GRE Subject Test: Literature in English : Identification of American Plays Before 1925

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Subject Test: Literature in English

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All GRE Subject Test: Literature in English Resources

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Identification Of American Plays Before 1925

Several American plays have been considered “firsts”—the first American play, the first professionally produced American play, the first American play written by an African-American, or even the first play by a “professional” American playwright. Which of the following works cannot claim ANY of these distinctions?

Possible Answers:

Andre by Robert Dunlap

Androboros by Robert Hunter

Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral by Phillis Wheatley

The Prince of Parthia by Thomas Godfrey

The Drama of King Shotaway unknown

Correct answer:

Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral by Phillis Wheatley

Explanation:

Although Phillis Wheatley was indeed the first published African-American writer and woman, she did not write plays. As the title of her publication indicates, she wrote poetry.

Example Question #2 : Identification Of American Plays

This early American political writer and satirist wrote several highly critical and controversial plays about Revolutionary-era politics: The Adulateur, The Defeat, and The Group. Who is the playwright in question?

Possible Answers:

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Mercy Otis Warren

Anne Bradstreet

Sojourner Truth

John Smith

Correct answer:

Mercy Otis Warren

Explanation:

This writer is Mercy Otis Warren, who eschewed cultural norms and wrote about war, politics, and ethical matters—all subjects at the time thought to be in the realm of men. Other plays by Warren include The Ladies of Castille and The Sack of Rome, which concern ideals of liberty and morality in the early United States.

Example Question #3 : Identification Of American Plays

Which of the following was not likely to be seen in pre-twentieth-century American theater?

Possible Answers:

Boycotts or bans by religious institutions

Blackface

Racy burlesque acts

Jazz poetry

American actors performing “imported” British dramas such as Richard III or The Merchant of Venice

Correct answer:

Jazz poetry

Explanation:

Of all the options listed above, only jazz poetry developed after 1900.

All GRE Subject Test: Literature in English Resources

1 Diagnostic Test 158 Practice Tests Question of the Day Flashcards Learn by Concept
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