CLEP Humanities : Analyzing the Form of Medieval and Renaissance Poetry

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for CLEP Humanities

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Example Questions

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

Which of the following is not a key feature of a sonnet?

Possible Answers:

Fourteen lines

Epic length

A specific structure

A strict rhyme scheme

Metered lines

Correct answer:

Epic length

Explanation:

The sonnet was first developed in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Italy, but became a popular form of poetry throughout Europe during the Renaissance. William Shakespeare became well known in England for his sonnets in the late sixteenth century. A sonnet typically has just fourteen strictly metered lines, with a specific structure and strict rhyme scheme.

Example Question #8 : Analyzing The Form Of Poetry

The rhythmic scheme of iambic pentameter refers to a line that contains __________.

Possible Answers:

five feet of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable

five feet of three long syllables

three feet of two stressed syllables and one unstressed syllable

ten feet of two stressed syllables

three feet of two unstressed syllables and one stressed syllable

Correct answer:

five feet of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable

Explanation:

Iambic pentameter is most famous as the rhythm scheme used by William Shakespeare in most of his plays. The scheme features five "feet" per line, with each foot having one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable. This rhythm creates a standard speaking pattern for actors and audiences to follow.

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

The Italian poet Petrarch is most famous for working in what poetic form?

Possible Answers:

Blank verse

The sonnet

The villanelle

Common meter

The cinquain

Correct answer:

The sonnet

Explanation:

Petrarch, who lived from 1304 to 1374, is not just famous for writing most of his poems in the sonnet form, but for widely popularizing the form across Europe. Petrarch used a standard fourteen line form with an ABBA rhyme scheme. Petrarch is considered one of the standardizers of the Italian language thanks to his immense popularity.

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

If a stanza of poetry has an ABBA rhyme scheme, which of its lines rhyme?

Possible Answers:

Third and fourth

First and second

First and third

Second and fourth

First and fourth

Correct answer:

First and fourth

Explanation:

When a rhyme scheme is described with letters, the first line automatically gets designated as "A." Any other line that rhymes with the first line will also be marked as "A." Therefore, in an ABBA rhyme scheme, the first and the fourth lines rhyme, as do the second and third lines.

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