Study Poetry Quiz

50 Questions | Total Attempts: 938

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Study Poetry Quiz

Known all around the world for being arguably the world’s greatest playwright, it’s easy to forget that William Shakespeare was also a seasoned poet. What can you tell us about his work? Let’s find out!


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    In which of the following decades were Shakespeare’s sonnets written? 
    • A. 

      1580s

    • B. 

      1590s

    • C. 

      1570s

    • D. 

      1610s

  • 2. 
    In what year were Shakespeare’s sonnets first published?
    • A. 

      1600

    • B. 

      1609

    • C. 

      1619

    • D. 

      1630

  • 3. 
    How many sonnets does Shakespeare’s collection contain?  
    • A. 

      154

    • B. 

      160

    • C. 

      164

    • D. 

      170

  • 4. 
    Which is the last sonnet of part one of the collection? 
    • A. 

      120

    • B. 

      122

    • C. 

      124

    • D. 

      126

  • 5. 
    • A. 

      The Dutch signed a twelve year truce with Spain ushering in the Golden Age of the Dutch Republic

    • B. 

      Galileo demonstrated his first telescope to Venetian lawmakers

    • C. 

      Cosimo II de Medici became the Grand Duke of Tuscany

    • D. 

      All of the above

  • 6. 
    Which of the following authors did Shakespeare’s sonnets influence? 
    • A. 

      John Dryden

    • B. 

      Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    • C. 

      John Keats

    • D. 

      All of the above

  • 7. 
    Which of the following poets referred to the “dark lady” sonnet sequence as “abominably harsh, obscure & worthless”? 
    • A. 

      Miguel de Cervantes

    • B. 

      Thomas Campion

    • C. 

      Ben Jonson

    • D. 

      William Wordsworth

  • 8. 
    Which Latin concept explored by Shakespeare in his sonnets refers to a state which lies between eternity and the temporal existence of material beings?
    • A. 

      Aelus

    • B. 

      Aegae

    • C. 

      Aevum

    • D. 

      Aedivum

  • 9. 
    It is thought that the publisher of the collection used an unauthorised manuscript. What was his name?
    • A. 

      Henry Thorpe

    • B. 

      Frederick Thorpe

    • C. 

      Thomas Thorpe

    • D. 

      James Thorpe

  • 10. 
    The sonnets include a dedication to a mystery man. What are the initials of his name?
    • A. 

      Mr. W. H.

    • B. 

      Mr. A. R.

    • C. 

      Mr. P. S.

    • D. 

      Mr. W. S.

  • 11. 
    What is the structure of the majority of the sonnets in the collection? 
    • A. 

      Three quatrains and a final couplet in trochaic pentameter

    • B. 

      Five quatrains and a final couplet in iambic hexameter

    • C. 

      Two quatrains and a final couplet in iambic tetrameter

    • D. 

      Three quatrains and a final couplet in iambic pentameter

  • 12. 
    Every English foot contains one long syllable plus one or two short syllables. A long syllable is how much longer than a short one?
    • A. 

      Double the length

    • B. 

      Three times the length

    • C. 

      Four times the length

    • D. 

      Five times the length

  • 13. 
    The beginning of which quatrain normally marks the “volta” in Shakespeare’s sonnets?
    • A. 

      The fourth

    • B. 

      The second

    • C. 

      The first

    • D. 

      The third

  • 14. 
    St. Augustine and Shakespeare are considered forerunners of a group of philosophers which included Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. What is the name of this group?
    • A. 

      Essentialists

    • B. 

      Existentialists

    • C. 

      Fatalists

    • D. 

      Materialists

  • 15. 
    Which of the following adjectives best describes the nature of the present according to St. Augustine and Shakespeare?
    • A. 

      Unvarying

    • B. 

      Illusive

    • C. 

      Ephemeral

    • D. 

      Perplexing

  • 16. 
    Which words are missing in the following phrase from “The Confessions Of Saint Augustine”?   “(…) if nothing passed away, time ……… were not; and if nothing were coming, a time to come were not; and if nothing were, time ……… were not.”
    • A. 

      Past, future

    • B. 

      Past, present

    • C. 

      Present, past

    • D. 

      Future, present

  • 17. 
    The first seventeen sonnets of the collection are traditionally called what?
    • A. 

