Victorian & Modern Criticism (Matthew Arnold & T. S. Eliot) - MCQ Test by Zayed


Victorian & Modern (Matthew Arnold & T. S. Eliot) Criticism - MCQ 

MCQ Sample Exam

By Mohamed Zayed

Choose the correct answer from a, b, c or d in the following sentences:

1) Mathew Arnold is considered the father of English criticism in . . .

a) Renaissance b) Victorian Age c) Restoration d) Modern-Day Literature

2) Arnold is famous for his essay which is entitled . . .

a. The Function of Structuralism

b. The Function of Poetic Inspiration

c. Theory of Literary Criticism

d. The Function of Criticism

3) According to Arnold, creative power is the power to . . .

a) improvise literary works

b) create literary works

c) criticize literary works

d) mock literary works

4) According to Arnold, what is the highest function of man?

a) The power to write poetry

b) The power to write satire

c) The power to criticize

d) The power to express one’s emotions

5) Arnold calls the creativity and proper explanation of such creativity . . .

a) “Hypothesis and disposition”

b) “Atheism and egalitarianism”

c) “Synthesis and exposition”

d) “Art’s for art’s sake theory”

6) Which of the following is not true concerning Arnold’s ideas?

a) Literary criticism seeks to provide an explanation for literary creativity

b) The function of a literary work is to express the attractive combination of ideas in an ambiguous manner.

c) The ideas of the literary work should be expressed in a beautiful form.

d) Literary criticism reflects the literary work as it really is.

7) Some critics perceive Arnold as more of a scientist rather than a man of letters, mainly because he . . .

a) employed scientific metaphors in his works

b) was affected by the theories of Darwin

c) he grow up in an industrial England

d) he applied scientific methods and reason to literary criticism.

8) Which of the following is a major characteristic of Arnold’s criticism?

a) Subjectivity and flooding of emotions

b) Disinterestedness and promoting taste

c) Highly metaphysical associations

d) A purely surrealist approach

9) Arnold’s age was characterized by . . .

a) revolutionary scientific theories and Industrial revolution

b) death of religion

c) rise of Romanticism

d) a & b

10) Arnold’s Touchstone Theory states that . . .

a) One can only recognize great poetry when one composes it.

b) One can only recognize great poetry when we experience and feel its power.

c) One can only recognize great poetry when one follows traditional rules.

d) One can recognize great poetry when one depends solely on one’s talent.

11) Arnold’s Touchstone theory provides . . .

a) a standard for judging what is great poetry

b) a standard for writing great poetry

c) a standard for using one’s talent in writing

d) a standard for using tradition in writing  

12) In his Theory of Touchstone, Arnold dismisses one of the following items:

a) Historical and personal context

b) Artistic context

c) Atheistic approach to poetry

d) Religious context

13) According to Arnold’s Touchstone Theory, which of the following criteria is the most significant for great poetry?

a) Romanticism and flooding of emotions

b) The scientific aspect of the literary work

c) The religious aspect of the literary work

d) The truth and seriousness of the literary work

14) Bearing in mind what you studied previously in Romanticism, what is the main difference between William Wordsworth and Mathew Arnold?

a) Wordsworth was the embodiment of subjectivity whereas Arnold is the manifestation of disinterestedness and objectivity.

b) Wordsworth was a metaphysical poet whereas Arnold was Romantic.

c) Wordsworth believed in the power of science whereas Arnold believed in the power of religion.

d) Wordsworth embraced religion as the only salvation for humanity whereas Arnold was an atheist.

