Name the author of Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides who is best known as the
biographer of Samuel Johnson.
(James) Boswell
Noted for his realistic portrayal of Midwestern rural life, what 19th and 20th
century author's works include the autobiographical novels Son of the Middle
Border and A Daughter of the Middle Border?
(Hamlin) Garland
This question requires a first and last name answer. In Mutiny on the Bounty by
Nordhoff and Hall, what character leads the revolt against the tyrannical Captain
Fletcher Christian
Which famous American historian has been awarded two Pulitzer Prizes for her
works The Guns of August and Stilwell and the American Experience in China,
(Barbara) Tuchman
Irving Stone was a pioneer in a genre he called the "biographical novel." He told
of Michelangelo in The Agony and the Ecstasy and of Eugene Debs in Adversary
in the House. What American author was the subject of Stone's Sailor on
(Jack) London
In what inspirational book does Mitch Albom tell how he spent several months
regularly visiting his old college professor during the teacher's final year of life?
Tuesdays With Morrie
In what April 2003 autobiography does Trisha Meili step forward and recount her
brutal rape in a New York park fourteen years ago and her subsequent recovery
from the horrific incident?
I am the Central Park Jogger
A 1998 book recounts a sermon given by Cotton Mather about what white female
who, after being abducted by Indians, scalped her captors and escaped to
(Hannah) Dustan
A leading exponent of the local-color movement in American literature, this
author is best known for his works depicting the life and society of 19th century
New Orleans and Louisiana. Name this author of Old Creole Days and The
Silent South.
(George Washington) Cable
An American novelist and screenwriter, she worked as a journalist in New York
before returning to her native California. Identify this contemporary author of the
essay collections After Henry and Slouching Towards Bethlehem.
(Joan) Didion [DID-ee-uhn]
At the age of 94, this Austrian Jew is still conducting his crusade to hunt down
and punish German war criminals from World War II. His most famous case
involved locating the Gestapo officer Adolf Eichmann [IKE-mahn] in Argentina.
Who is this famous Nazi hunter?
(Simon) Wiesenthal [VEE-sen-thahl]
Up From Slavery chronicles the rise of what black educator from slavery to found
the Tuskegee Institute, a vocational training facility for young blacks?
(Booker T.) Washington
A prime example of muckraking fiction, this 1906 novel deals with Jurgis Rudkus,
a Lithuanian immigrant, who finds work in the Chicago stockyards. As the story
proceeds, readers are horrified by the unsanitary conditions of the meat-packing
industry. Give the title of this influential Upton Sinclair work.
(The) Jungle
In The Killer Strain, the Washington Post editor Marilyn Thompson describes the
nation's first bioterrorist threat. This threat occurred after the September 11
attacks in 2001 and involved the use of which bacterial disease?
In a 2001 biography, author Karen Tanner describes the life of what dentist from
the Old West, a friend of the Earp brothers, who was involved in the shootout at
the O.K. Corral?
(John "Doc") Holliday
In 1969, what author was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction for his
work The Armies of the Night?
(Norman) Mailer
The 2003 nonfiction work Fraud of the Century concerns Rutherford B. Hayes,
Samuel Tilden, and the "stolen election" of what year?
In this 6-volume masterpiece, the historian's art reached a new height that has
rarely been matched. Give the title of this 13-century history written by Edward
Gibbon about the withering away of a certain classical civilization.
(The History of the) Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
A 2000 nonfiction book by Tamara Eastman and Constance Bond describes the
careers of Mary Read and what other famous female pirate?
(Anne) Bonny
By what term would we call the protagonist of a literary work who lacks in heroic
qualities such as courage, idealism, and honest?
In the dramatic type, the audience of a play knows something the characters
themselves do not. In the verbal type, a person says the opposite of what is
meant. In the situational type, the opposite of what is expected to happen
occurs. What literary term is it?
Sometimes, an actor will give an introductory speech or monologue before the
beginning of a play. By what term is this short speech known?
