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Ancient Literature – Previous Year Questions (NET | Ph.D. | SET | GATE)

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In Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex the first scene finds Oedipus
(A) in conversation with a priest
(B) in consultation with a general
(C) giving audience to an ambassador
(D) in consultation with a minister
Ans: (A)

Which combination in the following constitutes the trilogy oresteia?

(A) Agamemnon, The Persians, Eumenides

(B) The Persians, The suppliants, Agamemnon

(C) Agamemnon, Choephoroe, Eumenides

(D) Seven against Thebes, Agamemnon, The suppliants

Ans: (C)

What is the Priest’s entreaty to Oedipus in the opening scene of Oedipus Rex?
(A) To liberate Thebes from the domination of the Sphinx
(B) To rid Thebes of the plague that afflicts its people
(C) To afford the Thebans the luxury of newer forms of worship
(D) To send Creon to seek advice from the oracle of Delphi oracle
Ans: (B)

Why did Phaedra, wife of Theseus, commit suicide by hanging herself ?
(A) Theseus hated her
(B) Her stepson, Hippolytus rejected her love
(C) Hippolytus wanted to marry her
(D) She was lonely and depressed
Ans: (B)

Which among the following plays by Aristophanes is an attack on ‘modern’ education and morals as imparted and taught by the radical intellectuals known as The Sophists ?
(A) Clouds
(B) Wasps
(C) Acharnians
(D) Knights
Ans: (A)

What is Gilgamesh ?
(a) a Babylonian epic poem
(b) a series of gnomic verses
(c) a classical play
(d) the story of a harsh ruler
(A) (a) and (b)
(B) (c)
(C) (a) and (d)
(D) (b)
Ans: (C)

Which of these Greek plays was a source for The Winter’s Tale ?
(A) Iphigeneia at Aulis
(B) AIcestis
(C) Medea
(D) Iphigenaia at Tauris
Ans: (B)

Which of the following is NOT true regarding the Oresteia trilogy by Aeschylus ?
(A) Cassandra, cursed by Apollo predicts the death of Agamemnon, though her prophecy is ignored.
(B) Aegisthus’s vengeful feelings for Agamemnon results from their rivalry for the hand of Clytemnestra.
(C) Orestes, who has come back with the intention of murdering Clytemnestra unexpectedly meets her, and pretending to be a stranger, tells her that Orestes is dead.
(D) Orestes, pursued by the Furies, flees from them when they fall asleep. Then, Clytemnestra’s ghost appears to wake them up.
Ans: (B)

In Sophocles’s play King Oedipus Laius, the erstwhile ruler of Thebes, was murdered
(A) at the edge of the forest on his way to Delphi
(B) at the edge of the forest as he returned from Delphi
(C) at the crossroads as he returned from Delphi
(D) at the crossroads on his way to Delphi
Ans: (D)

Which of the following works by David Malouf tells the story of the Roman poet, Ovid, during his exile in Tomis ?
(A) Remembering Babylon
(B) The Great World
(C) The Conversations at Curlow Creek
(D) An Imaginary Life
Ans: (D)

Which among the following recent novels is a retelling of Sophocles’s Antigone ?
(A) Kamila Shamsie, Home Fire
(B) Fiona Mozley, Elmet
(C) Zadie Smith, Swing Time
(D) Mohsin Hamid, Exit West
Ans: (A)

In the Inferno Dante, as he travels through the various circles of the hell finds Judas who is unable to speak. What is the reason behind this?
(A) His tongue is transformed into a coiled snake.
(B) His head is battered and so he cannot open his mouth.
(C) Lucifer is chewing on his head.
(D) His tongue is pulled out and nailed on the tree of sin.
Ans: (C)

After discovering the truth about his heinous crimes committed in the past, what does Oedipus request as his punishment?
(A) Exile
(B) Castration
(C) Decapitation
(D) Blindness
Ans: (A)

Which ancient writer’s name is directly mentioned in Lord Byron’s poem “the Isles of Greece”?
(A) Euripides
(B) Sophocles
(C) Aeschylus
(D) Sappho
Ans: (D)

Read the following passage from Antigone and answer question

Creon: And yet wert bold enough to break the law

Antigone: Yea, for these laws were not ordained by Zeus.

 And she who sits enthroned with gods below,

 Justice enacted not these human laws.

 Nor did I deem that thou, a mortal man,

Could’st by a breath annual and override.

The immutable unwritten laws of Heaven

The three kinds of laws implicit in Antigone’s response are:

(A) Human, unwritten, written

(B) Of Gods, of Zeus, of Justice

(C) Of Gods, of Justice, of Man

(D) Of Man, of Heaven, Of Zeus

Ans: (C)

Which two of the following works does Walter Pater regard as examples of ‘great art” in his essay “Style?
A. Iliad
B. The Divine Comedy
C. Les Misérables
D. Faust

Choose the most appropriate answer from the options given below:
a) A and B only
b) A and D only
c) B and C only
d) B and D only
Ans: (C)

3 thoughts on “Ancient Literature – Previous Year Questions (NET | Ph.D. | SET | GATE)”

  1. How is one supposed to know about such in-depth answers? Byron’s “Isles of Greece” is not even among his major works! I read so many of his works and in most places, they don’t even mention the name of that poem. Are we supposed to read all thousands of poems written by famous poets or even all poets? Questions on books like Home Fire and An Imaginary Life aren’t even Booker or Pulitzer Price Winners! How can we attempt questions asked from such books? I am so so scared 🙁


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