You Gotta Know


You Gotta Know These Works of Literature

The following table lists the 100 most-frequently referenced works of literature in NAQT questions as of November 1, 2007. While you really gotta know their authors, these are also some of the works about which more substantive questions are written, so teams should be prepared for questions on their characters, plots, settings, and circumstances of creation. The Bible was excluded from this list because its total would swamp the other work.

This is an update of an earlier You Gotta Know article.

RankTitleGenreCreatorDateFreq.
1HamletDramaWilliam Shakespeare1601292
2Oedipus RexDramaSophocles430 BC196
3MacbethDramaWilliam Shakespeare1606182
4King LearDramaWilliam Shakespeare1605156
5OthelloDramaWilliam Shakespeare1622156
6The TempestDramaWilliam Shakespeare1611145
7Moby-DickNovelHerman Melville1851139
8The Great GatsbyNovelF(rancis) Scott (Key) Fitzgerald1925138
9Don QuixoteNovelMiguel de Cervantes Saavedra1605137
10Jane EyreNovelCharlotte Brontë1847128
11IliadPoemHomer8th century BC125
12Pride and PrejudiceNovelJane Austen1813123
131984NovelGeorge Orwell1948122
14UlyssesNovelJames (Augustine Aloysius) Joyce1922121
15Romeo and JulietDramaWilliam Shakespeare1594121
16The Merchant of VeniceDramaWilliam Shakespeare1596119
17Paradise LostPoemJohn Milton1667119
18The Canterbury TalesPoemGeoffrey Chaucer1387117
19The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnNovelMark Twain1884116
20The Scarlet LetterNovelNathaniel Hawthorne1850115
21A Streetcar Named DesireDramaTennessee Williams1947114
22Our TownDramaThornton (Niven) Wilder1938113
23The Adventures of Tom SawyerNovelMark Twain1876111
24The Divine ComedyPoemDante (Alighieri)1314111
25Crime and PunishmentNovelFyodor (Mikhaylovich) Dostoyevsky1866109
26The Red Badge of CourageNovelStephen Crane1895108
27CandideNovelVoltaire1759107
28Billy Budd: ForetopmanNovelHerman Melville1891106
29Les MisérablesNovelVictor(-Marie) Hugo1862105
30Anna KareninaNovelLeo Tolstoy1877105
31A Midsummer Night’s DreamDramaWilliam Shakespeare1595105
32PygmalionDramaGeorge Bernard Shaw1912103
33Julius CaesarDramaWilliam Shakespeare1599103
34War and PeaceNovelLeo Tolstoy1865101
35The Three MusketeersNovelAlexandre Dumas (père)1844100
36A Farewell to ArmsNovelErnest (Miller) Hemingway1929100
37Vanity FairNovelWilliam Makepeace Thackeray1848100
38To Kill a MockingbirdNovel(Nelle) Harper Lee196099
39For Whom the Bell TollsNovelErnest (Miller) Hemingway194099
40The Grapes of WrathNovelJohn (Ernst) Steinbeck193998
41LolitaNovelVladimir Nabokov195598
42A Tale of Two CitiesNovelCharles (John Huffam) Dickens185998
43Little WomenNovelLouisa May Alcott186897
44As You Like ItDramaWilliam Shakespeare159997
45The Waste LandPoemT(homas) S(tearns) Eliot192295
46AeneidPoemVirgil19 BC95
47OdysseyPoemHomer8th century BC94
48Heart of DarknessNovellaJoseph Conrad190294
49Pilgrim’s ProgressNovelJohn Bunyan167894
50David CopperfieldNovelCharles (John Huffam) Dickens185094
51One Hundred Years of SolitudeNovelGabriel García Márquez196793
52AntigoneDramaSophocles441 BC92
53FaustPoemJohann Wolfgang von Goethe180892
54The Count of Monte CristoNovelAlexandre Dumas (père)184591
55A Doll’s HouseDramaHenrik (Johan) Ibsen187990
56Robinson CrusoeNovelDaniel Defoe171988
57Animal FarmNovelGeorge Orwell194587
58The Call of the WildNovelJack London190387
59Much Ado about NothingDramaWilliam Shakespeare159887
60The Glass MenagerieDramaTennessee Williams194586
61The CrucibleDramaArthur Miller195386
62Brave New WorldNovelAldous (Leonard) Huxley193285
63BeowulfPoemunknown8th century85
64The Sun Also RisesNovelErnest (Miller) Hemingway192683
65The JungleNovelUpton (Beall) Sinclair190683
66Twelfth NightDramaWilliam Shakespeare162383
67Great ExpectationsNovelCharles (John Huffam) Dickens186182
68The Rime of the Ancient MarinerPoemSamuel Taylor Coleridge179782
69Oliver TwistNovelCharles (John Huffam) Dickens183881
70Uncle Tom’s CabinNovelHarriet Beecher Stowe185281
71Rip van WinkleShort StoryWashington Irving181879
72The Catcher in the RyeNovelJ(erome) D(avid) Salinger195177
73Waiting for GodotDramaSamuel (Barclay) Beckett195277
74Death of a SalesmanDramaArthur Miller194977
75Alice’s Adventures in WonderlandChildren’sLewis Carroll186576
76Long Day’s Journey Into NightDramaEugene (Gladstone) O’Neill195675
77All the King’s MenNovelRobert Penn Warren194675
78Things Fall ApartNovel(Albert) Chinua(lumogu) Achebe195875
79Slaughterhouse FiveNovelKurt Vonnegut Jr.196975
80The Charge of the Light BrigadePoemAlfred, Lord Tennyson185474
81The Merry Wives of WindsorDramaWilliam Shakespeare160074
82The Importance of Being EarnestDramaOscar (Fingal O’Flahertie Wills) Wilde189573
83The Magic MountainNovel(Paul) Thomas Mann192473
84Invisible ManNovelRalph (Waldo) Ellison195272
85The Taming of the ShrewDramaWilliam Shakespeare159372
86Eugene OneginPoemAleksandr (Sergeyevich) Pushkin183372
87Sense and SensibilityNovelJane Austen181172
88The Brothers KaramazovNovelFyodor (Mikhaylovich) Dostoyevsky188072
89InfernoPoemDante (Alighieri)c. 1310-131471
90The StrangerNovelAlbert Camus194671
91Catch-22NovelJoseph Heller196170
92A Raisin in the SunDramaLorraine Hansberry195970
93Wuthering HeightsNovelEmily Brontë184769
94The Sound and the FuryNovelWilliam (Cuthbert) Faulkner192969
95OresteiaSeriesAeschylusc. 458 BC69
96DecameronPoemGiovanni Boccaccio135369
97The RavenPoemEdgar Allan Poe184569
98IvanhoeNovelSir Walter Scott182068
99The House of the Seven GablesNovelNathaniel Hawthorne185168
100My ÁntoniaNovelWilla (Sibert) Cather191868

NAQT has complete lists of the works of literature, non-fiction, art, and music that have been mentioned in its questions, sorted by frequency, available for purchase by coaches or teams for use as study guides.

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