15) Were you to live in Arnold’s time, how best would you perceive him?

a) A reformer of literary criticism

b) A strict follower of tradition

c) A strong believer in spontaneous creativity

d) A critic who is trying destroy old methods of literary criticism

16) The Victorian Age can be best defined as . . .

a) the age of the death of science

b) the age of the death of religion and rise of skepticism

c) the age of romanticism and flood of emotions

d) the age of metaphysical poets

17) In the Victorian Age, poetry was perceived as . . .

a) A substitute for traditional politics

b) A substitute for religion

c) A representative and carrier of strong personal emotions

d) A substitute for scientific methods

18) Arnold’s criticism highlights . . .

a) The political and scientific functions of literature

b) The social and cultural functions of literature

c) The religious and dogmatic functions of literature

d) The inevitability of death and melancholy of the age

19) Arnold was a strong believer in . . .

a) The materialism and mechanistic excesses of the age

b) The ability of literature to civilize and to cultivate morality

c) The religious needs of the Victorian age

d) The romantic trend of Victorian poetry

20) According to Arnold, one should turn to poetry so as to . . .

a) Find only solace, spiritual and emotion support

b) Find emotional support, solace, spiritual guidance as well as to interrupt life

c) Express one’s emotions in a highly sophisticated manner

d) Highlight one’s emotions through the use of complex images

21) According to Arnold, poetry’s highest function is to . . .

a) praise life and provide pleasure for Victorian people

b) To aid the position of religion and provide an outlet for one’s suppressed emotions

c) a & b

d) To replace religion and philosophy altogether

22) Eliot’s Tradition was originally developed by . . .

a) Jacques Derrida

b) Alfred Tennyson & Lawrence Sterne

c) Terry Eagleton

d) Matthew Arnold 

23) Arnold believed poetry to be capable of . . .

a) Inciting our deepest emotions using sophisticated language

b) Possessing the power to from, sustain and delight us.

c) Highlighting one’s personal experiences and historical aspect

d) Emphasizing one’s love of nature and the grandeur of God.

24) “Our personal affinities, likings, and circumstances, have great power to . . .”

a) Aid our appreciation of great poetry

b) Help one understand the true message of the literary work

c) Sway our estimate of this or that poet’s work

d) Appreciate the literary value of the work of art

25) The most general aim of realism was to . . .

a) offer a melancholic image of the real world

b) offer a romantic, positive image of the real world

c) offer a truthful, accurate and objective representation of the real world

d) offer the poet’s perception of the real world

26) Naturalism was the ancient term used for . . .

a) The love of nature and believing in God’s utmost grandeur

b) The following of the methods of the physical science , determinism and principles of causality

c) The dominion of natural religion of all human beings

d) a & c

27) Realism in America was mainly a reaction against . . .

a) Romanticism

b) Naturalism

c) Postmodernism

d) Structuralism

28) One of the leading figures of naturalism is . . .

a) Gabriel Marquez

b) Clemont Marot

c) Emile Zola

d) T. S. Eliot 

29) One of the premises of experimental method is . . .

a) Doubt and liberty of thought

b) Belief in absolute determinism

c) a & b

d) The belief in the absolutely superstitious and superfluous

30) According to Eliot, “tradition” is a term that is . . .

a) Favoured by the English ear

b) Disagreeable to the English ear

c) Favoured by the modern romantic poets

d) Disagreeable to himself

31)According to Eliot, the English praise the poet for . . .

a) His sophistication and vividness of images

b) His original and individual aspects

c) His metaphysical representation of the poem

d) His strict adherence to literary tradition

32) According to Eliot, a great writer is the one who . . .

a) Shows aspects of individuality and uniqueness

b) Shows the maximum influence of the writer of the past

c) Show his liking for the spirit of his age

d) Shows the suffering of people in a romantic manner

33) Like Arnold, Eliot revolted against . . .

a. Objectivity of poetry and its subject matter

b. Romantic subjectivity and individuality

c. The following of literary tradition of the past

d. The metaphysical nature of modernist poetry

34) Unlike Arnold, Eliot believed that tradition can be obtained by writers who . . .

a. Possess a religious sense

b. Possess a historical sense

c. Possess a romantic sense

d. All of the above 

35) According to Eliot’s Tradition, the past and the present are…

a. Complementary and form one order

b. Contradictory and cannot be united

c. Leads to the confusion of the literary reader

d. Leads to the destruction of a literary work

36) According to Eliot, What makes the writer a traditional one?

