7 questions on famous last words

Info

Seamus Heaney's last words - "Noli timere," Latin for "Don't be afraid" - came in a text message to his wife, it was revealed at the poet's funeral this week. Test yourself on other famous last words.

Seamus Heaney

1.) Multiple Choice Question

Whose last words were reportedly: "I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis"?

  1. Raymond Chandler
    Raymond Chandler
  2. Humphrey Bogart
    Humphrey Bogart
  3. Ernest Hemingway
    Hemingway

2.) Multiple Choice Question

"I must go in, for the fog is rising," were the last words of which writer?

Female writers
  1. Emily Dickinson
  2. Mary Shelley
  3. Edith Sitwell

3.) Multiple Choice Question

"Rosebud" was the final word uttered by one of the central characters in which film?

Rose
  1. Titanic
  2. The Great Gatsby
  3. Citizen Kane
  4. The Third Man

4.) Multiple Choice Question

"Last words are for fools who haven't said enough," said who?

Marx, Antony, Groucho
  1. Karl Marx
  2. Mark Antony - or Marcus Antonius
  3. Groucho Marx

5.) Multiple Choice Question

In which film are a computer's last words before it goes silent lines from the song Daisy Bell (Daisy, Daisy)?

Computer
  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  2. Blade Runner
  3. The Terminator

6.) Missing Word Question

Harlot, yes. But * NEVER!"

  1. lady
  2. traitor
  3. weak

7.) Multiple Choice Question

According to Suetonius, the Roman Emperor Vespasian ended his life with a wry joke. What was it?

Vespasian
  1. "Oh! I think I'm becoming a god"
  2. "I'm off to rejoin the plebs"
  3. "I shouldn't have had that last oyster"

Answers

  1. It's Humphrey Bogart, who died in 1957. In 1950, he proclaimed: "The whole world is three drinks behind. If everyone in the world would take three drinks, we would have no trouble."
  2. It was Emily Dickinson, who lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life.
  3. It was Citizen Kane. Orson Welles's masterpiece tells the story of newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane in a series of flashbacks. A reporter is intrigued by the dying Kane's last word.
  4. It was Karl Marx. Reportedly he told his cleaner to go away when she asked him if he wanted any last words to be recorded.
  5. It's 2001: A Space Odyssey. The song is sung by the computer Hal 9000 when he is being shut down. He then plays a recorded message from Mission Control which reveals the details of the mission to Jupiter.
  6. It was traitor. Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan Margaretha Geertruida Zelle - aka Mata Hari - was arrested in 1917 and put on trial for espionage. She was executed and these are reported to have been her last words.
  7. It was the god line. Vespasian was making a reference to the Roman tendency to deify their emperors after their death.

Your Score

0 - 3 : Plebeian

4 - 5 : Senator

6 - 7 : Emperor

For past quizzes including our weekly news quiz, 7 days 7 questions, expand the grey drop-down below - also available on the Magazine page (and scroll down).

You can follow the Magazine on Twitter and on Facebook

More on This Story

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • GeoguessrWhere in the world?

    Think you’re a geography expert? Test your knowledge with BBC Travel’s Geoguessr

Programmes

  • A graphic of a 3D printed carClick Watch

    A full-size, drivable 3D printed car has been made in the US, plus other technology news

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.