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 Divine Comedy

The Canterbury Tales

Beowulf

The Summa Theologiœ

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:

Queen Dido of Carthage

Beatrice

Judas Iscariot

Sultan Saladin of Egypt

Emperor Frederick II, King of the Holy Roman Empire

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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