Study Poetry Quiz

50 Questions | Total Attempts: 1546

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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. 
    Which of these events took place in the same year that Shakespeare’s sonnets were published?
    • 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

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