EXPO: 2023 WAEC Literature (Prose, OBJ, Drama & Poetry) Questions and Answers

2023 WAEC English-language literature: A Free EXPO for 2023 WASSCE for School Candidates. Receive free live WAEC May/June English Literature (Prose, Objective, Drama, and Poetry) Questions and Answers on Objects and Theory for WASSCE School Candidates at the Free EXPO Room for WAEC May/June Literature in English (19th & 26th May, 2023).


2023 WAEC Literature (Prose, OBJ, Drama & Poetry) Questions and Answers


Candidates are required to answer ONLY TWO questions. 

_They are to answer One question from each Section._

Section A (1-4)

Section B (5-8)


Literature-In-English  (Drama & Poetry) – 

1hr: 30minutes  3:00pm – 5:30pm

2023 WAEC Literature in English Drama Answers



The play begins in the morning, near the village center at the edge of the market. Lakunle, the village school teacher who is nearly twenty-three years old, is dressed in an old-fashioned, worn-out English suit that is a size or two too small. Sidi carries a pail of water on her head, and Lakunle complains bitterly about her action, fearing that it will shorten her neck and expose her shoulders to the lustful gaze of the villagers. Sidi defends herself by explaining that she folds her wrapper high to allow herself to breathe. Lakunle suggests that she could have worn something on top, like most models do. This suggestion angers Sidi, who reprimands Lakunle for being a village gossip and calls him "the mad man of llunjunle" due to his meaningless words. However, Lakunle remains undaunted, believing that women have naturally smaller brains and are the weaker sex. He predicts that in a year or two, machines will take over tasks like pounding yams and planting millet. He also hints at his intention to bring progress and change to llunjunle. Sidi becomes fed up with their pointless conversation and angrily demands her pail back, rejecting the idea of receiving a bride price.

Part of Lakunle's interaction with Sidi is to express his desire to marry her, but she insists that her bride price must be paid according to their customs and traditions. She explains that marrying him without a price would imply that she is not a virgin and would bring shame upon her family. However, Lakunle resists the idea, viewing it as a savage custom that is barbaric and uncivilized. He tries to educate Sidi on the implications of the bride price and his own plans. Lakunle refers to Sidi as a girl from a rural and uncivilized background who fails to appreciate and embrace modern romance and ideology.

In this opening scene, the play highlights the clash between cultural traditions and modernity.



Throughout the play, Jimmy frequently directs verbal and emotional attacks towards Helena, using her as a sounding board for his accumulated frustrations. Their interactions are consistently marked by hostility, disdain, and cutting sarcasm. Jimmy often belittles Helena's privileged upper-class background, dismissing her perspectives and values without hesitation. It becomes evident that Jimmy's treatment of Helena stems from his overall discontent and anger towards the world, as well as his own personal circumstances, rather than any genuine romantic feelings.

While there may be occasional hints of flirtation and fleeting moments of camaraderie between Jimmy and Helena, they do not form a solid foundation for true romantic love. Instead, their exchanges primarily revolve around mutual disdain, antagonism, and a shared frustration with social and political systems that they perceive as oppressive.

No (2)

Foreshadowing is a powerful literary device employed in Shakespeare's play 'Hamlet' to subtly hint at events that will unfold later in the story. These hints serve to build tension, create suspense, and foreshadow the tragic conclusion of the play.

Act 1, Scene 5 contains one of the most impactful instances of foreshadowing. During Hamlet's encounter with the ghost of his father, the apparition warns him against harming his mother, as divine retribution will befall her for her transgressions. This foreshadows the tragic ending, wherein both Hamlet and his mother meet their fates at the hands of the vengeful Laertes.

Another example of foreshadowing can be found in Act 2, Scene 2, with the introduction of the players. These actors later perform a play written by Hamlet, mirroring the events of the play and aiding him in exposing Claudius's guilt. This scene foretells the eventual downfall of the villainous king, even as he schemes to destroy Hamlet.

Soliloquies are also employed as a powerful literary device throughout the play. They provide insight into the characters' minds, revealing their deepest thoughts and emotions. One of the most renowned soliloquies is Hamlet's 'To be or not to be' speech, which delves into his internal turmoil and contemplation of suicide.

In Act 3, Scene 1, Hamlet's confrontation with Ophelia features another notable soliloquy. In this emotionally charged speech, Hamlet expresses his frustration with Ophelia's failure to comprehend his anguish. This soliloquy unveils Hamlet's deeply ingrained misogyny and his belief that women are incapable of understanding the complexities of his mind.

