This is not really a post, not really; just a compilation of some pretty hilarious answers from or exchanges with students over the last year or two. No insult is intended to any students quoted herein (and they shall remain anonymous, to protect the guilty). Enjoy!
“What event in 1660 restored drama in England and allowed female actors on the stage?”: Charles II put in throne.
What meter does Shakespeare use?: The rhythm of Shakespeare’s poem is five beats per a line with ten synonyms.
In her research paper about Jane Austen’s life, one young lady wrote that Jane made a new acquaintance, an Irishman named Tom Lefroy: Tom was a law student in London, wanting to work at an Irish bar.
Me, to a student who just received the lowest possible grade on his research paper: So, what did you think of this paper you wrote?
Him: I thought it was OK.
Me: What did you think was OK about it?
Student: Mrs. Higgins, can you define “Romanticism”?
Me: Wow, you want me to define “Romanticism”? There are more books on how to define “Romanticism” than there are books of Romantic literature! Let’s see…. How about “A literary and artistic movement in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries characterized by emotionalism and individuality.”
Then we looked it up in NTC’s Dictionary of Literary Terms
Me: [reading] “A literary and artistic movement in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries characterized by…dzzzzzzzzzz, dzzzzzzzzzz [as I skimmed over irrelevant bits] emotionalism and individuality.” See, that’s just what I said!
Student: Yeah, except for the dzzzzzzzzzz, dzzzzzzzzzz!
Me: I’m canceling one of your assignments for next week. You do not have to give an oral report.
Student: Thank God! –wait, did I just take the Lord’s name in vain?
Me: Not if you meant it!
Student: Oh, I meant it.
Me: And isn’t there somebody else you should be thanking?
Everyone: Thank you, Mrs. Higgins!
Anther student: Wait, did we just take your name in vain?
Fill in the blank:
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your hearts.
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your swords.
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your hand.
To you our swords have leaden edges, Mark Antony.
To you our swords have leaden tips, Mark Antony.
To you our swords have leaden hearts, Mark Antony.
To you our swords have leaden blood, Mark Antony.
To you our swords have leaden dull, Mark Antony.
Marley’s ghost: I wear the clothes I forged in life.
Belle: Another Christmas has displaced me; and if it can cheer
and comfort you in time to come, as I would have tried to do, I have no just cause to grieve.
Ebenezer Scrooge: What Christmas has displaced you?
Belle: A golden one.
"What kind of diction does Donald Hall use?"
He starts at the beginning and goes to the end.
"What country is Seamus Heaney from?"
"Define Protagonist": Someone who agrees with a lot of writings
"Define Antagonist": Someone who goes against everyone’s writing
"Name one historical event that was important to Charles Dickens and his writing": His Life.
"What is the moral of 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' by Keats?": Don’t date with sloppy person.
“How did Antigone die?” She went into a cave and hung up herself.
One student, in an essay on Beowulf, claims that Beowulf wrestled with knickers. I still haven’t figured that one out!