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Literary Criticism – (Previous Year Questions NET | GATE)

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In Aristotle’s Poetics we read that it is the imitation of an action that is complete and whole, and of a certain magnitude….having a beginning, a middle, and an end’. What is ‘it’?
(A) Tragedy
(B) Epic
(C) Poetry
(D) Farce
Ans: (A)

Which of the following characters finds that complete happiness is elusive and that “while you are making the choice of life, you neglect to live” ?
(A) Lovelace in Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa
(B) Rasselas in Samuel Johnson’s Rasselas
(C) Matthew Bramble in Tobias Smollett’s Humphry Clinker
(D) Harley in Henry Mackenzie’s The Man of Feeling
Ans: (B)

Who among the following wrote a book with the title The Age of Reason ?
(A) William Godwin
(B) Edmund Burke
(C) Thomas Paine
(D) Edward Gibbon
Ans: (C)

_______ is a theological term brought into literary criticism by _______.
(A) Entelechy, St. Augustine
(B) Ambiguity, William Empson
(C) Adequation, Fr Walter Ong
(D) Epiphany, James Joyce
Ans: (D)

The word “Catharsis” signifies :
(A) Pontification
(B) Personification
(C) Purgation
(D) Publication
Ans: (C)

According to Matthew Arnold, ‘touchstones’ help us test truth and seriousness that constitute the best poetry. What are the ‘touchstones’?
(A) The purple passages of lyric poetry
(B) Passages from ancient poets
(C) The lines and expressions of the great masters
(D) Passages of epic strength and vigour
Ans: (C)

Pope’s ‘Essay on Man’ can best be read as a poem of :
(A) classical understanding of nature
(B) anti-romantic view of life
(C) sociological estimate of man
(D) philosophical apprehension of life
Ans: (D)

Virginia Woolf rubbished the idea of character and the understanding of realism of writers like Arnold Bennett, John Galsworthy and H.G. Wells. Her famous essay is called ‘Mr. Bennet and Mrs. Brown’. Who is Mrs. Brown?
(A) The name Woolf gives a woman whom she happens to meet in a train.
(B) A servant in Mr. Bennett’s household.
(C) A character in a Bennett story.
(D) Mr. Bennett’s neighbour who happens to be a writer.
Ans: (A)

D.H. Lawrence uses the expression ‘a bright book of life’ to describe
(A) The novel
(B) The dramatic monologue
(C) The Bible
(D) The short lyric
Ans: (A)

The term “Stream of Consciousness” was taken from the book :
(A) The Human Mind
(B) The Principles of Psychology
(C) The Mind of Man
(D) Modes of Human Behaviour
Ans: (B)

Which of the following works by Johnson is an imitation of the tenth satire of Juvenal ?
(A) London
(B) Vanity of Human Wishes
(C) The Life of Savage
(D) Rasselas
Ans: (B)

What is the following a description of? ‘A loose sally of the mind; an irregular indigested piece’
(A) Essay
(B) Autobiography
(C) Epistolary Fiction
(D) Diary
Ans: (A)

What does the phrase ut pictura poesis from Horace’s Art of Poetry mean ?
(A) “as in painting, so in poetry”.
(B) “poetry beggars pictorial description” .
(C) “as in poetry, so in painting” .
(D) “picture above all poetry” .
Ans: (A)

Who distinguished between 11the literature of Knowledge” and “the literature of power” ?

(A) Coleridge
(B) De Quincey
(C) Hazlitt
(D) Lamb
Ans: (B)

The line”Poetry is a criticism of life” occurs in :
(A) Culture and Anarchy
(B) Modern Painters
(C) The Study of Poetry
(D) Sartor Resartus
Ans: (C)

Alexander Pope’s An Essay in Criticism :
(a) Purports to define “wit” and “nature” as they apply to the literature of his age.
(b) Claims no originality in the thought that governs this work.
(c) is a prose essay that gives us such quotes as “A little learning is a dangerous thing !”
(d) Appeared in 1701.
(A) (c) and (d) are incorrect.
(B) (a) and (b) are incorrect.
(C) (a) to (d) are correct.
(D) only (a) and (d) are correct.
Ans: *

Eliot’s theory of “objective correlative” appeared in his essay entitled :
(A) Three voices of Poetry
(B) Tradition and the Individual Talent
(C) The Metaphysical Poets
(D) Hamlet
Ans: (D)

Jeremy Collier’s Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage (1698) attacked ______.
(A) the practice of mixing tragic and comic themes in Shakespeare’s plays.
(B) the bawdiness of “low” characters in Shakespeare’s plays.
(C) the coarseness and ugliness of Restoration Theatre.
(D) irreligious themes and irreverent attitudes in the plays of the seventeenth century.
Ans: (C)

One of the most important themes the speakers debate in Dryden’s An Essay on Dramatic Poesy is______.
(A) European and non-European perceptions of reality.
(B) English and non-English perceptions of reality.
(C) the relative merits of French and English theatre.
(D) the relative merits of French and English poetry.
Ans: (C)

The author of the book observes “I have attempted, through the medium of biography, to present some Victorian visions to the modern eye”. The four main characters in this book are Cardinal Manning, Florence Nightingale, Dr. Arnold and General Gordon. Who is this author?
(A) Mathew Arnold
(B) Robert Browning
(C) Lytton Strachey
(D) Oscar Wilde
Ans: (C)

In his attack delivered on the theatre in A Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage, Jeremy Collier specially arraigned ______ and _______.
(A) Congreve and Vanbrugh
(B) Farquhar and Vanbrugh
(C) Wycherley and Farquhar
(D) Congreve and Etherege
Ans: (A)