In summary, the skillful use of foreshadowing and soliloquies in 'Hamlet' by Shakespeare enhances the complexity and depth of the play. These literary devices allow the audience to delve into the characters' inner worlds, anticipate the tragic outcome, and unravel the hidden layers of meaning embedded within the text.

No (8)

In "Fences" by August Wilson, Bono's unwavering dedication to his friendship with Troy can be inferred from the events and interactions depicted in the play.

Firstly, Bono and Troy have shared a longstanding bond that has endured numerous challenges and hardships. Their friendship has stood the test of time, showcasing a profound level of loyalty, respect, and familiarity. Through thick and thin, Bono and Troy have witnessed each other's strengths and weaknesses, further solidifying their connection.

Secondly, Bono holds great admiration for Troy's strong work ethic and sense of responsibility. Despite facing racial discrimination and economic barriers, Troy has persevered in his efforts to provide for his family while upholding his dignity. Bono respects his friend's determination and resilience, serving as a source of inspiration that drives him to stand by Troy's side.

Lastly, Bono genuinely cares about Troy's happiness and well-being. He attentively listens to Troy's stories and concerns, offering a patient ear and emotional support when needed. Bono's friendship extends beyond mere agreement, as he remains a steadfast companion even in moments of disagreement.

In summary, Bono's unwavering commitment to his friendship with Troy in "Fences" stems from their shared history, admiration for Troy's work ethic, and genuine concern for his welfare. Their friendship serves as a profound source of mutual support, respect, and solace, highlighting the enduring strength of their bond.

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2023 WAEC LIT-IN-ENGLISH Poetry Answers:

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2023 WAEC Literature in English (Drama & Poetry) Answers:

1. Who is the protagonist of William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth?

Answer: The protagonist of William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth is Macbeth himself.

2. What is the central theme of Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman?

Answer: The central theme of Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman is the clash between traditional African culture and British colonial power. It examines the consequences of attempting to maintain one's personal and cultural values while living in a society that is dominated by foreign values.

3. Who is the eponymous character in T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock?

Answer: The eponymous character in T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is J. Alfred Prufrock. The poem is an exploration of the thoughts and feelings of Prufrock, a man who is weary of life and desperately seeking a connection with someone else.

1. Question: In the play “Othello”, what is the relationship between the characters Desdemona and Othello?

Answer: Desdemona and Othello are husband and wife. Othello is the Moorish general of the Venetian army, and Desdemona is a Venetian noblewoman. They have an intense and passionate relationship, which starts off strong but eventually deteriorates due to the machinations of Iago.

2. Question: In “Othello”, what are the main themes explored?

Answer: The main themes explored in “Othello” are jealousy, manipulation, and honor. Jealousy is the primary theme, as it is the root cause of Othello’s downfall. Manipulation is also prominent, as Iago uses his skills to manipulate Othello into believing lies about Desdemona. Lastly, honor is a major theme, as Othello is deeply concerned with his honor and his reputation. 

3. Question: In “The Merchant of Venice”, what is the main conflict?

Answer: The main conflict in “The Merchant of Venice” is between Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, and Antonio, a Venetian merchant. Shylock has loaned Antonio money and is demanding repayment, but Antonio is unable to pay back the loan due to his own financial troubles. Additionally, Shylock is unwilling to accept any other form of repayment, and demands that Antonio pay back the loan with a pound of flesh. This conflict ultimately leads to a court trial, in which the ultimate outcome is decided.


Friday, 19th May, 2023 - 26th May, 2023).

Literature-In-English 2 (Prose) – 

09:30am – 10:45am

Literature-In-English 1 (Objective) – 

10:45am – 11:45am.


2023 WAEC Literature (Prose, OBJ, Drama & Poetry) Questions and Answers

2023 WAEC Literature (Prose, OBJ, Drama & Poetry) Questions and Answers

2023 WAEC Literature (Prose, OBJ, Drama & Poetry) Questions and Answers

2023 WAEC Literature (Prose, OBJ, Drama & Poetry) Questions and Answers


In Buchi Emecheta's novel "Second Class Citizen," the main character, Adah, begins attending the Methodist School on her first day in London. This event contributes significantly to the development of the plot in several ways.

Firstly, Adah's enrollment in the Methodist School marks a significant shift in her life. Prior to this, she had been living in Nigeria, where she faced discrimination and limited opportunities because of her gender. By starting school in London, Adah gains access to education and the possibility of a better future. This sets the stage for her personal growth and development throughout the novel.