Many of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories are set in this literary point of view where
the narrator actually participates in the action of the story. Which point of view is
First Person (Point of View)
In what type of verse is a poem written if it has no regular meter or line length?
Free (Verse)
"The green, grim grinch growled" is an example of what literary device in which
the same initial consonant sound is repeated in a sequence of words?
What literary term is defined as a mistaken substitution of one word for another
that sounds similar, generally with humorous effect? It was taken from the name
of a character in Richard Sheridan's play The Rivals.
The term is derived from the theories of Carl Jung [YUNG] who theorized the
existence of a "collective unconscious" that contained images recognized by all
people. Give this term referring to a symbol whose significance is recognized
Samuel Richardson's novels Pamela and Clarissa Harlowe are both written as a
series of letters through which the story is advanced. Give the term for this type
of novel.
Epistolary (Novel)
James Malcolm Rymer's Varney the Vampire is an example of this type of pulp
horror novel that was widely popular during the mid-1800s. This type of book is
given what two-term related to the price for which it originally sold?
Penny Dreadful
Give the name for the type of poetic foot that consists of two stressed syllables.
Spondee [spahn-DAY]
Latin for "cutting off," what term refers to a slight pause in a line of poetry?
Caesura [she-ZOO-ruh]
What type of figurative literary element is used to directly compare two dissimilar
things using the word like or as?
What figurative literary element is found in the following sentence? "The book
sat on the shelf just begging to be read."
It is the most common stanza found in English poetry. What term refers to any
four-line stanza of poetry?
Used frequently in supernatural tales, what literary term refers to hints or clues
that a writer uses to encourage readers to anticipate future events?
Common ones include, "catch a cold," "run up a bill," and "put out the light."
What term refers to expressions or phrases that have become accepted parts of
a language but which make little sense if taken literally?
The poem "On Monsieur's Departure" by Elizabeth I contains the line "I am and
not, I freeze and yet am burned." This line illustrates what type of seemingly
contradictory statement used to reveal some element of truth?
Like a short story or a novel, it contains characters, setting, plot, and point of
view. What is this type of poem used to tell a story?
Narrative (Poem)
It encompasses both vocabulary and syntax. What term refers to the specific
word choice of a writer?
In a famous poem, William Wordsworth calls upon the poet John Milton in the
line, "Milton! Thou shouldst be living at this hour." Give the term for this literary
device in which a writer addresses someone who is either dead or not present?
The Petrarchan, or Italian, sonnet consists of two parts. The first is an eight-line
unit called an octave. What term refers to the concluding six-line portion of this
sonnet form?
The use of the word "wheels" in reference to an automobile is an example of
what figure of speech in which a part of something is used to refer to the entire
Synecdoche [syn-NEK-duh-kee]
This term comes from the Greek for "to have the form of man." Name this term
that is a synonym of personification.
This term literally translates as "fatal flaw." Name the classic literary term for the
tragic hero's error of judgment or inherent defect of character.
Hamartia [ham-mahr-TEE-uh]
French for "unknotting," what name is given to the final unraveling of the plot
following the climax in a story?
Denoument [DAY-noo-mah]
From the Latin for "to strike out," what literary term denotes the omission of a
vowel, consonant, or syllable, such as forming the word "'tis" from "it is?"
Give the name for the type of poetic foot that consists of two stressed syllables.
Spondee [spahn-DAY]
How many poetical feet does the poetic line called an alexandrine contain?
“I'd walk a million miles for one of your smiles," is an example of what type of
hyperbole [hi-PER-buh-lee] in which the exaggeration is magnified so greatly that
it refers to an impossibility?
Adynaton [uh-DYE-nuh-than]
Any story that involves a long-lost lover who returns only to find that his spouse
has remarried is said to have what type of plot format, named after an Alfred,
Lord Tennyson character?
Enoch Arden (Plot)
In Seamus Heaney's poem "Digging," he uses the phrase "cold smell of potato
mold" to blend the sense of smell and touch. What term refers to the technique
of describing one sensation in terms of another?