Virginia Woolf borrowed the idea of the common reader from Dr. Johnson. To which particular work of Johnson’s does she remain indebted?
(A) The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets; the essay on Milton
(B) The Lives of the Most EminentEnglish Poets; the essay on Gray
(C) Preface to Shakespeare
(D) The Patriot
Ans: (B)

Nothing odd will do long. ______ did not last long.” Dr. Johnson had this to say about one of the eighteenth-century novels. Identify it from the following list:
(A) Tom Jones
(B) The Female Quixote
(C) Tristram Shandy
(D) Clarissa
Ans: (C)

Ben Jonson disliked

I. fantastic comedy
II. Wide-ranging chronicle-history and stupendous tragedy
III. The comedies of Terence and Plautus
IV. The ability of satire to expose human vices and follies
The correct combination according to the code is:
(A) I and III are correct.
(B) III and IV are correct.
(C) I and IV are correct.
(D) I and II are correct.
Ans: (D)

According to Longinus, the sublime has the following features except:
(A) It is the essence of all great poetry and oratory.
(B) It is interested in the usual rhetorical goal of persuasion.
(C) It valorizes a special use of language.
(D) It is a matter of reader-response.
Ans: (B)

The issue of privileging speech over writing was taken up for discussion in Plato’s :
(A) Ion
(B) Republic Book III
(C) Republic Book X
(D) Phaedrus
Ans: (D)

Though Coleridge refers to “Motivehunting of a motiveless malignity”, the “human villain” Iago is far from “motiveless”. His motives are
I. He has been disappointed of military promotion.
II. He suspects Othello of cuckolding him
III. He has been in love with Desdemona
IV. He wants to become Othello.
Find the most appropriate combination according to the code :
(A) I and II are correct
(B) I and III are correct
(C) I and IV are correct
(D) II and IV are correct
Ans: (A)

What is Johnson’s opinion regarding the “Violation” of the three unities in the plays of Shakespeare?
I. Shakespeare should have followed the Unities.
II. Shakespeare followed the important Unity of Action satisfactorily.
III. Shakespeare’s plays suffered because they did not follow the Unities.
IV. Unity of Time and Place arise from false assumptions.
The correct combination according to the code is
(A) I and II are correct.
(B) II and IV are correct.
(C) III and IV are correct.
(D) I and III are correct
Ans: (B)

“No man is truly great, who is great only in his lifetime. The test of greatness is the page of history. Nothing can be said to be great that has a distinct limit, or that borders on something evidently greater than itself. Besides, what is shortlived and pampered into mere notoriety, is of a gross and vulgar quality in itself.” This passage describing the quality of greatness is taken from
(A) “Of studies” by Francis Bacon
(B) “The Indian Jugglers” by William Hazlitt
(C) Preface to Shakespeare by Samuel Johnson
(D) An Essay of Dramatic Poesy by John Dryden
Ans: (B)

Identify the critics and their respective works :
(A) Horace – Ars Poetica Aristotle – Poetics Quintillian – Institutio Oratoria Ben Jonson – Discoveries Sidney – An Apology for Poetry Dryden – An Essay of Dramatic Poesy
(B) Horace – Poetics Aristotle – Ars Poetica Quintillian – On the sublime Longinus – Discoveries Ben Jonson – Institutio Oratoria Sidney – An Essay of Dramatic Poesy Dryden – An Apology for Poetry
(C) Horace – On the sublime Aristotle – Poetics Quintillian – Discoveries Longinus – Institutio Oratoria Ben Jonson – An Essay of Dramatic Poesy Sidney – Ars Poetica Dryden – An Apology for Poetry
(D) Horace – Ars Poetica Aristotle – Poetics Quintillian – Institutio Oratoria Longinus – On the Sublime Ben Jonson – An Apology for Poetry Sidney – An Essay of Dramatic Poesy Dryden – Discoveries
Ans: (A)

In his Introduction to The Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century English Verse (1973), Philip Larkin underlines the importance of a native tradition with seen as the major poet of the Modern Period.
(A)William Butler Yeats
(B) T.S. Eliot
(C) Thomas Hardy
(D) D.H. Lawrence
Ans: (C)

Philip Sidney defended poetry against such descriptions of it as “the mother of lies” and “the nurse of abuse.” His main argument here is .
(A) The poet is no conjuror or illusionist and represents a world.
(B) The poet cannot lie because he is not claiming to tell us the truth.
(C) The poet cannot speak the truth because he is not representing the real world.
(D) The poet is a philosopher for whom truth is a lie, and lie truth, in an imaginary world.
Ans: (B)

In 1668, Dryden wrote Of Dramatic Poesie : An Essay which uses__________ separate characters to dramatise the conflicting viewpoints which new theatrical activity had produced.
(A) three
(B) two
(C) four
(D) six
Ans: (C)

In his famous letter to Benjamin Bailey (November 22, 1817) John Keats wrote : “I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart’s affections and the truth of Imagination – What the imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth.” Which of the following sentences follows this passage ?
(A) Now I am sensible all this is a mere sophistication, however it may neighbour to any truths, to excuse my own indolence…
(B) The Imagination may be compared to Adam’s dream – he woke and found it true.
(C) This however I am persuaded of, that nothing beside Imagination can give us sweet sensations and pleasurable thoughts.
(D) My pains at last some respite shall afford, while I behold the battles Imagination maintains.
Ans: (B)

Who is the author of the statement : “The nineteenth century dislike of Realism is the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in the glass” ?
(A)Arthur Symons
(B) Benjamin Disraeli
(C) W. B. Yeats
(D) Oscar Wilde
Ans: (D)

Aristotle argued that poetry provides a/an __________ outlet for the release of intense emotions.
(A) safe
(B) dangerous
(C) uncertain
(D) unreliable
Ans: (A)

“Nature and Nature’s Laws lay hid in Night, God said Let Newton be! And all was Light.”
Alexander Pope’s famous couplet impressively captures.

