Dr. Bruce R. Magee

Essay questions. Answer five of the questions below. Use complete sentences and good grammar.  Use diagrams and lists where appropriate.

  1. Write from memory 10 lines of poetry and analyze their meaning to you in a well-written paragraph.  Include the poem title, author (or anonymous), and page number in the book to facilitate grading.
  3. Discuss the three estates. Name & define each estate. Discuss the place in society, duties, & potential shortcomings of each.
  5. Analyze the significance of Gawain's shield in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.  Be sure to discuss both the front and back sides of the shield.
  7. Discuss the great chain of being. What were the implications of the chain of being for the universe? Society? The individual? Support your discussion with diagrams.
  9. Compare & contrast Beowulf and Paradise Lost. What genre is each? What are the characteristics of those genres? What type of society does each represent? What kinds of virtues are portrayed? What kinds of vices?  How do these change as the society changed?  Remember to discuss how various characters represent specific virtues/vices.
  11. Discuss the hero of Paradise Lost from the perspectives of Milton and Blake. Whom did Milton intend to be the hero? Whom does Blake regard as the hero? How do their opinions reflect the changing understanding of heroism in the two eras?
  13. The notes on Pilgrim's Progress give you the four levels of allegory for the story as a whole.  Pick one of the incidents in the story and analyze the four levels of allegory as they apply to that incident. 
EXTRA CREDIT: Write from memory up to 20 lines of poetry for up to 10 points of extra credit. Partial credit is possible. Include the poem title, author (or anonymous), and page number in the book to facilitate grading.  Do NOT use the same lines you used in #1 above.  You may use different lines from the same poem.