CLEP Humanities : Analyzing the Content of Medieval and Renaissance Poetry

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for CLEP Humanities

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Analyzing The Content Of Medieval And Renaissance Poetry

The medieval work that followed its author's journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven is __________.

Possible Answers:

The Canterbury Tales

The Summa Theologiœ

The Divine Comedy

Beowulf

Sir Gawayne and the Grene Knight

Correct answer:

The Divine Comedy

Explanation:

The Divine Comedy tells the story of its author, Dante, traveling through the different realms of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, all to find what happened to his deceased lover, Beatrice. The work is divided into three separate sections between Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Heaven). The whole work is an allegory for the soul's journey to God, as expressed in Medieval Catholic theology.

Example Question #2 : Analyzing The Content Of Medieval And Renaissance Poetry

Which of these figures was in limbo in Dante Alighieri's fourteenth century epic poem The Divine Comedy?

Possible Answers:

Judas Iscariot

Emperor Frederick II, King of the Holy Roman Empire

Sultan Saladin of Egypt

Beatrice

Queen Dido of Carthage

Correct answer:

Sultan Saladin of Egypt

Explanation:

Sultan Saladin is the correct answer. He was placed in limbo because he was an honorable man, despite being a non-Christian. Sultan Saladin was a contemporary of Richard the Lionheart and conquered Jerusalem in the Second and Third Crusades. Others in limbo in The Divine Comedy include Julius Caesar, Hector, and Avicenna.

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