This question requires a multiple answer. In his Poetics, Aristotle advanced
three unities that a drama should follow. Name them.
(Unities of) Action, Time, AND Place
What type of nouns name things that are thought of as a whole and which are not
split into separate, countable parts such as languages, natural events, and
Noncount (Nouns)
Classify the following sentence according to purpose and structure. "Did you
break the window?"
Interrogative, Simple
Consider the sentence, "Yesterday I went skiing with Martha and Jeff." In what
voice is the verb in this sentence?
What error is illustrated in the following sentence? "The driver hit his brakes the
car skidded to a halt."
Run-On (Sentence) (Accept: Fused or Run-Together Sentence)
While writing a research paper, Chris wants to find a similar word to use in place
of the word "gloomy." What common reference book should he use?
This type of statement is usually found near the beginning of an essay and
makes clear the central theme and purpose of the work. Name it.
Thesis (Statement)
What tense is illustrated by the verb in the following sentence? "We had been
eating at my brother's restaurant once a week until it went out of business."
Past Perfect Progressive
What specific error is contained in the following sentence? "Two hours are not
enough time to finish the assignment."
Subject-Verb Agreement
State the mood of the verb used in the following sentence. "If I were you, I
wouldn't put up with his tardiness."
Subjunctive (Mood)
The opposite of concise, what type of sentence contains many empty or
repetitive words and phrases that do not contribute to the overall meaning?
Wordy (Sentence)
What type of sentence contains one dependent and one or more independent
Complex (Sentence)
What word should be used in place of the incorrectly-used word in the following
sentence? "Mr. Morris insured me that he would have the report done by
tomorrow morning."
What type of language would a writer be using if she presented distorted facts or
figures in an attempt to manipulate or confuse the reader?
Slanted (Language)
What is the grammatical classification of the word "it" in the following sentence?
"It was I who completed the test on time."
Consider the sentence, "Nick went home when the game was over." What is the
complete adverb clause in this sentence?
"When the game was over"
What mark of punctuation is used to close the salutation in a business letter, to
introduce a long quotation, and to separate the hour and minutes in standard
time notation?
This question requires a two-part answer. Classify the following sentence
according to purpose and structure: Did Hansel and Gretel escape after the witch
was pushed into the oven?
Interrogative, Complex
Correct the error, if there is one, in the following sentence. To whom does Ann
speak about becoming a research assistant?
There Is No Error
What error is present in the following sentence? Sharks can smell blood from a
quarter mile away they swim toward the source like a guided missile.
Run-On (Sentence) (Accept: Fused or Run-Together Sentence)
For this question you'll need to give a multiple answer. What are the three simple
tenses in English grammar?
Present, Past, AND Future
Which part of speech is used to convey a relationship between the noun or
pronoun following it and other words in the sentence?
What punctuation mark is used to indicate a sudden break in continuity or to set
off an emphatic phrase from the rest of the sentence?
By next week, we will have been meeting regularly for nine weeks. In what tense
is the verb phrase in the preceding sentence?
Future Perfect Progressive
Identify the case of the pronoun in the following sentence. Jason showed him
the report for school.
Objective (Case)
How many commas should be used in the following sentence? Jason Patrick,
M.D., drove to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, last week to buy a new car for
What mood of verbs is used to express wishes, recommendations, requests, and
conditional statements?
Subjunctive (Mood)
A gerund is a present participle that functions as which part of speech?
What type of noun is used to name something that can be seen, touched, heard,
smelled, or tasted?
Concrete (Noun)
This question requires a two-part answer. Identify the incorrectly used word in
the following sentence and tell which word should be used to replace it. "Each
human hand and foot leaves their distinctive print in the sand."
Their Should Be Its
What type of language would a writer be using if she presented distorted facts or
figures in an attempt to manipulate or confuse the reader?
Slanted (Language)
What error is illustrated in the following sentence? "A good education and being
smart go together."