(A)Newton’s confirmation of the Genesis passage where God ordains Light
(B)Newton’s empirical observations of Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica
(C)Newton’s application of principles of motion to account for many natural phenomena
(D)Newton’s discovery that all colors are contained in white light
Ans: (D)

In which of the following volumes do you find a charming appreciation of the Wordsworth household by Thomas de Quincey?
(A) The Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
(B) Lives and Letters, Far Away and Long Ago
(C) Notes on My Lake Country Evenings
(D) Reminiscences of the English Lake Poets
Ans: (D)

“I suffered from impaired eye-sight, depression and poverty and left Oxford without a degree. After a period as a teacher and my marriage to a widow twice my age, I left for London, to begin writing for a magazine, I produced my own journal.” Choose the correct answer, identifying the writer, the magazine and the journal.
(A)John Milton, The Examiner’s Magazine, London Magazine
(B)Joseph Addison, The Freeholder, The Tatler
(C)Richard Steele, The Guardian, The Spectator
(D)Samuel Johnson, The Gentlemen’s Magazine, The Rambler
Ans: (D)

In John Dryden’s Essay on Dramatic Poesy Neander defends the English invention of __________.
(A) romantic comedy
(B) action tragedy
(C) tragi-comedy
(D) morality plays
Ans: (C)

Pope’s An Essay on Man is based on the ideas of :
(A) Lord Petrie
(B) Theobald
(C) Lord Bolingbroke
(D) Lord Harvey
Ans: (C)

“In the seventeenth century,” writes T. S. Eliot in “The Metaphysical Poets,” “a dissociation of sensibility set in, from which we have never recovered; and this dissociation, as is natural, was aggravated by the influence of the two most powerful poets of the century, ___________and __________.
(A) Ben Jonson and Abraham Cowley
(B) George Herbert and Henry Vaughan
(C) John Donne and Andrew Marvell
(D) John Milton and John Dryden
Ans: (D)

The term ‘poetic justice’ was coined by .
(A) Samuel Taylor Coleridge
(B) Thomas Rymer
(C) Samuel Johnson
(D) William Wordsworth
Ans: (B)

Where there is leisure for fiction, there is little grief., was Samuel Johnson’s criticism of a famous poem. Which poem was it?
(A) P.B. Shelley’s “Adonais”
(B) Philip Sidney`s “Astrophel and Stella”
(C) Thomas Gray`s “Elegy Written on a Country Churchyard”
(D) John Miltion`s “Lycidas”
Ans: (D)

How all their plays be neither right tragedies, nor right comedies, mingling kings and elowns, not because the matter so carrieth it, hut thrust in the clown by head and shoulders to play a part in majestical matters. What term does Philip Sidney use to characterize such plays and which of the unities of Aristotle do they violate ?
(A) mongrel tragicomedy; unity of action
(B) mixed tragedies; unity of action
(C) multi-plot drama; unity of time
(D) mingled yarn; unity of place
Ans: (A)

According to Coleridge, the secondary imagination dissolves, diffuses, _________ , in order to recreate….. Choose the right word for the blank.
(A) disintegrates
(B) dissipates
(C) displaces
(D) dissociates
Ans: (B)

A famous challenge to the Neoclassical tenets of form and reason in aesthetic considerations came from Edmund Burke. His work was titled :
(A) An Enquiry into the Philosophical Origin of, Our Ideas of the sublime and the Beautiful
(B) Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin Of Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful
(C) An Enquiry into the Philosophical Origin of Our Ideas of the Beautiful and the Sublime
(D) Philosophical Enquiry into Our Original Ideas of the Beautiful and the Sublime
Ans: (B)

In Biographia Literaria S.T. Coleridge defines the imagination as the faculty by which
(A) the soul perceives the phenomenal diversity of the universe.
(B) the soul perceives the spiritual unity of the universe.
(C) the mind acquires images by its associative power.
(D) the mind separates images by its discriminatory power.
Ans: (B)

In An Essay of Dramatic Poesy to whom does Dryden refer with the phrase “he needed not the spectacles of books to read Nature”?
(A) Ben Jonson
(B) Ovid
(C) William Shakespeare
(D) Geoffrey Chaucer
Ans: (C)

11,396 definitions of romanticism were given by :
(A) Friedrich Schlegel
(B) Victor Hugo
(C) Edger Allan Poe
(D) F. L. Lucas
Ans: (D)

The term ‘a stream of consciousness’ is derived from the writing of :
(A) Mary Sinclair
(B) Dorothy Richardson
(C) William James
(D) Gertrude Stein
Ans: (C)

 In his Defence of Poesy what is the “best and most accomplished kind of poetry” in Sidney’s estimation?
(A) Heroical, or epic poetry
(B) Lyric poetry
(C) Pastoral poetry
(D) Elegiac poetry
Ans: (A)

Which of the following ancient critics does Alexander Pope commend as exemplary in Essay on Criticism?
(A) Aristotle, Quintilian, Dryden, Dionysius, Horace
(B) Aristotle, Longinus, Quintilian, Durfey, Dryden
(C) Aristotle, Horace, Dionysius, Quintilian, Longinus
(D) Aristotle, Horace, Durfey, Quintilian, Longinus
Ans: (C)

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 “In honoured poverty thy voice did weave/songs consecrate to truth and liberty, – / Deserting
these, thou leavest me to grieve” are lines from “To Wordsworth”. Who is the poet?

