Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

Early English Literature
End-of-Semester Exam
Fall 2023

Fall 2023 — Delahoyde
Washington State University

EARLY ENGLISH LITERATURE
END-OF-SEMESTER EXAM

BIG DAY: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1st, 1:00-2:00pm.

Your last significant obligations to this course will be an exam and an essay, similar to the midterm. Exam questions and answers will concern only the works covered from after the midterm exam through the end of the semester: remind yourself by reviewing the syllabus, but that means the end of the Middle Ages with Malory, on to the Renaissance with sonnets and the madrigal, and through to the end of all Renaissance materials thereafter. Here is the plan for the last exam.

I. IDENTIFICATIONS. [Total 30 points = 15 questions, 2 points each.]

On the designated day for this last exam — Friday, December 1st, by 1:00pm — you will receive from me an e-mail containing identification questions similar to those on the midterm exam. Attached will be a Word document with the same questions, so that you can type the answers in whichever mode is safest and preferable to you. These questions will be primarily but perhaps not exclusively identification based: maybe identify who adopts a Sir Topas disguise, or identify the originator of the “Petrarchan” sonnet — that kind of question, only a bit more difficult.

II. QUOTATIONS. [Total 40 points = 8 questions, 5 points each.]

The same e-mail/document will contain bigger questions, mostly (but not all) quotation-based: combinations of identification and, more importantly, significance questions based on literary quotations, art images, musical tracks, or any other relevant class materials selected for their representativeness of our discussions on key points ever since the previous exam. You should plan to e-mail your completed exam back to me by 2:00pm. You may work in coordinated cooperation with another member of the class, in which case only one of you should e-mail back to me with other name designated.

III. ESSAY. [Total 30 points.]

Plan to submit this essay on Friday, December 1st, by 5:00pm, as a separate Word document or pdf to a designated folder on Canvas in Discussions. The essay should be an original and virtuoso piece of brilliance, with a unified perspective and fine critical thinking, manifested in impressive eloquence, with facile reference to concepts and specifics from the class materials, and amounting to three (3) or more pages, double-spaced.


What’s new?

That is to say, how was the Early Modern Period an English literary “Renaissance”? What distinguishes the literature from that of the Middle Ages, and what characterizes the 16th-century works as Early Modern?

Answer this question with a basis in the literature as represented by some of the works we have examined this semester. Inclusion of mini-reports on “Humanism” or other canned and spurious concepts, detached from any of your own authentic relationships with the class materials, will fail. Once again, this class, soon to be history, was not a history class. Also, a stilted retrospective slog through the syllabus will seem pointless. Instead, dazzle!

I’m worried I’ll be bored reading some of these. Don’t do that to me. I’ve tried to be nice. If the question bores you, come up with something else and run it by me on email, like: Is Marlowe Shakespeare? Are ancient aliens responsible for initiating the Renaissance?


BIG DAY: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1st, 1:00-2:00pm.