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7 questions on GCSE English literature

GCSE English Literature Quiz

It's exam season. In a spirit of solidarity with frazzled school children, the Magazine is inviting readers to see how they would fare in a series of curriculum tests. Questions are of a GCSE standard and supplied by BBC Bitesize. This week it's English Literature. Turn over your papers now.


1.) GCSE English Literature Quiz

In Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, what does Mr Brocklehurst accuse Jane of when he visits Lowood school?

Ruth Wilson as Jayne Eyre
  1. Laziness
  2. Stealing
  3. Lying

GCSE English Literature Quiz

Mr Brocklehurst is a clergyman who runs the charity institution, where Jane is a pupil. Visiting for an inspection, he has her placed on a tall stool before the school after she accidentally breaks her slate. He accuses her of being a liar, an accusation she is later cleared of. Click NEXT to continue.

Mr Brocklehurst conronts a young jane in a BBc adaptation of Jane Eyre

2.) GCSE English Literature Quiz

In Shakespeare's Macbeth who was "untimely ripped" from his mother's womb?

The three witches from Macbeth
  1. Macbeth
  2. Macduff
  3. Duncan

3.) GCSE English Literature Quiz

In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mocking Bird, who tells Scout: "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

Mary Badham as Scout Finch
  1. Atticus Finch
  2. Tom Robinson
  3. Calpurnia

GCSE English Literature Quiz

Learning about other people in order to learn tolerance is one of the most important lessons of the novel. Atticus explains it to Scout after her first day at school when she got into trouble with her new teacher, but it rings true throughout. Click NEXT to continue.

Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch

4.) GCSE English Literature Quiz

Juliet is the *

  1. Stars
  2. Moon
  3. Sun

5.) GCSE English Literature Quiz

In John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men what is the significance of the killing of Candy's dog?

A man and his dog
  1. It introduces the idea of death
  2. It makes us feel sorry for Candy
  3. It hints that George will kill Lennie

GCSE English Literature Quiz

Candy's dog was shot humanely to prevent it suffering. Lennie is shot humanely by George to prevent him suffering at the hands of Curley. Candy later regrets he didn't have the strength of mind to kill the dog himself, but George is strong enough to kill Lennie kindly and save him from misery. Click NEXT to continue.

John Steinbeck

6.) GCSE English Literature Quiz

Which of these quotations from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing is an example of malapropism?

Robert Hardy and Dorothy Tutin as Claudio and Hero in Much Ado About Nothing
  1. "I would eat his heart in the market-place"
  2. "Is our whole dissembly appeared?"
  3. "Civil as an orange"

7.) GCSE English Literature Quiz

In his poem The Charge of the Light Brigade, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, writes: "Volleyed and thunder'd; Storm'd at with shot and shell." Why does he use such violent verbs?

A re-enactment of The Charge of the Light Brigade
  1. To reinforce the danger faced by soldiers
  2. To reinforce the anger of soldiers
  3. To reinforce the noise of battle


After you get your result, click on the link below to discuss your answers with other readers. It could mean the difference between an A and an A*


  1. He accuses her of lying.
  2. It was Macduff and means he was born by Caesarean section.
  3. It's her father Atticus Finch.
  4. It's: "Juliet is the sun."
  5. It hints that George will kill Lennie.
  6. It's: "Is our whole dissembly appeared?" A malapropism is the use of a word in mistake for one sounding similar. Dogberry meant to say "assembly" instead of "dissembly".
  7. He uses the verbs to reinforce the danger faced by the soldiers.

GCSE English Literature Quiz

0 - 3 : Literary lightweight

4 - 6 : Must read more

7 - 7 : Bookworm

Care to discuss or elaborate on your answers to this GCSE English quiz? Click here to do so.

For a complete archive of past quizzes, including the Curriculum tests and our weekly news quiz 7 days 7 questions, visit the Magazine index and scroll down the page. Questions supplied by BBC Bitesize

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