(A) Coleridge
(B) Shelley
(C) Byron
(D) Keats
Ans: (B)

In Thomas Hobbes’s grand metaphor in Leviathan, a commonwealth is like ………….
(A) a great ship piloted by one man, but managed by the efforts of many.
(B) an artificial man imbued with the strength of many men.
(C) an octopus whose many tentacles represent the competing interests of men.
(D) an ostrich, which thrusts its head in the sand to avoid danger and self examination.
Ans: (B)

The form of Dryden’s Essay of Dramatic Poesy is
(A) an essay
(B) an epic poem
(C) a dialogue
(D) a play
Ans: (C)

Which work by a famous poet does Thomas de Quincey refer to as “the feeblest and least interesting” of his writings “being substantially a mere versification, like a metrical multiplication table, of common places, the most mouldy with which criticism has baited its rat-traps”?
(A) John Dryden’s An Essay of Dramatic Poesy
(B) Alexander Pope’s An Essay on Criticism
(C) Shelley’s Defence of Poetry
(D) Sidney’s An Apologie for Poetry
Ans: (B)

____ attempted to draw a distinction between two kinds of Truth, a theological Truth ‘drawn from the word and oracles of God’ and determined by faith, and a ‘scientific’ Truth based on the light of nature and the dictates of reason.
(A) Treatise on the laws of Ecclesiastical Piety
(B) Literature and Pulpit in Medieval England
(C) The Advancement of Learning
(D) The New Atlantis
Ans: (C)

In Defence of Poesy what arguments does Sidney make for considering the Biblical Psalms poetry?
I. They are written in meter.
II. They originated in Church choirs
III. They were written by a single author.
IV. David uses imagery and personification to portray faith.
The right combination according to the code is
(A) II and III
(B) I and III
(C) I and IV
(D) II and IV
Ans: (C)

The critical concept of a “Willing suspension of disbelief” owes its origin to Chapter …………… of Biographia Literaria.
(A) IX
(D) XV
Ans: (B)

Thomas Carlyle coined two evocative phrases, ‘Everlasting Nay’ and ‘Everlasting Yea’ to suggest the swing in the national mood of his times. The phrases came from
(A) On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History
(B) Past and Present
(C) Sartos Resartus
(D) The French Revolution
Ans: (C)

Which of these lines is NOT in Pope’s Essay on Criticism?
(A) “Wretches hang that jury men may dine”
(B) “A little learning is a dangerous thing”
(C) “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread”
(D) “The sound must seem an echo to the sense”
Ans: (A)

In his theory of Mimesis, Plato says that all art is mimetic by nature; art is an imitation of life. To argue his case he gives the example of a :
(A) cloud
(B) chair
(C) tree
(D) river
Ans: (B)

For Coleridge, our power to perceive symbols gleaned from the world about us is related to the category of :
(A) primary imagination
(B) secondary imagination
(C) fancy
(D) intuition
Ans: (A)

What, among the following, is ruled out by Longinus as a way of achieving the sublime?
(A) great thoughts
(B) immoderate emotion
(C) noble diction
(D) dignified and elevated word arrangement
Ans: (B)

In The Advancement of Learning Bacon noted the need for more studies of
I. moral knowledge
II. forbidden knowledge
III. civil knowledge
IV. spiritual knowledge
The right combination according to the code is
(A) I and III
(B) I and IV
(C) II and III
(D) II and IV
Ans: (A)

As Sidney argues in A Defence of Poesy which discipline is more useful and praiseworthy – history or poetry?
(A) History “being captivated to truth” is more useful than poetry.
(B) Poetry where man can see “virtue exalted and vice punished” is more useful than history.
(C) History is more useful for poetry is “an encouragement to unbridled wickedness”.
(D) History and poetry are synonymous, and so both are useful.
Ans: (B)

Which of the following books proposes a political theory ?
(A) Principia
(B) Leviathan
(C) Anatomy of Melancholy
(D) Liberty of Prophesying
Ans: (B)

The phrase disassociation of sensibility was first used by :
(A) Philip Sydney
(B) T. S. Eliot
(C) John Dryden
(D) Mathew Arnold
Ans: (B)

 A philosophical attitude pervading much of modern literature is :
(A) Absurdism
(B) Dadaism
(C) Imagism
(D) Surrealism
Ans: (A)

‘Fancy’ deals with :
(A) Fixities and definities
(B) Imagination and Reason
(C) Judgement and Memory
(D) Structure and Superstructure
Ans: (A)

The most obvious feature of Johnson’s The Lives of the Poets is the equipoise between :
(A) Language and form
(B) Style and content
(C) Biography and criticism
(D) Myth and archetype
Ans: (C)

With whom was Dr. Johnson intimately associated in his personal life?
(A) Boswell
(B) Dryden
(C) Alexander Pope
(D) Lord Bolingbroke
Ans: (A)

Philip Sidney wrote An Apology for Poetry in immediate response to
(A) Plato’s Republic
(B) Aristotle’s Poetics
(C) Stephen Gosson’s The School of Abuse
(D) Jeremy Collier’s Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage.
Ans: (C)

Dr. Johnson’s “The Vanity of Human Wishes” expresses
(A) Epicureanism
(B) Humanism
(C) Stoicism
(D) Cynicism
Ans: (D)

 (A) : Dr Johnson’s The Lives of the Poets carries critical and biographical studies of poets he admired. It does not, however, carry a life of William Wordsworth.
Reason (R) : Dr. Johnson singled out poets whom he not only admired but also adored. This explains his omission of Wordsworth.