Faulty Parallelism
In grammar, what is the term for a modifier that is considered misplaced because
it is not clear whether it describes the word that comes before it or the word that
follows it?
Squinting (Modifier)
What has been shifted in the following sentence? Because people are living
longer, an employee in the twenty-first century will retire later.
The most comprehensive, authoritative unabridged dictionary of the English
language is often abbreviated as the OED. For what do these letters stand?
Oxford English Dictionary
What term do we give to the specialized vocabulary of a specific field or group
that is unlikely to be understood by those not associated with that field or group?
Correctly spell the word "yore" [YAWR] as it is used in the following sentence:
Chivalry and manners were highly prized in the days of yore.
This word has its origin in the Dutch word for "Johnny." Identify this term used
during the Civil War to refer to a person from a Northern U.S. state but that is
today used to refer to anyone from the United States itself.
A soliloquy is a theatrical device in which a character speaks alone on stage to
reveal his inner thoughts to the audience. Correctly spell the word "soliloquy."
Xenophobia is defined as the fear or hatred of what is strange or foreign.
Correctly spell the word "xenophobia."
Even though Americans and the British people both speak the English language,
the two groups sometimes use different words to refer to the same thing. What
word would the British use to refer to the game Americans call checkers?
What is the eight-letter term beginning with the letter "a" for an absolute despot
who rules undisputedly?
Spell the term that means "able to resist attack" and that was once quoted by
Mike Tyson when he said that his defenses were … what?
On most books you will find an ISBN. For what does the acronym ISBN stand?
International Standard Book Number
A group of individuals or nations that work together to achieve common goals is
designated by what four-letter term beginning with the letter "B"?
Misogyny [meh-SAH-jeh-nee] is defined as the hatred of what group of people?
The diaphragm [DY-uh-fram] is a body partition that is found only in mammals.
Correctly spell the word diaphragm.
A soliloquy is a theatrical device in which a character speaks alone on stage to
reveal his inner thoughts to the audience. Correctly spell the word "soliloquy."
From the Greek for "folded," what term refers to the certificates given by high
schools and colleges at graduations?
On our last vacation, my father drove around for hours trying to find the best
hotel accommodations. Correctly spell the word accommodations.
Spell the word "affect" as it is used in the following sentence. "If Michael doesn't
start getting to bed earlier, his tiredness will seriously affect his grades."
A building where concerts, lectures, and other public events take place is given
what name that also refers to the ancient Athenian gymnasium where Aristotle
Lyceum [ly-SEE-um]
An anticoagulant [an-tie-coh-AG-yuh-lunt] is defined as a substance that
prevents what normal process from happening in blood?
What eleven-letter word beginning with the letter "v" names a creamy soup made
from onions, potatoes, and leeks that is often served chilled?
Vichyssoise [vish-ee-SWAAZ]
Add the number of days in a fortnight to the number of feet in two fathoms and
from that subtract the number of years in a score. What number is your answer?
The verb desiccate refers to preserving food by removing its moisture. Spell the
word desiccate.
What six-syllable word beginning with the letter "q" is used to refer to someone
who is between the ages of forty and forty-nine?
This question requires a two-part answer. Identify the incorrectly used word in
the following sentence and tell which word should replace it. "The factory
workers produced less cars this year than last year."
Less Should Be Fewer
Eczema [EG-zuh-muh] is an inflammation of the skin characterized by reddening
and itching. Spell the word eczema.
Something that is sensual in appearance is said to be voluptuous [vuh-LUPchoo-uss]. Correctly spell the word voluptuous.
A short, descriptive piece of literary writing is a vignette [vin-YET]. Correctly spell
the word vignette.
Do you have what it takes to win the National Spelling Bee? Let's find out.
Correctly spell the winning word from 1999, logorrhea [LOG-uh-ree-uh].
Bouillabaisse [boo-yuh-BAYSS] is a type of French soup made from fish,
vegetables, herbs, and saffron. Correctly spell bouillabaisse.
