Half-Jane Austen, Half-Shakespeare: What Classic Literary Woman Are You?

By: Torrance Grey
Estimated Completion Time
5 min
Half-Jane Austen, Half-Shakespeare: What Classic Literary Woman Are You?
Image: BBC Drama Productions, Shakespeare's Globe

About This Quiz

William Shakespeare. Jane Austen. Sounds like a "Celebrity Deathmatch" between two heavyweight champs of English literature! But why should you have to choose? Both writers created truly memorable female characters. Our quiz aims to tell you what mix of Austen heroine and Shakespearean woman you are, deep inside.

Among Shakespeare's women, we'll focus on four of the most memorable. Lady Macbeth is a bit scary as a role model: her ambition and desire to support her husband are admirable, but unfortunately, she turned to murder as the easiest path to queenhood. She could have used the self-control and strict morals of Austen's heroines. Ophelia, from "Hamlet," was gentle and family-oriented, but really needed to learn to look out for herself. Portia, of "The Merchant of Venice," was the smartest person in any given room, whose love of an intellectual puzzle nearly cost her a good husband. And Miranda, of "The Tempest," was bright and curious, but was under her powerful father's thumb. 

On the Austen side, we're looking at Elinor Dashwood, the serious and straightlaced co-heroine (with her younger sister Marianne) of "Sense and Sensibility." Then Emma Woodhouse, the impetuous and even careless matchmaker in "Emma." And Lydia Bennet - not a central character, but perhaps the most outright entertaining of the Bennet sisters in "Pride and Prejudice." And, of course, we couldn't leave out Elizabeth Bennet, the most famous Austen heroine of them all.

Good luck, and enjoy!


How's your relationship with your family?
Great! I think. I mean, no one's mad at me right now.
We have very solid bonds.
I love them, but they're a bit stodgy.
Some I adore; some I tolerate.

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Whom do you turn to for advice?
No one. I just wing it!
Usually, people turn to me for advice.
A reliable brother or male cousin.
A wise, kind female relative.

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What kind of breakfast suits you best?
Coffee and a pastry.
A high-protein egg scramble with fruit on the side.
Whatever. I'm too busy checking social media to think much about it.
A full breakfast: tea, sausage, eggs, toast and juice.

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If you didn't have your current job, what would you like to do?
Maybe interior decoration or fashion design.
I want to start a business and run it entirely myself.
Something with children, like a pediatrician.
Anything that would let me travel.

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What kind of books do you prefer?
Books? Not really my thing.
Something useful in everyday life, like a book on gardening.
The current book club selection.
Something challenging and intellectual.

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Where in the world would you most like to travel?
A tropical island
A great city like Paris
A viewpoint-changing destination, like Latin America or Africa
Maybe northern Europe, like Germany or Scandinavia

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What do you look for in a significant other?
He's gotta give me butterflies.
He'll always be there for me, even in hard times.
I'd rather fix up a friend, really.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

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What kind of caffeinated beverage do you like most?
A mocha
I drink only herbal tea.
A cappuccino
English Breakfast or Earl Grey tea

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Which of these sweets appeals most to you?
Chocolate lava cake
Strawberries with balsamic vinegar
Pears poached in Calvados brandy
Apple pie

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What time do you usually go to bed?
Around 9 p.m., to get a solid 8 hours' sleep.
Depends - is there s a great party tonight?
9 to 11, unless I get into a great conversation.
I'm often up late reading something fascinating.

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What kind of shoe would you wear for an evening out?
Stilettos!
A high-quality Swedish clog
Kitten heels
Ballet flats

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What is your pre-bedtime ritual?
Nothing. I just crash when I'm tired.
Herbal tea with the lights down low.
A last check of social media to see what my friends are doing.
Reading a chapter of the book I'm currently into.

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What are your friendships with other women like?
Lots of shopping and guy-watching!
There's a lot of mutual respect.
I like to give them advice and help them out.
My family provides my closest friendships.

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Money notwithstanding, what kind of home would you like to own?
No home for me. I want to move around and be footloose.
A country estate where I can entertain friends in style
A townhouse lined with books
A quiet cottage with room for kids

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What kind of celebrity do you most admire?
A pop star with a glam life
A humanitarian leader
An accomplished yet relatable actress
A scholar or writer

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If you ran into a celebrity you respected, what would you do?
Ask for an autograph.
Nothing. They deserve their privacy.
Invite them for coffee or tea.
Speak to them briefly, just to see if they're too snobby to talk to a fan.

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What kind of instrument would you like to play?
I'm not sure I have the patience to learn an instrument.
Something refined, like a flute or harp.
A piano or guitar, so everyone can sing along.
Something challenging, to show off my skills.

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What kind of movies do you tend to watch?
Comedies with edgy content or sex scenes
Emotionally-involving dramas
Romantic comedies
Foreign films

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How often do people ask you for help with a personal problem?
Rarely, tbh
All the time
They don't have to ask. That's how friendship works!
From time to time

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It's dinnertime. What are your plans?
I'd like to eat out at someplace happening.
Something simple. I'm not made of money.
Dinner with a close friend, at home or out.
I'll probably help fix a family dinner.

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If you had to think about it, how do you think you might die?
A romantic rival might poison me.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to make it to a ripe old age.
Does dying of curiosity about a friend's love life count?
Maybe trying an extreme sport no one thought I could do.

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How good are you at taking advice?
I give new ideas serious consideration.
Not so great, to be honest.
I get irritated at first, but then reflect on their words.
Have people been giving me advice? I hadn't noticed.

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What kind of workout most appeals to you?
Something I can do with a friend.
Something meditative, like tai chi.
Whatever's best for weight loss.
A martial art. I've secretly got a lot of aggro to release.

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What kind of pet might you adopt or buy?
Something low-maintenance, like a fish.
A big dog like a Mastiff.
A horse. I'd like to get out and ride.
A cute, portable dog, like a teacup Yorkie.

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Which of your family members do you most admire?
Mother/stepmother
Father/stepfather
An older sister, step-sister or female cousin
A brother, step-brother or male cousin

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A co-worker has been gossiping unkindly about you. How do you respond?
Put laxative in their coffee right before a meeting.
Cry for a half hour in the bathroom.
Tell the boss, in detail, everything wrong with their work performance.
Ask an older friend for advice on what to do.

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Which of these U.S. travel destinations appeals most to you?
New Orleans
New York City
Boston
Los Angeles

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You're putting together a party for a few friends. What's the after-dinner entertainment?
A poker game
A stimulating conversation
A movie that'll appeal to everyone
Experimenting with a Ouija board

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What's a good age to marry?
When I'm mature and have things to offer another person.
I'd rely on my parents' advice on this point.
When I meet the right person, I won't delay.
When I meet my equal... so this is going to take time!

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You're making out your will. How do you distribute your money and goods?
I'd like to leave some money to a charitable foundation, not just family.
I'd make sure everyone got a personal item, if not money.
I don't really have anything to leave yet!
Everything goes to my spouse and kids. They come first.

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You Got:

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