General Information

World Literature I

Section I—General Information

Directions: Select TWO questions from this section (10 points each).

1.  Explain Christianity’s impact on the Hebrew, Greek and Latin worlds.  How did they all “intersect” in Christianity?  Explain.

2.  Briefly discuss/outline the history of the Roman Empire.  Be sure to include the dividing of the Empire and its fall.

3.  Discuss briefly the rise of/history of Islam.

4.  What is an epic poem?  What are three characteristics that make up an epic poem?  Justify calling The Divine Comedy an epic poem.

5.  What is the significance of the pilgrimage in The Canterbury Tales?  Explain its historical context.

6.  Why did Chaucer use the pilgrimage motif to create his tales?  How effective is it?  Explain.

Section II—Literary Selections

Directions:  Select TWO questions from EACH of the FOUR literary selections (10 points each).


8.  Explain the importance and the significance of Confessions.  Be sure to include both its literary importance and its religious importance.

9.  How does Augustine feel about love or ambition?  Give specific examples to support your answer.

10.  Relate briefly the events of Augustine’s conversion.

The Koran:

11.  Characterize Islamic literature.  Be sure to include three specific examples to support your answer.

12.  Discuss the importance of The Qur’an to the Muslims.  Be sure to include both its religious as well as its literary importance.

13.  Characterize the God depicted in The Qur’an.  Explain your answer briefly and support it with specific examples.

14.  How does The Qur’an deal with the concept of women or inheritance or marriage?  Explain briefly and use specific examples from the text to support your answer.

The Divine Comedy:

15.  What do the three beasts that Dante meets symbolize?  Explain each briefly.

16.  How does Dante combine pagan and Christian ideologies together in his poem?  Explain.  Give specific examples to support your answer.

17.  What is the first sight that Dante sees when he enters Hell?  Describe the scene briefly and support your answers with specifics.

18.  Discuss what is posted on the sign to Hell.  What significance does this sign have to the whole of the poem?  Explain briefly.

The Canterbury Tales:

19.  What was Chaucer’s original plan for The Canterbury Tales and how successful was he at accomplishing his goal?  Explain.

20.  Discuss the setting of the poem.  Be sure to include all the important details.

21.  Summarize “The Pardoner’s Tale”.  What is ironic about the “tale” in relationship to his character?  Explain.

22.  Characterize one:  The knight, The Prioress. The Monk, The Friar, The Physician, The Woman (Wife) of Bath or The parson