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Great Works of Literature

written by: Gilligan
Take this quiz on literary milestones.

Question 1:

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) probably began this work in 1306. Its first canto begins with: "Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, for the straightforward pathway had been lost."
Gargantua and Pantagruel
The Decameron
Troilus and Cressida
The Divine Comedy

Question 2:

The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written by Geoffrey Chaucer. It recounts the tales told by individuals on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. Which of the following was not a character in this work?
Tax Collector

Question 3:

In the novel Don Quixote by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, who is the witty squire and companion to Alonso Quixano?
Antonio de la Gandara
Aldonzo Lorenzo
Sancho Panza
Che Guevara

Question 4:

In this tragic play by William Shakespeare, three witches tell a general in the army of King Duncan that he will "never be vanquish'd until Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane Hill shall come against him".
Titus Andronicus
The Tempest

Question 5:

This 1971 novel by Anthony Burgess relates the story of a fifteen-year-old boy named Alex, who, with his gang members (known as "droogs") roam the streets at night, committing violent crimes for enjoyment.
Catcher in the Rye
Helter Skelter
A Clockwork Orange
Fahrenheit 451

Question 6:

The famous line "In the room the women come and go, talking of Michelangelo" is from the poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by this influential 20th century poet.
W. H. Auden
Robert Browning
Robert Frost
T. S. Eliot

Question 7:

This great work of Russian literature by Fyodor Dostoevsky features the character Raskolnikov, an impoverished St. Petersburg student who kills an unscrupulous pawnbroker.
The Brothers Karamazov
Dead Souls
Crime and Punishment
And Quiet Flows the Don

Question 8:

View the provided image.
This author penned the macabre tales The Fall of the House of Usher in 1839 and The Masque of the Red Death in 1842.
C. Auguste Dupin
Edgar Allan Poe
Oscar Wilde
Marcel Proust

View Image

Question 9:

View the provided image.
Folk musician Woody Guthrie said this 1939 novel of the Great Depression "shows the banker men that broke us and the dust that choked us, and comes right out in plain old English and says what to do about it."
The Grapes of Wrath
Far From the Maddening Crowd
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
The Keep on the Borderlands

View Image

Question 10:

This novel by Charles Dickens, published in 1850, is considered his most autobiographical. It begins with: "Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show." Characters include Wilkins Micawber and Uriah Heep.
A Tale of Two Cities
Bleak House
Great Expectations
David Copperfield

Question 11:

"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect" is the opening line to this famous work of German fiction by Franz Kafka.
The Metamorphosis
As I Lay Dying
Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Heart of Darkness

Question 12:

This novel by Charlotte Brontë includes the character Mr. Rochester, whose wife is a violent lunatic.
A Room with a View
The Turn of the Screw
Jane Eyre
Wuthering Heights

Question 13:

View the provided image.
In a 17th century play by Christopher Marlowe a necromancer sells his soul to the devil. What is the name of this character who conjures Lucifer?

View Image

Question 14:

"Fifteen men on the dead man's chest— Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!" is a famous line from Treasure Island, a novel by this author published in 1883.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
James Fenimore Cooper
William Makepeace Thackeray

Question 15:

"Death be not proud, though some have called thee mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so" is a portion of a work by this poet who lived from 1572-1631.
John Donne
John Milton
William Blake
Lord Byron

Question 16:

In what 1851 novel would you find the characters Ishmael, Captain Ahab, Queequeg and Starbuck?
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Question 17:

This early Anglo-Saxon work, possibly from the 800's, features the antagonist Grendel, a descendant of Cain who invades the mead-hall of the Danes and eats the men within. The title character ultimately beheads Grendel and keeps it as a trophy.
Epic of Gilgamesh
Morte Arthure
Oedipus Rex


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