(A) (A) is wrong but (R) is correct.
(B) (A) is true but (R) is false.
(C) (A) and (R) are true.
(D) Neither (A) nor (R) is true.
Ans: (D)

“He is not fully recognized at home; he is not recognized at all abroad. Yet I firmly believe that the poetical performance of __________ is, after that of Shakespeare and Milton, undoubtedly most considerable in our language.” To whom does Matthew Arnold refer in the above statement ?
(A) Edmund Spenser
(B) John Keats
(C) William Wordsworth
(D) S.T. Coleridge
Ans: (C)

The concept of human mind as tabula rasa or blank tablet was propounded by
(A) Bishop Berkley
(B) David Hume
(C) Francis Bacon
(D) John Locke
Ans: (D)

The phrase ‘the willing suspension of disbelief ’ occurs in
(A) Biographia Literaria
(B) Preface to Lyrical Ballads
(C) In Defence of Poetry
(D) Poetics
Ans: (A)

Which romantic poet coined the famous phrase ‘spots of time’ ?
(A) John Keats
(B) William Wordsworth
(C) S.T. Coleridge
(D) Lord Byron
Ans: (B)

 Who, amongst the following, does not belong to the ‘Great Tradition’, enunciated by F. R. Leavis ?
(A) Joseph Conrad
(B) James Joyce
(C) Jane Austen
(D) George Eliot
Ans: (B)

Put the following books of Pope in a sequence of publication. Answer the question with the help of the Code given below :
(i) The Dunciad
(ii) The Rape of the Lock
(iii) An Essay on Man
(iv) An Essay on Criticism
Code :
(A) (ii), (iii), (i), (iv)
(B) (i), (ii), (iii), (iv)
(C) (iv), (ii), (i), (iii)
(D) (ii), (i), (iv), (iii)
Ans: (C)

The term “egotistical sublime” was coined by
(A) S.T. Coleridge
(B) John Keats
(C) William Wordsworth
(D) William Hazlitt
Ans: (B)

“The future of poetry is immense, because in poetry…. our race, as time goes on, will find an ever surer and surer stay.” – This claim for poetry is made in
(A) Arnold’s “The Study of Poetry”
(B) Shelley’s “A Defence of Poetry”
(C) Sidney’s “An Apology for Poetry”
(D) Eliot’s of Poetry and Poets
Ans: (A)

Plato censured poetry because he believed it
(A) eliminates the ego.
(B) promotes sensuality.
(C) distorts reality.
(D) cripples the imagination.
Ans: (B)

Eliot uses the term “objective correlative” in his essay.
(A) “The Metaphysical Poets”
(B) “Hamlet”
(C) “Tradition and the Individual Talent”
(D) “Dante”
Ans: (B)

Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man was published in
(A) 1790
(B) 1791
(C) 1792
(D) 1793
Ans: (B)

In Dryden’s Essay of Dramatic Poesy (1668), who opens the discussion on behalf of the ancients?
(A) Lisideius
(B) Crites
(C) Eugenius
(D) Neander
Ans: (B)

Whom did Keats regard as the prime example of ‘negative capability’?
(A) John Milton
(B) William Wordsworth
(C) William Shakespeare
(D) P.B. Shelley
Ans: (C)

“He found it [English] brick and left it marble”, remarked one great writer on another. Who were they?
(A) Milton on Shakespeare
(B) Dryden on Milton
(C) Johnson on Dryden
(D) Jonson on Shakespeare
Ans: (C)

List – I
1. Good sense is the body of poetic genius
2. Poetry is the breath and a finer spirit of all knowledge
3. Literary criticism is a description and evaluation of its object
4. Nature never set forth the earth in as rich a tapestry as diverse poets have done
List – II
I. Brooks, “The Formalist Critic”
II. Sidney, Defence/ An Apology for Poetry
III. Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads
IV. Coleridge, Biographia Literaria
1 2 3 4
Ans: (A)

“The story and the novel, the idea and the form, are the needle and thread, and I never heard of a guild of tailors who recommended the use of the thread without the needle, or the needle without the thread.”
This famous passage describing the relation of idea to form is found in

(A) Sir Philip Sidney, An Apology for Poetry
(B) Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Biographia Literaria
(C) Henry James, “The Art of Fiction”
(D) I.A. Richards, Principles of Literary Criticism
Ans: (C)

William Wordsworth’s statement of purpose in publishing the Lyrical Ballads carries the following phrase. (Complete the phrase correctly).
“to choose incidents from common life and to relate or describe them, throughout, as far as possible, ______.”

(A) in a selection of language really used by men.
(B) in a relation to language really used by men.
(C) in a selection of language really used by common man.
(D) in deference to language actually used by men.
Ans: (A)

One English poet addressing another:
Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart;
Thou hast a voice whose sound was like the sea:
Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,
So didst thou travel on life’s common way,
In cheerful godliness….
Whose lines are these? To whom are they addressed?

(A) W.H. Auden – W.B. Yeats
(B) P.B. Shelley – William Blake
(C) William Wordsworth – John Milton
(D) Ben Jonson – William Shakespeare
Ans: (C)

Samuel Johnson’s Lives of Poets (1781) was originally a series of introductions to the poets he wrote for a group of London publishers. They were collected as:
(A) Lives of English Poets: Critical and Biographical Essays.
(B) Prefaces, Biographical and Critical, to the Works of English Poets.
(C) Notes, Biographical and Critical, on the Works of English Poets.
(D) Lives of English Poets: Biographical and Critical Notes.
Ans: (B)

Who claimed: “I have not published a single paper that is not written in a spirit of benevolence and with a love of mankind”?
(A) Pope
(B) Dryden
(C) Swift
(D) Addison
Ans: (D)

