October 24, 2017

CLEP Analyzing Interpreting Literature Exam Practice Questions

Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ozymandias”

I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear: ‘My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’ Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

1. What is the rhyme scheme of the first eight lines?


2. What is the central image of the poem?

A. A collapsed statue in the desert
B. A wounded king
C. A face and inscription on a coin
D. A plaque near a WWII battle site
E. The Sphinx

3. In what sense are lines 10-11 ironic? Although the inscription was originally intended to boast of a king’s power, it appears to later generations as an example of how:

A. Engineering skills were not as advanced as people believed at the time.
B. A king’s power extends only as far as the boundaries of his kingdom.
C. A king can attain immortality through his works.
D. Time and nature will eventually undo the works of even the mighty.
E. The desert is not a suitable climate for a kingdom.

4. Read as a symbol, the desert can be seen to represent:

A. Fertility.
B. The life cycle.
C. The seasons.
D. Life.
E. A wasteland.

5. Based on the setting, which of the following do you think best describes Ozymandias?

A. Roman Emperor
B. Egyptian Pharaoh
C. Native American Chief
D. Dynastic Emperor
E. English Monarch

6. What poetic form does this poem use?

A. Italian sonnet
B. Ballad
C. Anaphora
D. Prose poem
E. Sestina

Emily Dickinson, “Success is counted sweetest”
Success is counted sweetest By those who ne’er succeed. To comprehend a nectar Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple Host Who took the Flag today Can tell the definition So clear of Victory

As he defeated–dying– On whose forbidden ear The distant strains of triumph Burst agonized and clear!

7. In the final stanza, the imagery suggests a soldier who lies dying on a battlefield. Which of the following interpretations of lines from the poem reinforce this image?

I. The final line suggests cannon blasts.
II. “Strains of triumph” imply the dying soldier’s joy in victory.
III. The words “defeated, dying” in line 9 indicate mortal combat.

A. I only
B. I and II
C. II and III
D. I and III
E. II only

8. What literary device is employed in lines 3 and 4?

A. Paradox
B. Caesura
C. Metaphor
D. Dramatic monologue
E. Anaphora

9. How many stressed syllables are in each line of the first stanza?

A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4
E. 5

10. By what logical pattern is this poem organized?

A. Main idea, developed with examples
B. Cause and effect
C. Comparison and contrast
D. Chronological order
E. Description

11. Which of the following statements is in keeping with the argument the poem presents?

I. The loser understands success better than the victor.
II. It is noble to accept defeat humbly.
III. It is best to learn from the mistakes of others.

A. I only
B. I and II
C. II and III
D. II only
E. I, II, and III

12. Which of the following represents the first stanza’s rhyme scheme?


CLEP Analyzing Interpreting Literature PT Exam Answer Key