CLEP Humanities : Identifying Titles, Authors, or Schools of Medieval and Renaissance Drama

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for CLEP Humanities

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Identifying Titles, Authors, Or Schools Of Medieval And Renaissance Drama

Which Shakespeare play features a Roman general who seeks revenge against a Gothic queen?

Possible Answers:

Othello

Julius Caesar

Macbeth

Titus Andronicus

Romeo and Juliet

Correct answer:

Titus Andronicus

Explanation:

Titus Andronicus was William Shakespeare's first tragedy, performed originally in the early 1590s, when Shakespeare only had success as a comedy writer. Titus Andronicus is by far the goriest and most violent of Shakespeare's plays, in which he emulated contemporary "revenge plays." The play finishes with the titular Roman general feeding a pie to a Gothic queen that contains the meat of her two dead sons.

Example Question #2 : Identifying Titles, Authors, Or Schools Of Medieval And Renaissance Drama

What is the Shakespeare play that features the witty repartee between characters Beatrice and Benedick?

Possible Answers:

The Merry Wives of Windsor

As You Like It

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Much Ado About Nothing

Twelfth Night

Correct answer:

Much Ado About Nothing

Explanation:

Among Shakespeare's comedies, Much Ado About Nothing is relatively straightforward narratively, with the action focusing on two couples, the young lovers Claudio and Hero and the combative couple Beatrice and Benedick. The straightforward narrative, however, allows Shakespeare to play up the witty dialogue between Beatrice and Benedick. The play is famous for some of Shakespeare's cleverest writing and funniest scenes.

Example Question #3 : Identifying Titles, Authors, Or Schools Of Medieval And Renaissance Drama

The Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe wrote which of the following plays?

Possible Answers:

Othello

Macbeth

Bartholomew Fayre

Doctor Faustus

The Spanish Tragedy

Correct answer:

Doctor Faustus

Explanation:

Christopher Marlowe was an early contemporary of William Shakespeare, and was arguably more popular in his time than Shakespeare. Marlowe's death in 1593 under mysterious circumstances was seen to have cut short a promising literary career. His work continues on, as in his telling of the Faust myth, Doctor Faustus, from 1589.

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