English 211--Quiz #0 (SAMPLE--DON'T FAINT!)

English 211, Quiz #0: Bede, Ecclesiastical History of England (excerpt re: Caedmon's hymn)

1)  Who was Caedmon, who was Bede, and why would Bede think it was unusual that Caedmon composed a hymn?

2)  The language and structure of Caedmon's poem in Anglo-Saxon or Old English will seem unusual to readers familiar with Modern English poems.  What is the most notable visual difference in the way the Old English lines are arranged on the page (i.e., its mise-en-page)?

3)  When Bede paraphrases Caedmon's hymn in Latin, the Norton editors' English translation says that he regrets that "it is impossible to make a literal translation, no matter how well-written, of poetry in another language" (25).  What must be lost in the translation of poetry and why does that matter to the study of English literature?

Extra Credit: Tell me something specific about Caedmon's social community which affected the songs he composed.

Extra Extra Credit: Extend the point in question 3 above by considering the dangers of paraphrase and summary of prose in the same language as the original (e.g., "Cliff's Notes" or "Spark Notes")--what is lost and why does that matter?

Click here for sample answers and rationales for why the questions might deserve to be asked and answered.

Still feeling unsure about whether you know what to expect from an English 211 quiz?  Click here for other samples, some of which will be recycled as real quizzes, in part or entirely, during the semester.