Reading Comprehension and Interpreting Poems Practice (page 2)

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Updated on Aug 10, 2011


  1. b. The eagle, who watches from his mountain walls and falls like a thunderbolt, is depicted as too alert and dynamic to be dying (choice a). There is really no joy depicted in the poem nor any sense that this is a baby eagle (choice c), and there is no mention of baby birds the eagle might be watching over (choice d). Saying that the eagle watches and then falls like a thunderbolt implies alertness and then striking, respectively. The most logical choice is that the eagle is hunting.
  2. b. The word azure means blue and is often used to describe the sky. Neither a forest nor cliffs are azure (choices a and c), and nature is not mentioned as an entity in the poem (choice d).
  3. a. It is the wrinkled sea that crawls in the first line of the second stanza of the poem.
  4. b. The fellow frightens the speaker—a, c, and d are not frightening.
  5. a. Tighter breathing indicates fear, as does zero at the bone (one is sometimes said to be cold with fear). Also, the subject is a snake, which is generally a feared animal.
  6. c. In context, the speaker is discussing animals, because he follows with his contrasting attitude toward this fellow, meaning the snake. The other choices are all human beings.
  7. b. Stanza 3 contains the phrase when a boy implying the speaker was a boy in the past and is now, therefore, an adult man.
  8. b. The poem describes nature in terms of the murder of a happy flower, and includes the words beheads and assassin; therefore, the most logical description of the poet's attitude would not be delight, indifference, or reverence, but rather dismay.
  9. c. The flower in the poem is happy and feels no surprise that it must die, which implies acceptance. If there is any hint of fear or horror in the poem (choices a and b), it is on the part of the poet. Nothing in the poem is described as feeling reverence (choice d).
  10. c. A God who would approve of a happy flower being beheaded, while, apparently, the rest of the natural world (as exemplified by the sun) remains unmoved, is probably not to be regarded as benevolent or just (choices a and b). Approval does not connote anger (choice d). The most logical choice is that, in this poem, God is cruel (choice c).
  11. b. The word pelf is an old fashioned term meaning wealth. The context of the poem does not support any of the other choices.
  12. c. The poem's title lets the reader know right away that the poem is about patriotism. The poet focuses particularly on the person who is not patriotic, however, suggesting that the one who hates his own country will die without honor.
  13. b. The phrase "doubly dying" causes the reader to stop and think about what the poet is trying to suggest. Scott is saying that the unpatriotic person will die physically, just as the patriot will die physically—but the unpatriotic person will also experience a sort of "second death" when he is completely forgotten in the future. The patriot, by contrast, is remembered by future generations.
  14. c. The context of the poem is speaking of a person who cares only about himself, caring nothing for his country. Therefore, concentred most nearly means "focused on or concerned with" himself.
  15. a. Sir Walter Scott draws a bleak picture of the person who hates his country. It is safe to assume, therefore, that he loved his homeland.
  16. d. The poet uses merely to simply make a statement with no emotion attached to it. Therefore, the other answers are all incorrect as anger, amusement, and sorrow are emotions.
  17. a. The soldier's behavior is aggressive: cursing, jealous of others who receive honor, quick to fight. The lines do not reveal a sense of honor, but rather the soldier's dishonorable behavior. There is no mention of dedication, nor anything to suggest a fear of cowardice.
  18. c. The poem begins by stating the "world is a stage" and that we are "merely players." There is no emotion attached to the exits and entrances of man in the poet's tone, thus there is no need for anguish or sorrow. Choice a is eliminated by the descriptions of the lover and the justice; there is no misery attached to them. Choice b discusses a metaphor of life as a journey down a river, and choice d states that life is a comedy. Neither of these choices can be supported by the passage.
  19. b. This is supported by the Last scene of all in which Shakespeare suggests that old age is a second childhood that will lead to oblivion without control of the senses, like the infant in the first act. Man has come full circle back to his beginning. No fear of death is mentioned, nor is free will, so choices a and d are incorrect. Choice c is incorrect because man is used as the subject of the entries, but never presented as a gender-specific measure.
  20. d. The poet accomplishes all three. It softens the effect of both suggestions that we are only actors on the world's stage, and that the seventh age of man results in oblivion. It ties his theme together by carrying us from the first stage to the last and then back again, and the words convey his tone of indifference, as discussed above.
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