Secondly, the Methodist School serves as a microcosm of British society. Adah encounters cultural differences and racism from her classmates and teachers, which reflects the larger societal issues she will face as a black immigrant in England. Her experiences at the school highlight the challenges she will face as she tries to navigate life in a new country.

Finally, Adah's time at the Methodist School introduces her to new people and experiences that will shape her future. She befriends a classmate named Mary, who becomes one of her closest friends, and she also develops a crush on a boy named Francis. These relationships will play significant roles in Adah's life as she grows older.

Overall, Adah's first day at the Methodist School is a pivotal moment in "Second Class Citizen." It sets the stage for the novel's exploration of themes such as immigration, discrimination, and personal growth, and introduces characters and experiences that will shape the plot as it unfolds.


The ideology of the Brotherhood in the novel 1984 is based on a totalitarian form of socialism, which emphasizes the complete control of the state over all aspects of human life. It is an approach characterized by authoritarianism, the use of propaganda, and manipulation of language to maintain power and control.

The Brotherhood claims to be a resistance movement fighting against the oppressive government of Oceania. Its members believe that the current government, led by the dictator Big Brother, has completely corrupted any notion of freedom, justice, and humanity, and therefore needs to be overthrown by any means necessary, including violence.

The ideology of the Brotherhood emphasizes the importance of a classless society that is based on equality; members of the Brotherhood believe that the current society is riddled with social and economic inequalities. They see the current society as being characterized by a small ruling class that has access to resources while the masses languish in poverty.

The Brotherhood believes that the elimination of private property, the abolition of the capitalist system, and the eradication of class distinctions will lead to a more equitable society. The Brotherhood also emphasizes the importance of collective action and a commitment to the common good.

In conclusion, the ideology of the Brotherhood in the novel 1984 is founded on a socialist approach characterized by a totalitarian regime where the state has complete control over individuals. It emphasizes the importance of a classless society based on equality and collective action while taking an approach of eliminating private property, capitalism, and class distinctions.


Heathcliff's marriage to Isabella is a tumultuous one, characterized by a lack of love and respect on both sides. Heathcliffonly marries Isabella as a means of gaining control over her brother, Edgar Linton, and the wealth and property that comes with their family's name. Isabella is enamored with the idea of marrying Heathcliff, both for his perceivedonly marries Isabella as a means of seeking revenge on her brother, Edgar. Heathcliff's plan is to marry Isabella and then mistreat her so as to hurt Edgar, whom she is infatuated with.

Once they are married, Heathcliff treats Isabella cruelly, both physically and emotionally. He has no love for her and sees her simply as a pawn in his game of revenge. Isabella, for her part, is foolish to marry Heathcliff in the first place, as she knows little about him and is drawn to him by his dark and brooding nature.

Despite her mistreatment by Heathcliff, Isabella remains in love with him and refuses to leave him for some time. It is only when she becomes pregnant with his child that she finally sees him for the monster he truly is and decides to leave him and the dangerous surroundings of Wuthering Heights.

In the end, Heathcliff's marriage to Isabella serves only to demonstrate his cruel and vengeful nature and to further emphasize the toxic relationships that exist throughout the novel.

No 4 

Massa is the ailing woman we are introduced to in the first chapter of the text. She is down with some strange illness which according to medical experts has her living days numbered. She is Nii Tackie’s heartthrob and a Pan-African. Until her death, she encourages Nii Tackie not to leave for Nigeria.

Massa as introduced to us in the very first chapter of the novel, Unexpected Joy at Dawn, is the twenty-two year old lover of Nii Tackie. She is in a critical health condition that has reduced her within six months to the third of her size, giving her the frail look and figure of a grandmother. Her relationship with Nii Tackie is what one may call a true definition of an understanding love.

She and Nii Tackie, in a recollection of past events, are said to have met in a cocktail party.

Despite her life-threatening illness, she shows a relentless spirit, a caring and selfless attitude which sum up her good-naturedness.

Even while in severe pains, she downplays the severity of her illness to reassure Nii Tackie of her probable recovery and also cause the troubled man to worry less. She also insists on knowing the state of their finance. Although Nii Tackie lies to her about the true state of things, the fact that she wanted to know shows that, apart from being selfless, she is also caring.

There is no one who understood Nii Tackie better than Massa. This woman, even on her sick bed, is observant of changes in Nii Tackie; for example, his sudden obsession with his facial marks. Reading his thoughts, Massa tells him he is as Ghanaian as everyone else. She also believes in the ideas of Pan-Africanism. She strongly holds that anywhere an African finds himself in Africa is his/her home. And she does not buy into the idea of xenophobia or alienation.