In the Advancement of Learning Bacon attempted a preliminary survey of the entire field of learning, by analyzing the principal obstacles to its advancement. Identify from among the following choices the one that he did not mention as an obstacle:
(A) Rhetoric
(B) Medieval scholasticism
(C) Inductive method
(D) Pseudo sciences
Ans: (C)

Who among the following theorists formulated the concept of the utile dulci, profit combined with delight?
(A) Plato
(B) Aristotle
(C) Horace
(D) Longinus
Ans: (C)

Out of the four humours of the body, the Jacobeans thought of themselves as especially prone to
(A) Choler
(B) Blood
(C) Phlegm
(D) Melancholy
Ans: (D)

In the Defence of Poetry, what did Sydney attribute to poetry?
(A) A magical power whereby poetry plays tricks on the reader.
(B) A divine power whereby poetry transmits a message from God to the reader.
(C) A moral power whereby poetry encourages the reader to evaluate virtuous models.
(D) A realistic power that cannot be made to seem like mere illusion and trickery.
Ans: (C)

Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding is a classic statement of _________ Philosophy.
(A) Aesthetic
(B) Empiricist
(C) Nationalist
(D) Realist
Ans: (B)

Who among the following English poets defined poetic imagination as “a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite ‘I AM’ ”?
(A) Blake
(B) Wordsworth
(C) Coleridge
(D) Shelley
Ans: (C)

The Uncertainty Principle is attributed to
(A) William James
(B) John Dewey
(C) Werner Heisenberg
(D) Charles Darwin
Ans: (C)

 Philosophy of Symbolic Forms is a work associated with _______.
(A) Wilhelm von Humboldt
(B) Ernst Cassirer
(C) Immanuel Kant
(D) Battista Vico
Ans: (B)

“All Rising to Great Place is by a _____ staire.” (Francis Bacon)
(A) Murky
(B) Winding
(C) Crooked
(D) Sinister
Ans: (B)

New Science is a work associated with _______.
(A) Ernest Cassirer
(B) Wilhelm von Humboldt
(C) G. Battista Vico
(D) Immanuel Kant
Ans: (C)

Which of the following works is not actually a prose essay?
(A) Essay of Dramatic Poesy
(B) Essay on Man
(C) An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
(D) An Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision
Ans: (B)

 Identify the incorrect factor in Henry James’ theory of the novel :
(A) It should be sentimental
(B) It should be objective
(C) It should be realistic
(D) It should be viewed as an artistic form
Ans: (A)

D.H. Lawrence popularized the concept of …………… in his novels.
(A) Realism
(B) Naturalism
(C) Primitivism
(D) Expressionism
Ans: (C)

Who, among the following, advanced the theory that the mind is a tabula rasa at birth, and acquires all ideas by experience?
(A) John Locke
(B) John Wesley
(C) Isaac Watts
(D) Denis Diderot
Ans: (A)

In the Defense of Poesy Sidney says: “Now as in geometry the oblique must be known as well as right and in arithmetic, the odd as well as the even, so in the actions of our life who seeth not the filthiness of evil wanteth a great foil to perceive the beauty of virtue”. Which of the following forms of poesy offers a foil that helps us perceive the beauty of virtue?
(A) Pastorals
(B) Parody
(C) Comedy
(D) Tragedy
Ans: (C)

Matthew Arnold’s “touchstones” were “short passages, even single lines” of classic poetry beside which the lines of other poets may be placed in order to detect the presence or absence of high poetic quality. In his “Study of Poetry” Arnold cited “touchstones” from such non-English poets as Homer and Dante and also from the English poets, Shakespeare and Milton. Which English poet did he disapprovingly call “not one of the great classics” in the list below?
(A) Chaucer
(B) Sidney
(C) Spenser
(D) Donne
Ans: (A)

In the lines “With gold jewels cover every part, /And hide with ornaments their want of art” (Essay on Criticism), Pope rejects
(A) the ‘Follow Nature’ fallacy
(B) artificiality
(C) aesthetic order
(D) poor taste
Ans: (B)

The author of the essay “Silly Novels by Lady Novelists” is ……………..
(A) George Eliot
(B) Henry James
(C) Oscar Wilde
(D) Richard Steele
Ans: (A)

In which chapter of Poetics does Aristotle use the word ‘catharsis’ in his definition of tragedy?
(A) Chapter IV
(B) Chapter VI
(C) Chapter ITT
(D) Chapter V
Ans: (B)

Match the following:
List – I
(a) “The Function of Criticism”
(b) “The Function of Criticism at the Present Time”
(c) The Function of Criticism : From ‘The Spectator’ to Poststructuralism
(d) “The Function of English at the Present Time”
List – II
(1) Terry Eagleton
(ii) Richard Ohmann
(iii) Matthew Arnold
(iv) T. S. Eliot
The right matching according to the code is:
(a) (b) (c) (d)
(A) (iv) (iii) (i) (ii)
(B) (i) (ii) (iii) (iv)
(C) (iii) (iv) (i) (ii)
(D) (ii) (iii) (iv) (i)
Ans: (A)

Samuel Johnson’s use of the term “metaphysical” in a piece of criticism was ………….
(A) approving
(B) disapproving
(C) positive
(D) accidental
Ans: (B)

F. R. Leavis and Q. D. Leavis launched a critical journal devoted to the moral centrality of English Studies. Name the Journal.
(A) The English Historical Review
(B) The Criterion
(C) Scrutiny
(D) The Edinburgh Review
Ans: (C)

In “Tradition and Individual Talent” Eliot describes the workings of the poet’s mind in terms of which of the following?
(A) Natural selection
(B) A chemical reaction
(C) A flowing river
(D) A cornucopia
Ans: (B)