a. His rebellious and moral sense

b. His subjective sense and individuality

c. His historical sense

d. All of the above

37) According to Eliot, one can judge the works of a poet if one . . .

a. Compares and contrasts his work with the works of the past poets

b. If one feels the emotions of the poet in the literary work

c. If one can know about history from the literary work

d. If the poet manifest his uniqueness and individuality in the literary work

38) According To Eliot, Tradition is . . .

a. static and fixed

b. constantly changing and growing

c. is something not used and of the past

d. expressing one’s emotions through images

39) According to Eliot, the function of Tradition is . . .

a. to serve as a tool for analyzing the new without judging it as good or bad

b. to judge and appreciate the literary work as good or bad

c. is to follow strictly the poets of the past

d. is to reflect the emotions of the poet in a traditional manner

40) Both Arnold and Eliot were . . .

a. Anti-naturalist

b. Anti-realist

c. Anti-religious

d. Anti-romantic  

41) According to Eliot, “Poetry . . .”

a. is a turning loose of emotions

b. not a turning loose of emotions but a blind following of the past

c. poetry is not a turning loose of emotions, but an escape from emotion.

d. All of the above

42) The theory of “Objective Correlative” was developed by . . .

a. Alfred Tennyson

b. Mathew Arnold

c. T. S. Eliot

d. Arnold & Eliot

43) By “Objective correlative,” Eliot means . . .

a. A set of objections, situations or chain of events which will be the formula for the poet’s emotions to be evoked

b. A set of objections, situations or chain of events which will be the formula for appreciating the poet’s emotions

c. A set of objections, situations or chain of events which will be the formula for the suppressing the poet’s emotions to be evoked

d. b & c

44) According to Eliot, poetry is . . .

a. A process of organization rather than inspiration

b. A spontaneous overflow of emotions and individuality

c. A realistic representation of human suffering in the modern age

d. b &c

45) Both Arnold and Eliot were greatly influenced by . . .

a. Religious & historical beliefs of their ages

b. Scientific and experimental methods of the age

c. The romanticism of the Elizabethan Age

d. The naturalism of William Wordsworth

46) According to Eliot, bad poetry results when there is a . . .

a. Association of sensibility

b. Dissociation of sensibility

c. Unification of sensibility 

d. All of the above

47) In your opinion, if Arnold was alive in Eliot’s time, why would he would disagree with Eliot?

a. Eliot embraced historical context and tradition while Arnold rejected the historical aspect of literary works

b. Eliot embraced romanticism and individual talent while Arnold was a realist

c. Eliot was not a follower of tradition which Arnold believed in.

d. b & c

48) In the light of your understanding of Eliot’s tradition, is Shakespeare a traditional writer?

a. Yes, because he followed the literary tradition of Chaucer

b. No, because he was the poet of overflowing emotions and subjectivity to his own feelings

c. a & b

d. Shakespeare is so great, gigantic and beyond the boundaries of such comparison


  1. Replies
    1. Hello, here are the answers:
      NB Questions categorized as "opinion," are open for whichever answer you choose provided you have grounds or reason for the same, e.g. look into the Question on Shakespeare)

      1- b
      2- d
      3- c
      4- c
      5- c
      6- b
      7- d
      8- b
      9- d
      10- b
      11- a
      12- d
      13- d
      14- a
      15- a
      16- b
      17- a
      18- a
      19- b
      20- b
      21- c
      22- d
      23- b
      24- c
      25- c
      26- d
      27- a
      28- c
      29- a
      30- a
      31- d
      32- b
      33- b
      34- b
      35- a
      36- c
      37- a
      38- a
      39- c
      40- d
      41- c
      42- c
      43- a
      44- a
      45- b
      46- b
      47- a
      48- a

      Good luck!

  2. Answer key for these 48 mcqs....

  3. For more explanations and material on this topic, kindly look into my previous two posts on Arnold and T.S. Eliot since the above questions are set on the same. Good luck!

  4. Fabulous work.. Stay blessed sir