      The procreation sonnets

    • B. 

      The procrastination sonnets

    • C. 

      The propagation sonnets

    • D. 

      The promulgation sonnets

  • 18. 
    Who is the addressee of part one? 
    • A. 

      A fair lady

    • B. 

      A rival poet

    • C. 

      A dark lady

    • D. 

      A fair youth

  • 19. 
    Who is the addressee of part two? 
    • A. 

      A fair lady

    • B. 

      A rival poet

    • C. 

      A dark lady

    • D. 

      A fair youth

  • 20. 
    Which of the two characters in the collection are having an affair?
    • A. 

      The rival poet and author

    • B. 

      The dark lady and fair youth

    • C. 

      The author and fair youth

    • D. 

      The dark lady and rival poet

  • 21. 
    Which of the characters of the collection is overtly sexually desired by the speaker?
    • A. 

      The fair youth

    • B. 

      The dark lady

    • C. 

      The rival poet

    • D. 

      None of the above

  • 22. 
    Which of the following is a theme dealt with in Shakespeare's sonnets? 
    • A. 

      Love

    • B. 

      Mortality

    • C. 

      The passage of time

    • D. 

      All of the above

  • 23. 
    In his sonnets, Shakespeare refers to two ways to achieve a minor form of immortality. What are they? 
    • A. 

      Charity and penitence

    • B. 

      Organ donation and embalming

    • C. 

      Literature and fatherhood

    • D. 

      Sculpture and music

  • 24. 
    Which word does Shakespeare always rhyme with youth in the sonnets, whenever either word occurs at the end of the line? 
    • A. 

      Forsooth

    • B. 

      Proof

    • C. 

      Truth

    • D. 

      Uncouth

  • 25. 
    Sonnets 18, 60 and 73 all elaborate on the Ovidian concept “Tempus edax rerum”. What does this mean?
    • A. 

      Time, that devours all things

    • B. 

      Time, that always returns

    • C. 

      Time, that keeps moving

    • D. 

      Time, that stops all things

  • 26. 
    With sonnet 18 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day', the tone of the sonnets changes towards what? 
    • A. 

      Indifference

    • B. 

      Joviality

    • C. 

      Light-heartedness

    • D. 

      Romantic intimacy

  • 27. 
    In the fourth verse of sonnet 18, we can find vocabulary belonging to which of the following semantic fields?
    • A. 

      Travel

    • B. 

      Military

    • C. 

      Economics

    • D. 

      Food

  • 28. 
    The “eye of heaven” in the fifth verse of sonnet 18 refers to what? 
    • A. 

      God

    • B. 

      The sun

    • C. 

      The moon

    • D. 

      A raincloud

  • 29. 
    In the following verse from sonnet 18, what are possible interpretations of the word “untrimmed”?   By chance or nature's changing course untrimmed
    • A. 

      With a lack of decoration and frills

    • B. 

      Like the sails on a ship which have not been adjusted to catch the wind properly

    • C. 

      Unruly or disorganised

    • D. 

      All of the above

  • 30. 
    The phrase “nature’s changing course” refers to the fact that the only thing which is constant in nature is change itself. What is the name of a figure of speech that combines two contradictory terms in this way?
    • A. 

      Antanagoge

    • B. 

      Simile

    • C. 

      Parataxis

    • D. 

      Oxymoron

  • 31. 
    What is the referent of the definite pronoun “this” in the last verse of sonnet 18?   So long lives this and this gives life to thee
    • A. 

      The sonnet

    • B. 

      Their anger

    • C. 

      The youth’s good looks

    • D. 

      Nature

  • 32. 
    What is the meaning of “eternal summer” in the ninth verse of sonnet 18? But thy eternal summer shall not fade
    • A. 

      Confidence

    • B. 

      Love

    • C. 

      Youth

    • D. 

      Happiness

  • 33. 
    We can find alliteration of which letter in the final couplet of sonnet 18?
    • A. 

      S

    • B. 

      P

    • C. 

      L

    • D. 

      N

  • 34. 
    In sonnet 60, Shakespeare highlights the fact that time both gives life and kills (“And Time that gave doth now his gift confound”). This seemingly self-contradictory statement is an example of which rhetorical device?
    • A. 