 The pre-eminent evaluative criterion of F.R. Leavis’s Great Tradition is
(A) moral purpose
(B) sublime subject matter
(C) reader-response
(D) truth to life
Ans: (A)

In “Tradition and Individual Talent”, according to T.S. Eliot, the term “Traditional”
usually means

(A) something positive
(B) something negative
(C) something historical
(D) something old
Ans: (B)

Shakespeare famously neglects to observe Aristotle’s rules concerning the three dramatic unities, and Samuel Johnson undertakes to defend Shakespeare from these criticisms in his Preface to Shakespeare. Which of the Aristotelian dramatic unities does Johnson believe Shakespeare to observe most successfully?
(A) Time
(B) Place
(C) Action
(D) Johnson does not feel that the Aristotelian dramatic unities are important
Ans: (C)

In his Defence of Poesy which of the following works does Sidney commend as good examples of English Poesy ?
I. The Mirror of Magistrates
II. The Shepherd’s Calendar
III. Lament for the Makers
IV. Ballad of Scottish King
The right combination according to the code is :
(A) I and III
(B) I and IV
(C) I and II
(D) II and III
Ans: (C)

In “Tradition and the Individual Talent” T.S Eliot uses the analogy of the catalyst to elucidate his theory of impersonal poetry. He cites the example of a filament of platinum and, in the poetic process this is equivalent to
(A) the language of the poet
(B) the mind of the poet
(C) the soul of the poet
(D) the life of the poet
Ans: (B)

Samuel Johnson’s Lives of the English Poets combines the following except
(A) analytical criticism
(B) literary history
(C) personal biography
(D) Socratic dialogue
Ans: (D)

Samuel Johnson denounced the metaphysical poets saying, “About the beginning of the seventeenth century appeared a race of writers that may be termed the metaphysical poets”. In the biography of which of the following poets in his Lives of Poets did Johnson make this remark ?
(A) John Dryden
(B) Thomas Parnell
(C) Abraham Cowley
(D) Alexander Pope
Ans: (C)

In An Essay of Dramatic Poesy whom does John Dryden refer to as “the most learned and judicious Writer which any Theater ever had” ?
(A) John Webster
(B) Christopher Marlowe
(C) Ben Jonson
(D) William Shakespeare
Ans: (C)

What does the phrase ut pictura poesis from Horace’s Art of Poetry mean ?
(A) “as in painting, so in poetry”.
(B) “poetry beggars pictorial description” .
(C) “as in poetry, so in painting” .
(D) “picture above all poetry” .
Ans: (A)

Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis is about a utopian state called
(A) Asgard
(B) Avalon
(C) Bensalem
(D) Baltia
Ans: (C)

What does Philip Sidney call poet-haters in his Defence of Poesie ?
(A) Misogynists
(B) Misanthropes
(C) Misnomers
(D) Mysomousoi
Ans: (D)

The four Moral Essays of Alexander Pope are addressed to carefully selected figures. Identify
(A) Timons, Newton, Martha Blount, Wellington
(B) Lord Cobham, Robert Walpole, Houghton Hall, Chandos
(C) Martha Blount, Lord Cobham, Bathurst, Burlington
(D) William III, John Haydn, Joseph Addison, John Dennis
Ans: (C)

Where, according to T.S. Eliot, are we likely to find “not only the best, but the most individual parts of a poet’s work” ?
(A) in the poet’s juvenilia or rejected drafts.
(B) in the best anthologies and scrap-books.
(C) in those parts where the dead poets assert their immortality.
(D) in those parts where the living poets depart from their ancestors.
Ans: (C)

Samuel Johnson has the following to say about an English poet:
“These images are marked by glittering accumulations of ungraceful ornaments : they strike, rather than please. The images are magnified by affectation : the language is labored into harshness. The mind of the writer seems to work with unnatural violence -‘Double, double, toil and trouble’. He has a kind of strutting dignity, and is tall by walking on tiptoe. His art and his struggle are too visible, and there is too little appearance of ease and nature.”

Identify the poet.
(A) Thomas Gray
(B) John Dryden
(C) John Milton
(D) Thomas Wyatt
Ans: (A)

Who among the ancients prescribed that poetry should both instruct and delight ?
(A) Longinus
(B) Plotinus
(C) Aristotle
(D) Horace
Ans: (D)

 In imitation of which classical poet did Samuel Johnson write his London and The Vanity of Human Wishes?
(A) Horace
(B) Homer
(C) Juvenal
(D) Tasso
Ans: (C)

In his essay “The Function of Criticism at the Present Time” (1864) Matthew Arnold contended that
(A) Creative and critical powers should be ranked equally
(B) Creative and critical powers are not comparable in any way
(C) Critical power should be ranked higher than creative power
(D) Creative power should be ranked higher than critical power
Ans: (D)

Why did Plato banish the poet from his ideal state?
(A) Poetry makes an artificial distinction between form and content
(B) Poetry deals with form, to the neglect of content.
(C) the poet can never produce a completely accurate replica of the reality it seeks to represent, and (moreover) the purpose of art is not to describe reality but to change it.
(D) In representing the sensual aspects of reality, the poet fails to discern the transcendent reality behind mere appearance.
Ans: (D)

From among the following, identify the two correct statements in Johnson’s criticism of Shakespeare :
(a) His Athenians are not sufficiently Greek and his kings not completely royal.
(b) He sacrifices virtue to convenience and is more careful to please than to instruct.
(c) He adheres to strict chronology and gives to one age or nation only its own customs and opinions.
(d) He sacrifices reason, property and truth to pursue even a poor and barren quibble.
Choose the correct option:
(A) (a) and (b)
(B) (a) and (c)
(C) (c) and (d)
(D) (b) and (d)
Ans: (D)

