Medieval Literature Final Examination


Number your answers. Be sure you answer the question; irrelevant information is worth zero/zip/nil. (A topic sentence makes a fine beginning.) BE SPECIFIC, and refer to texts as frequently as possible. Your answers should be as well written as you can make them. Read the whole exam before you begin.

I. (40%; 5 points each) 6 minutes each

These questions require very brief, pointed answers. You have no time for discussion. JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION. Answer EIGHT of the following, each in a short paragraph:

(Assign a letter to each one you answer.)

a. Name three ways (one sentence each) in which Jupiter in the Play of the Weather differs from God in any of the cycle plays.

b. Name three uses for music in medieval drama. (Name specific plays.)

c. What evidence of a mumming tradition in England is there in late medieval/early Tudor drama?

d. Christ can be presented many different ways, depending on the biblical passages you draw from. How would you characterize the kind of Christ depicted in the Cycle plays and why do you think he is represented that way?

e. In what season were Corpus Christi processions/plays put on and why?

f. Why is so much comedy present in the Cycle plays? (Be specific.)

g. Name three similarities between Dux Moraud and Lancelot of Denmark.

h. In what way does the Croxton Play of the Sacrament come full circle to the early liturgical drama?

i. How do the goals of John Heywood differ from those of the authors of the Cycle plays?

j. Explain the symbolic significance of one of the shepherds' gifts in The Second Shepherds' Pageant.

II. Essays (60%; 30 points each) 35 minutes each

I want substantial answers, full of specific detail. Answer two of the following:

1. Compare the roles of women in one of the Noah plays, the Resurrection, AND Lancelot of Denmark in light of your background reading.

2. The Chester "Abraham" play and the Shearmen and Tailors' Play both combine a number of biblical episodes into a single play. Choose one or the other and discuss the pros and cons of this more complex structure vs. single-episode plays. (After all, one might say, you're going to see all of them anyway.)

3. Compare the use of props and devices in The Croxton Play of the Sacrament and one of the Noah plays. What is their purpose and how well do they serve to accomplish that purpose? (Do not try to talk about all of them; choose a couple from each play.)

4. Name the ways in which the playwrights' treatment of common people and their concerns differ in The Play of the Weather and The Second Shepherds' Play. Be sure to deal, not only with specific differences, but with the purposes for those differences. (Consider your background reading.)

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Rev 6/97