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

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 Poetry

Who was the poet who wrote the medieval collection of stories The Canterbury Tales?

Possible Answers:

The Venerable Bede

William Langland

Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey of Monmouth

John Gower

Correct answer:

Geoffrey Chaucer

Explanation:

The Canterbury Tales was a landmark work in English literature as one of the earliest works written in vernacular English, which in the late fourteenth century was Middle English. The Canterbury Tales' author, Geoffrey Chaucer, was most likely inspired by the works of Bocaccio and Dante, which he would have encountered in diplomatic trips to Italy. The Canterbury Tales consist of over twenty unrelated tales, loosely bound together by the fact that they are all told by pilgrims on a trip to Canterbury cathedral.

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

Who is the Persian poet who is considered an Islamic mystic in the branch of Islam called Sufism?

Possible Answers:

Jalal al-Din Rumi

Hafez

Omar Khayyam

Saadi

Rashid-al-Din Hamadani

Correct answer:

Jalal al-Din Rumi

Explanation:

Rumi was a distinctly accomplished Persian poet viewed strictly from a literary standpoint. His thoughts on Islam were also formative in developing the mystical form of the religion known as Sufism. His works are still read in their original language, but have also gained recognition from around the world.

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

The lengthy medieval poem The Canterbury Tales was written by __________.

Possible Answers:

Geoffrey Chaucer

Dante Alighieri

Miguel de Cervantes

William Shakespeare

Christopher Marlowe

Correct answer:

Geoffrey Chaucer

Explanation:

Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales (1475) is written in a language known as "Middle English," which is distinctly different from the modern tongue; however, Chaucer's work is recognizable English and was the first widely read, successful work written in the English language. Chaucer's work is a large-scale narrative poem that follows a group of pilgrims who each tell tales while traveling to Canterbury Cathedral in England.

William Shakespeare was an English dramatist of the 16th and early 17th centuries, Christophe Marlowe was an English dramatist of the 16th century, Miguel de Cervantes was a Spanish novelist and poet of the 16th and 17th centuries, and Dante Alighieri was an Italian poet of the 13th and 14th centuries.

Example Question #4 : Identifying Titles, Authors, Or Schools Of Medieval And Renaissance Poetry

Which of the following was an Old English poem discussing the Crucifixion of Jesus?

Possible Answers:

The Way of Pain

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

The Wretched Daeg

Beowulf

The Dream of the Rood

Correct answer:

The Dream of the Rood

Explanation:

The "Dream of the Rood" is a poem telling the story of the crucifixion of Jesus from the perspective of the very cross on which he was hung. The poem begins with a kind of mystical vision of the cross itself, presented as being bejeweled and majestic. Then, the cross itself tells the story of the crucifixion, presenting both Jesus and the cross as suffering together in the strife of the crucifixion. Finally, the poem ends with the poet's praise of the cross again. The word "rood" is related to modern English's "rod." It also can merely mean "crucifix." In old churches, you will sometimes see a wooden screen between the main body of the church and the sanctuary. It is topped with a cross and is called a "rood screen."

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