CLEP Humanities : Analyzing the Content of Medieval and Renaissance Drama

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for CLEP Humanities

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Example Questions

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

The character Ophelia was featured in which of the following Shakespeare plays?

Possible Answers:

Hamlet

Othello

The Merchant of Venice

Twelfth Night

Romeo and Juliet

Correct answer:

Hamlet

Explanation:

Ophelia is featured in Shakespeare's Hamlet.

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

"He hath disgraced me, and

hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses,

mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my

bargains, cooled my enemies, heated mine

enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew."

(1605)

From which Shakespeare play is the following quotation drawn?

Possible Answers:

Othello

Hamlet

The Tempest

Richard III

The Merchant of Venice

Correct answer:

The Merchant of Venice

Explanation:

This quote is from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, and is spoken by Shylock about his reasons for seeking revenge against Antonio. The revenge that Shylock is seeking is the right to exact a pound of flesh from Antonio for not repaying the money that Shylock lent him.

 

(Passage adapted from The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, III.iii.54-58)

Example Question #3 : Analyzing The Content Of Medieval And Renaissance Drama

What is the Shakespeare play about the Prince of Denmark investigating his father’s death?

Possible Answers:

Othello

Julius Caesar

Henry V

Hamlet

Macbeth

Correct answer:

Hamlet

Explanation:

Hamlet was a turning point in the writing career of William Shakespeare. Taking an old tale about a Prince of Denmark whose father has mysteriously died and whose uncle has usurped the throne, Shakespeare focused intensely on Hamlet's character and inner drama. The play features many ruminations on philosophy and psychology, which were used in most of Shakespeare's later tragedies.

Example Question #6 : Analyzing The Content Of Drama

Antonio, Portia, and Jessica are all characters in which Shakespearean play?

Possible Answers:

Macbeth

Julius Caesar

Richard III

Romeo and Juliet

The Merchant of Venice

Correct answer:

The Merchant of Venice

Explanation:

Antonio, Jessica, and Portia are all characters in The Merchant of Venice.

Example Question #4 : Analyzing The Content Of Medieval And Renaissance Drama

The story told in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is often thought to be derived from the story of __________.

Possible Answers:

Samson and Delilah from the Bible

Lancelot and Guinevere from Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart by Chretien de Troyes

Pyramus and Thisbe from Ovid's Metamorphoses

Dido and Aeneas from the Aeneid, by Virgil

Orpheus and Eurydice from Ovid's Metamorphoses

Correct answer:

Pyramus and Thisbe from Ovid's Metamorphoses

Explanation:

The general consensus among scholars reflects that Shakespeare derived his story and main characters for Romeo and Juliet from Ovid's story of Pyramus and Thisbe. The story of Pyramus and Thisbe depicts two tragic lovers who are separated by their families, who do not approve of their marriage. They communicate their love through a cement wall and plan to meet under a tree outside to confess their love. However, when Thisbe comes out first, she mistakes the blood of a lion for Pyramus' blood and, believing he had been killed, kills herself.

Example Question #5 : Analyzing The Content Of Medieval And Renaissance Drama

Which Shakespeare play opens with three witches forecasting the future?

Possible Answers:

Othello

Macbeth

Titus Andronicus

Romeo and Juliet

Hamlet

Correct answer:

Macbeth

Explanation:

The image of three witches calmly prophesying the future is one of the indelible images of Shakespeare's Macbeth. The titular character's rise to power is conditioned and effected by the witches' proclamations, providing one of the key themes of the play, predestination and foreshadowing.

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