She is also the very reason Nii Tackie stayed in Ghana amidst obvious signs of alienation. She makes him promise never to leave for Nigeria. However, her death thaws Nii Tackie’s willingness to keep his side of the promise. He leaves for Nigeria in search of his family.

Massa, till her very last breath, is portrayed as a fighter. She fights to the very end. She is a beacon of optimism.

Massa’s illness, her body flaking away, her excrements and vomit sum up as a symbol of a dying country which cannot contain its people, of a rotting country. It is no mere coincidence that both Ghana and Massa are in the early twenties. What more links the two entities? The putrid Korle Lagoon? The razed Kantamanto Market? The mass exodus of professionals from the country? Or a dysfunctional political system where no one is spared of the trauma, not even the young? This tells how much Ghana itself was wasting away. So, it wouldn’t be wrong to say Massa’s illness is symbolic of the maladies that plagued Ghana.

Massa dies in Chapter 19 of the Part 1 of the novel while she is being taken by Nii Tackie to a spiritualist home as the last resort to get her cured. Her death has a lasting impression on Nii Tackie. Without giving it much thought, he leaves for Nigeria. Much later, Nii Tackie is traumatised by her death. That explains why he keeps mistaking Marshak for Massa.

Marshak on the other hand is another of the endless list of Ghanaians forced out of Ghana by the revolutionary government; one of the three Ghanaian ladies Nii Tackie and his friends meet in Nigeria. She prostitutes her body to make ends meet. Her mother’s situation in CΓ΄te d’Ivoire is not any different.

In Nii Tackie, she sees hope of settling down into matrimony. She is often irritated when Nii Tackie mistakes her for Massa (his dead lover). She dies later after a brief disagreement with Nii Tackie (on morality obviously), suggestively a suicide, a catastrophe Nii Tackie holds himself responsible for.


"The weather, windows, and setting are often used as symbolic elements throughout the narrative.

The Weather: The weather in "Wuthering Heights" often reflects the tumultuous emotions and intense conflicts within the story. Storms, winds, and harsh weather conditions frequently occur during moments of heightened tension, passion, or turmoil. The weather serves as a metaphor for the characters' turbulent emotions and the dark, brooding atmosphere of the novel. For example, stormy weather often coincides with intense confrontations or emotional outbursts, emphasizing the passionate and volatile nature of the characters' relationships.

The Windows: Windows are used as a symbolic device to represent boundaries, barriers, and glimpses into the outside world. They serve as a means of communication between characters who are physically separated or belong to different social classes. Windows often become sites of longing and desire, as characters yearn to connect with one another or escape their current circumstances. They can also represent the divide between the civilized world and the untamed nature of the moors, highlighting the clash between society's expectations and the wild, passionate spirits of the characters.

The Setting: The setting of "Wuthering Heights," particularly the contrasting locations of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, represents the clash between nature and civilization, passion and propriety. Wuthering Heights, situated on the bleak and rugged moors, embodies a wild and untamed environment, mirroring the passionate and unruly nature of its inhabitants. In contrast, Thrushcross Grange represents order, refinement, and social norms. The contrast between these two settings reflects the dichotomy between Heathcliff and Catherine's intense, primal love and the societal expectations and constraints they encounter.

Overall, the use of the weather, windows, and setting as symbols in "Wuthering Heights" adds depth and enhances the themes of passion, conflict, and the struggle between nature and civilization. These symbols contribute to the atmospheric and emotional impact of the story, emphasizing the intensity of the characters' relationships and the underlying tensions within the narrative.

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1) In Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, what is the role of tradition in Okonkwo’s life?

In Chinua Achebe's novel, Things Fall Apart, tradition plays an important role in Okonkwo's life. As a proud and ambitious man with a strong sense of personal responsibility, Okonkwo is deeply invested in upholding the customs and traditions of his culture. To Okonkwo, tradition is a source of pride and a source of stability. It is a source of identity and connection to the past. He is motivated to uphold his traditions out of a sense of responsibility and a desire to keep his culture alive and to honor his ancestors.

Okonkwo is extremely proud of his culture and his traditions, and he is very conscious of the expectations put on him to live up to them. He is driven by a need to prove himself and his worth to his community, and he sees upholding the traditions of his culture as the best way to do that. He is a firm believer in the traditions of his people and follows them with reverence. He also sees his adherence to tradition as a way to gain respect and admiration from his peers.

