The Ultimate English Literature Quiz!
Everybody knows ol’ William Shakespeare, but only those with true English-literature knowledge know the other Renaissance playwrights—like this guy who wrote Doctor Faustus:
- Thomas Kyd
- Christopher Marlowe
- William Congreve
- John Dryden
This poet’s most famous work is about a misbehaving couple, but the writer also wrote Areopagitica, a polemic against censorship.
- John Milton
- Andrew Marvell
- William Blake
- Carol Duffy
Today, many English classes cover the poem “My Last Duchess” by the male half of this nineteenth-century literary power couple. But, while they were alive, it was the woman who received all the acclaim, particularly for Sonnets from the Portuguese. Not common in the history of literature!
- Percy and Mary Shelley
- George Henry Lewes and George Eliot
- Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning
- Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath
Don’t you love it when writers honor other writers? Michael Cunningham’s The Hours intertwines three stories: one about this author and two inspired by one of their most famous novels. We’ll give you a hint: the main character of one of the stories is named Clarissa.
- Jean Rhys
- E.M. Forster
- Anne Bronte
- Virginia Woolf
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” This famous first sentence opens which Dickens novel?
- Oliver Twist
- A Tale of Two Cities
- Great Expectations
- A Christmas Carol
Name the British playwright who wrote The Homecoming, Betrayal, The Birthday Party, and The Room.
- Caryl Churchill
- Peter Shaffer
- Bola Agbaje
- Harold Pinter
In 1999, poet Seamus Heaney published a new version of this classic.
- The Iliad
- Dream of the Rood
- Paradise Lost
Countless English students have been forced to memorize the following words, the beginning to which classic work of literature?
"Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote"
- Pilgrim’s Progress
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
- The Canterbury Tales
- Le Morte d’Arthur
The history of women writers was long neglected, but these days we’ve rediscovered forgotten artists—like this Restoration author who wrote Oroonoko and was one of the first women known to make her living with her pen.
- Margaret Cavendish
- Aphra Behn
- Margery Kempe
- Ann Radcliffe
Sometimes those related by blood also share talent. That’s certainly the case for the Brontë sisters. You may know your Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, but can you identify the novel written by Anne, the least famous sister?
- The Mill on the Floss
- Mary Barton
- The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
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English literature, specifically British literature, includes more than just William Shakespeare and Jane Austen. This quiz on literature will test your knowledge of literary greats throughout history. You'll have to dig deep into English classes of yore to answer quiz questions about classic works from the Middle Ages to today.