English 211 Midterm Exam Review Session

    The instructions for sections A and B are exactly what you will see on the exam. The passages are samples and probably will not be on the exam. The essay in section C is similar to but substantially different from the essay on the exam.  You will have your choice of several essay topics.

General Instructions: Read the instructions to Sections A, B and C, and plan your time well. Be sure to note that Section A (identification) is worth 60 points (10 for each of 6), Section B (rhyme scheme, meter, and stanza structure) is worth 10 points, and Section C (1 essay) is worth 30 points. Write all answers in your bluebook or a separate sheet. No credit will be given for writing on this exam, itself, though you may use it as a worksheet.

Section A: Identify the author, title or genre, speaker and spoken-to (if any), period, and briefly explain the significance of 6 out of 20  of these passages or complete short works we have read during this semester. Identify all proper nouns replaced by blank lines. They are passages which represent the course's major themes and issues--no "tricks." When writing the Section C essay, I encourage you to refer to (and even to quote briefly from) relevant short passages you can identify in Section A. Their order is not chronological and proper nouns have been replaced by the same number of spaces. [60 points]

1) Jerome's bible, ________, view it well [ . . . ]

"Si pecasse negamus, fallimur, et nulla est in nobis veritas."

If we say that we have no sin,

We deceive ourselves, and there's no truth in us.

Why then belike we must sin,

And so consequently die.

Ay, we must die an everlasting death.

What doctrine call you this? Che sara, sara:

What will be, shall be! Divinity, adieu!


2) A ________ ther was, and that a worthy man,

That fro the time that he first bigan

To riden out, he loved chivalrye,

Trouthe and honour, freedom and curteisye.

Ful worthy was he in his lordes werre,

And therto hadde he ridden, no man ferre*,     [farther]

As wel in Christendom as in hethenesse,

And evere honoured for his worthinesse.


3) Like as the waves make towards the pibbled shore, [pebbled]

So do our minutes hasten to their end;

Each changing place with that which goes before,

In sequent toil all forwards do contend.

Nativity, once in the main of light, [open expanse]

Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crowned,

Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight,

And Time that gave doth now his gift confound.

Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth

And delves the parallels in beauty's brow,

Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth,

And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow.

And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand, [to future times]

Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.

Section B: Identify the rhyme scheme, meter, and stanza structure (if any) of one of the following passages: 2 or 3. Be sure to clearly identify which passage you're working with!

Section C: Sir Philip Sidney's "Defense of Poesy" describes the poets as "artificers" or "makers" whose skill "standeth in that idea or fore-conceit of the work." That is, the poets use imagination to penetrate the creative logic which underpins a character, a dramatic scene, a speech, or the whole work. Using one or more of the passages in Section A which you did not identify above, explain what it reveals about the author's "fore-conceit" of the whole work? That is, how do its structure and/or content illustrate some fundamental principle which underpins the larger work of which it is a part. For the sonnets, you may consider the cyclic construction of the collection in which it was published as "the larger work."

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