What is the term for the system of sending messages using hand-held flags that
are moved to represent letters of the alphabet?
What six-syllable word is used to refer to someone or something from the time
before the biblical Flood?
According to a famous proverb, what word describes how absolute power
"Aloha" is a traditional greeting or farewell from which language?
Your friends Heather and Don are going on a Caribbean cruise. If you wanted to
wish them a good journey, what two-word French phrase should you use?
Bon Voyage
The Latin phrase "in vino veritas" says that there is truth in what?
The name of this English coal mining port is associated with a popular
expression which refers to doing something pointless or superfluous. If someone
were to bring an object to some place where it was already in abundance, you
might say that he has "carried coals to" where?
The words schmaltz, klutz, and chutzpah have entered English from which other
What Latin phrase refers to doing something over and over again until you're
disgusted with it?
Ad Nauseam
Give the ten-letter Spanish term beginning with the letter "a" that refers to an
enthusiast or a fan of some particular person, thing, or event.
Its vocabulary is drawn primarily from the Romance languages, English, German,
and Latin and it was designed by Ludwik Zamenhof as an international means of
communication. What is this artificial language used by at least one million
people today?
Esperanto [es-pur-AHN-toh]
The Latin phrase "memento mori" translates as "a reminder of" what event?
This term originated when Sylvia Wright misunderstood the lyrics to the popular
Scottish folk song "The Bonny Earl of Morray." Give the term used to refer to any
misheard song lyric.
The Latin word gustus refers to which of the five human senses?
Next summer you are planning on taking a trip to Italy to see your cousin. If you
wanted to say hello to him in the Italian language, what word should you use?
Ciao [CHOW]
Give the meaning of the Latin prefix "inter".
Between (Accept: Among)
Identify the Latin phrase that is often used in describing a criminal's method of
Modus Operandi [MOH-dus op-er-AN-dee]
Give the six-word translation of the following Latin words: "Veni, vidi, vici" [VENee VEE-dee VEE-chee].
I Came, I Saw, I Conquered
The terms glasnost and perestroika have entered English from which other
What French phrase could be used to describe any the following names?
George Sand, O. Henry, Mark Twain, George Orwell
Nom de Plume [nom duh PLOOM]
Give the ten-letter Spanish term beginning with the letter "a" that refers to an
enthusiast or a fan of some particular person, thing, or event.
This is a misheard song lyric from a ballad about what American folk hero?
"Killed in a bar when he was only three…"
(Davy) Crockett
What French phrase is used to designate an unruly child or a bold, outspoken
Enfant Terrible [ahn-FAHN tay-REEB-luh]
At one time or another, many people commit an embarrassing blunder that
breaks some social conventions. The French have a phrase for this type of
blunder that translates as "false step." What is that phrase?
Faux Pas [foh PAH]
The prefixes hypno, ornitho, and pyro were all taken from which language?
In British English, what part of a car is referred to as the bonnet?
Sometimes, courts will appoint guardians for children to serve in the place of a
parent. What Latin phrase describes this taking on of parental roles?
In Loco Parentis [in LOH-koh pa-REN-tiss]
What well-known proverb is paralleled in the following line? "A weak ticker never
gained a dainty damsel"
Faint heart never won fair lady
In a classic proverb, what is said to be the "thief of time"?
The Latin phrase "memento mori" translates as "a reminder of" what event?
What phrase, drawn from two monsters in Greek mythology, means "to be faced
with the necessity of choosing between two equally undesirable or unpleasant
"To Be Between Scylla and Charybdis"
What phrase from the Greek language is often used to refer to the common or
ordinary people as opposed to the wealthy elite?
Hoi Polloi [HOY puh-LOY]
When you see someone who has lost his or her former glory, you might be
reminded of what Latin phrase which translates as "thus passes away the glory
of the world"?
Sic Transit Gloria Mundi [sick TRAN-sit GLOR-ee-uh MUN-dee]