2023 Edition

Literature Test

If you are studying for a high school or college level literature exam, test or quiz, or just looking for a sample practice test to challenge your literary knowledge, take this free literature test and see how well you score. It is not a scientific assessment tool but it will give you an idea of what type of questions can be found on a literature exam and how well you know works, themes and authors.


1. Questions 1 - 2 are based on the following passage:

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal - yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

This poem was written in which of the following eras?
2. The theme of this stanza can best be described as _______________.
3. Questions 3 - 5 are based on the following passage:

A man can hold land if he can just eat and pay taxes; he can do that.

Yes, he can do that until his crops fail one day and he has to borrow money from the bank.

But--you see, a bank or a company can't do that, because those creatures don't breathe air, don't eat side-meat. They breathe profits; they eat the interest on the money. If they don't get it, they die the way you die without air, without side-meat. It is a sad thing, but it is so.  It is just so.

This passage comes from which of the following?
4. What historical period does this passage arise out of?
5. The passage is based on the ideas of which of the following?
6. Questions 6 - 8 are based on the following poem:

why from this her and him
did you and i climb
(crazily kissing) till

into themselves we fell-

how have all time and space
bowed to immortal us
if in one little bed

she and he lie (undead)

The author of this poem is _______________.
7. The versification of the poem would best be classified as:
8. The tone is best described as:
9. Indicate which of the following best characterizes the esthetic philosophy of "Art for art's sake":
10. Questions 10-11 are based on the following passage:

My father's name being Pirrip and my Christian name, Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing more explicit than Pip. So I called myself Pip and came to be called Pip.

These lines open which of the following?
11. The opening of the work indicates what about the speaker?
12. Questions 12-14 are based on the following poem by Bret Harte:

Above the pines the moon was slowly drifting,
The river sang below;
The dim Sierras, far beyond, uplifting
Their minarets of snow.

Lines two and four have what type of meter?
13. The lines contain ____ caesuras.
14. Which lines end with feminine rhyme?