In addition to being a source of pride and a source of stability, tradition also serves as a source of comfort for Okonkwo. He takes solace in the fact that he is part of a long line of people who have upheld the same customs and traditions, and he finds comfort in the knowledge that he is doing his part to keep his culture alive.

Therefore, tradition has an important role in Okonkwo's life. It is a source of pride and a source of stability, and he finds comfort in knowing that he is upholding the traditions of his people. In this way, tradition is a major part of his identity and his connection to the past.

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1. (A) Irony

(B) Personification

(C) Metaphor

(D) Alliteration

A. Irony

B. Personification

C. Metaphor

D. Alliteration

2. (A) Setting

(B) Character

(C) Plot

(D) Theme

A. Setting

B. Character

C. Plot

D. Theme

3. (A) Complex

(B) Simple

(C) Compound

(D) Ambiguous

A. Complex

B. Simple

C. Compound

D. Ambiguous

4. (A) Simile

(B) Assonance

(C) Hyperbole

(D) Metonymy

A. Simile

B. Assonance

C. Hyperbole

D. Metonymy

5. (A) Repetition

(B) Symbolism

(C) Irony

(D) Imagery

A. Repetition

B. Symbolism

C. Irony

D. Imagery

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1. In Wole Soyinka’s play, Death and the King's Horseman, why does Elesin Oba refuse to commit suicide?

Elesin Oba refuses to commit suicide because he believes that it is his duty and responsibility to die in order to ensure that the transition of power is carried out properly and that the king's spirit can move on to the afterlife. He also believes that anyone who refuses to fulfill their duty will be cursed and have their spirit wander the earth, unable to rest in peace. He takes his responsibility to his community seriously and is willing to sacrifice himself in order to fulfill his duty. 

2. In Chinua Achebe’s poetry, “The Tortoise”, what is the significance of the tortoise in the poem?

The tortoise is symbolic of the resilience and determination of the Igbo people. The poem tells the story of the tortoise's journey to find a new home after being driven from his original home. The tortoise is described as being slow but steadfast in its journey, never giving up despite the obstacles it encounters. This symbolizes the resilience of the Igbo people, who despite suffering hardships and persecution, never give up and continue to strive for a better life.

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2023 WAEC Literature in English OBJ/ESSAY Answers


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2023 WAEC Literature (Prose, OBJ, Drama & Poetry) Questions and Answers 


1. What is the impact of the death of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart?


The death of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart is highly symbolic and has a great impact on the story. It serves to illustrate the fragility of life and the consequences of Okonkwo’s rash and impulsive behavior. It also serves to demonstrate the cultural clash between the Igbo people and the British colonizers, as Okonkwo dies in exile, and his death is seen as the symbolic end of the traditional Igbo society. 

2. What is the significance of Mrs. Johnson in J.P. Clark’s play The Boat?


In J.P. Clark’s play The Boat, Mrs. Johnson has a significant role in the play. She is a symbol of the culture clash between the traditional African and the modern Western world. Mrs. Johnson is a wealthy, educated woman who is snubbed by the traditional African characters, yet is respected by the modern characters. Her presence serves to illustrate the conflict between the two cultures, as well as the contrast between the traditional African values and the modern Western values.


1a. In Othello by William Shakespeare, the tragic hero is Othello. Othello is a highly ranked general in the Venetian army and is a Moor, meaning he is a black African. He is a powerful and respected military leader, but his vulnerability and insecurities lead him to be easily manipulated by those around him. His tragic flaw is his jealousy and impulsiveness, which leads to his downfall.

1b. Othello's tragic flaw is his naivete and gullibility. He is easily manipulated by Iago, a trusted friend and fellow soldier, who is envious of Othello's success and power. Iago is able to use Othello's emotions and insecurities to turn him against Desdemona, Othello's beloved wife. He uses cunning and deceit to make Othello believe that Desdemona is unfaithful to him. This leads to Othello's eventual downfall.

2a. In the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, the speaker is reflecting upon a decision he has made. He is standing at a fork in the road and has to decide which path to take. He ponders the two paths and the consequences of his decision.

2b. The speaker's decision symbolizes the choices he has to make in life. He is uncertain of which direction to take and contemplates the consequences of his choice. He ultimately chooses the less-traveled path, symbolizing his choice to take a risk and explore new opportunities. He is aware that his choice may lead to regret, but he is ultimately proud of his decision to take a chance.


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