Which two writers have written essays on the defence of poetry?
(a) Sir Philip Sidney
(b) P. B. Shelley
(C) Mathew Arnold
(d) T. S. Eliot
Choose the correct option :
(A) (a) and (d)
(B) (a) and (c)
(C) (c) and (d)
(D) (a) and (b)
Ans: (D)

What, in sum, is Sidney’s point in the following?
“Nature never set forth the earth in so rich tapestry as divers poets have done; neither with pleasant rivets, fruitless trees, sweet—smelling flowers, not what so ever else may make the too-much-loved earth more lovely. Her world is brazen, the poets only deliver a golden” (Philip Sidney)
(A) Works of art are superior to the natural world they represent
(B) Works of art can often compete with the natural world represented by them
(C) Neither the poets nor the natural world they set forth equal nature’s rich tapestry
(D) The natural world is far superior to the works of art that represent it
Ans: (A)

Why did T. S. Eliot assert that Virgil, not Homer, is the poet of Europe?
(A) There are some initial moral concerns in Virgil
(B) Virgil belongs to the Roman period
(C) Homer was a pagan who was a renegade
(D) Virgil wrote in Latin while Homer wrote in Greek
Ans: (A)

Which one of the following of Plato’s beliefs/acts was Shelley countering by saying that ‘poets are the acknowledged legislators of mankind”?
(A) Banishment of poets from the republic
(B) Distrust of value of poetry for mankind
(C) Preference for legislators over poets
(D) Description of poets as mad men
Ans: (C)

Which of the following statements is correct?

(A) Langue is the language system, and Parole, the individual usage.

(B) Langue is the language usage, and Parole, the individual system.

(C) Langue is the language in abeyance, and Parole, the individual application.

(D) Langue is the language collective, and Parole, the individual deviation.

Ans: (A)

Of the five conditions of the Sublime, according to Longinus, the most important condition is:

(A) Vigorous treatment of passions

(B) Majesty of the structure

(C) A lofty cast of mind

(D) A wide range of thoughts

Ans: (C)

What does Socrates mean when in Plato’s Ion, he says “Poets are nothing but the interpreters of gods”?

(A) The Poets are the markers of their poems

(B) The Poets are acutely aware of gods in composing their poems

(C) The Poets are divinely possessed when they compose their poems

(D) The Poets first hear what gods say then put than into words

Ans: (C)

Following Plato, which two of the following statements about ‘Phantasm and Semblance’ are correct?

  1. ‘Phantasm’ is an image, while ‘Semblance is the real object’.
  2. ‘Phantasm’ is the real object while ‘Semblance is only a resemblance’.
  3. ‘Phantasm’ unlike semblance has the same proportional as the object.
  4. Semblance is unreal’ but looks ‘real’ as compared to phantasm.

Choose the correct option:

(A) (b) and (c)

(B) (c) and (d)

(C) (a) and (b)

(D) (d) and (a)

Ans: (B)

Which of the following is true of Aristotle’s Critical Position?

(A) Writers are likely to be mere entertainers who appeal to the emotions and passions of the audience.

(B) Texts created by poets are almost inevitably inaccurate and defective as limitations

(C) The best artitistic texts will be both complex and unified: every part of the work will be essential to it and will be linked to every other part.

(D) Texts should be judged on the basis of how accurately they imitate philosophical truth.

Ans: (C)

Match List I and List II
List I

A. Horace
B. John Dryden
C. Samuel Daniel
D. Ben Jonson

List II

I. A Defence of Rhyme
II. Timber: or, Discoveries
III. Ars Poetica
IV. Of Dramatic Poesy

Choose the correct answer from the options given below:
(a)A – II, B – I, C – IV, D – III
(b) A – III, B – IV, C – II, D – I
(c) A – III, B – IV, C – I, D – II
(d) A – II, B – IV, C – I, D – III
Ans: (c)

Who said of the blank verse, quoting an unnamed critic, that it is -…verse only to the eye”, adding further that it “has neither the easiness of prose, nor the melody of numbers”?
(A) John Dryden
(B) Alexander Pope
(C) Samuel Taylor Coleridge
(D) Samuel Johnson
Ans: (D)

Which one of the following statements is true about Aristotle’s poetics?
(A) He asserted the value of poetry by integrating rhetoric and imitation (mimesis).
(B) He asserted the value of poetry by focusing on both rhetoric and imitation (mimesis).
(C) He asserted the value of poetry by giving preference to rhetoric over imitation (mimesis).
(D) He asserted the value of poetry by focusing on imitation (mimesis) rather than rhetoric.
Ans: (D)

Arrange the following in the chronological order of publication:
A. Advancement of Learning
B. The Origin of Species
C. On Heroes and Hero Worship
D. The Lives of the Poets

Choose the correct answer from the options given below:
a. D, A, C, B
b. D, A, B, C
c. A D, C, B
d. A D, B, C
Ans: (c)

Poetry according to Sir Philip Sidney is of three kinds. They are:
(A) religious, dramatic, romantic
(B) classical, romantic, neo-classical
(C) philosophical, imaginative, narrative
(D) religious, philosophical, imaginative
Ans: (D)

Which according to Thomas Hobbes is the only ‘science’ God has bestowed on mankind, that informs the structure of his monumental work, Leviathan?
(A) Astronomy
(B) Architecture
(C) Occult sciences
(D) Geometry
Ans: (D)

16 thoughts on “Literary Criticism – (Previous Year Questions NET | GATE)”

  1. Too many questions sirji . But a fabulous job.
    Please mention how many are there in each section, so we can divide it easily and complete day by day .


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