      Simile

    • B. 

      Paradox

    • C. 

      Hyperbole

    • D. 

      Eponym

  • 35. 
    Which of the following ways of dying was seen as physical and moral annihilation by many classical authors, including Shakespeare? 
    • A. 

      Death by combat

    • B. 

      Starving

    • C. 

      Drowning

    • D. 

      Getting old

  • 36. 
    The first verse of sonnet 60 (“Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore”) is an example of which rhetorical figure?
    • A. 

      Simile

    • B. 

      Metaphor

    • C. 

      Paradox

    • D. 

      Anadiplosis

  • 37. 
    In the second verse of sonnet 60, Shakespeare refers to “our minutes”. Some critics believe that this is a deliberate pun (60 minutes in an hour). What is the technical term for this?
    • A. 

      Paronomasia

    • B. 

      Paranomesia

    • C. 

      Paranormasia

    • D. 

      Paranormesia

  • 38. 
    In sonnet 60, what is the cyclic rhythm of waves compared to?
    • A. 

      The rhythm of the words in the sonnet

    • B. 

      The speaker’s heartbeat

    • C. 

      The changing seasons of the year

    • D. 

      The passing of time in our lives

  • 39. 
    Which dimensions of time are explored in sonnet 60? 
    • A. 

      Chronological

    • B. 

      Physiological

    • C. 

      Psychological

    • D. 

      A) and c) are correct

  • 40. 
    In the sixth verse of sonnet 60, the verb “to crawl” refers to what? (“Nativity (…) crawls to maturity”)
    • A. 

      Slowness

    • B. 

      Resistance

    • C. 

      A baby’s way of moving

    • D. 

      All of the above

  • 41. 
    In the tenth verse of sonnet 60, what are the “parallels” in “beauty's brow”?
    • A. 

      Similarities

    • B. 

      Doubts

    • C. 

      Wrinkles

    • D. 

      Eyes

  • 42. 
    In the twelfth verse of sonnet 60, what does time’s scythe represent?
    • A. 

      Harvest

    • B. 

      Death

    • C. 

      Life

    • D. 

      Winter

  • 43. 
    The first verse of sonnet 73 (“That time of year thou mayst in me behold”) is an example of which rhetorical figure?
    • A. 

      Hyperbole

    • B. 

      Paradox

    • C. 

      Metaphor

    • D. 

      Simile

  • 44. 
    The use of the first person pronoun “me” gives an autobiographical tone to sonnet 73. How many times does it appear in total? 
    • A. 

      2

    • B. 

      3

    • C. 

      4

    • D. 

      5

  • 45. 
    Which of the following verbs of perception does not appear in sonnet 73? 
    • A. 

      Regard

    • B. 

      Perceive

    • C. 

      See

    • D. 

      Behold

  • 46. 
    In the fourth verse of sonnet 73, what do the “Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang” refer to?
    • A. 

      The closure of Catholic convents and monasteries as a result of Henry VIII’s Act of Supremacy

    • B. 

      The closure of Protestant convents and monasteries as a result of Henry VIII’s Act of Supremacy

    • C. 

      The closure of Catholic convents and monasteries as a result of Henry VII’s Act of Supremacy

    • D. 

      The closure of Catholic convents and monasteries as a result of Henry VII’s Act of Union

  • 47. 
    In the eighth verse of sonnet 73, what is “death's second self”? 
    • A. 

      Night

    • B. 

      Life

    • C. 

      Time

    • D. 

      The Devil

  • 48. 
    Which of the following symbols does not appear in sonnet 73? 
    • A. 

      Green leaves

    • B. 

      Fire

    • C. 

      Ashes

    • D. 

      Death bed

  • 49. 
    What do the last two sonnets of the collection imply that lust can lead to?
    • A. 

      A venereal disease

    • B. 

      Lies

    • C. 

      A broken heart

    • D. 

      Insanity

  • 50. 
    What is the title of the narrative poem written in rhyme royal which was published as an appendix to the original edition of Shakespeare's sonnets?
    • A. 

      A Lover’s Concern

    • B. 

      A Lover’s Conceit

    • C. 

      A Lover's Complaint

    • D. 

      A Lover’s Complacency