Middle Ages Unit review name key date Period



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Middle Ages Unit REVIEW

Name ____________KEY____________ Date _________________ Period _____
Works of Literature

*be familiar with the overall work/lit. terms/etc. that we discussed in class & specifically the points below


  • The Lay of the Werewolf” (pp. 596-602)

    • Archetype that best applies

the disguised identity

    • Why does wife betray her husband?

fear of her husband turning into a werewolf

    • Why symbolically appropriate that the lady is disfigured by the werewolf?

she judged her husband based on his appearance and is “morally ugly”

    • Theme

you shouldn’t judge people by their appearance


  • from Perceval “The Story of the Grail” (pp. 583-595)

    • Lesson learned from accusing then praising the fisherman

don’t be quick to blame as Perceval was quickly angered when he though the fisherman lied to him

    • How does feast affect Perceval?

it serves as a distraction to his goal of obtaining the grail

    • Description of the Grail

has a bright light coming from it, valuable, jeweled

    • Description of the Lance

bleeding from the tip

    • Goals/obstacles

Goal-grain / obstacles-mysterious Fisher King, raging river

    • Why is it a “quest story”?

a young knight sets off on a journey to obtain the grail and maturity

    • Theme

opportunities must be taken before they are lost


  • from Song of Roland (pp. 556-565)

    • Storms, earthquakes, and darkness at noon that attend the battle—allusion to what?

the end of the world

    • Roland’s heroic flaw

desire for personal glory and recognition


  • First Knight (movie)

    • How chivalry is depicted in movie (courtly love, honor, bravery, loyalty to king, etc.)-examples

Courtly love – Lancelot chooses to leave Camelot because it is too hard to be near Lady Guinevere and he knows that it is disloyal to King Arthur (of course she then asks for that kiss and things kinda go downhill from there) / Bravery – Lancelot bravely saved Lady Guinevere from Malagant; he conquered the gauntlet; he fought Malagant and his men at the end when they tried to take over Camelot, etc. /

Loyalty to the king – The knights of the Round Table swear loyalty to King Arthur and do whatever it takes to protect him and Camelot; Lancelot shows his loyalty to King Arthur at the end by fighting Malagant


  • Shrek (movie)

    • Satire-A literary work that ridicules (makes fun of) its subject through the use of techniques such as exaggeration, reversal, incongruity, and/or parody in order to make a comment or criticism about it.




    • Techniques of Satire (Parody, Incongruity, Exaggeration, Reversal)-examples

Exaggeration- To enlarge, increase, or represent something beyond normal bounds so that it becomes ridiculous and its faults can be seen / ex: Princess Fiona fights and successfully defeats Robin Hood and all of his Merry Men without any help and without any weapons.

Incongruity- To present things that are out of place or are absurd in relation to its surroundings. / ex:

Princess Fiona uses her ponytail to deliver a knockout punch to one of the Merry Men. While frozen in a arts kick, Princess Fiona pauses to fix her disheveled hair before knocking out two of the Merry Men.

Reversal-To present the opposite of the normal order (e.g., the order of events, hierarchical order). /

ex: Princess Fiona, the rescuee, fights and defeats the enemy

Parody- To imitate the techniques and/or style of some person, place, or thing. / ex: The fight scene is an exaggerated imitation of the martial arts style and special effects used in movies such as The Matrix, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.


  • from The Nibelungenlied “How Siegfried Was Slain” (pp. 566-574)

    • Why does Kriemhild want Siegfried to stay home from the hunt?

she had a scary dream that he will be attacked

    • Which attitudes toward Siegfried contribute to the murderers motivations?

they are jealous of his superiority and skill

    • What flaw in Siegfried’s character does Hagen exploit to murder him?

the love of a challenge

    • Which fundamental feudal value does Hagen violate?

loyalty

there is a medieval epic hero who shows strength, bravery, and skill but who possesses a heroic flaw


  • Dante’s Inferno

    • Dark wood symbolizes what?

sin and corruption

    • What must Dante do to have a chance for redemption?

face his sins

    • Trilogy/parts of

Dante’s The Divine Comedy (The Inferno / The Purgatorio / The Paradiso)


      • Canto I (“The Dark Wood of Error”)

        • Beasts that appear to Dante and what they stand for

leopard of malice and fraud, lion of violence and ambition, she-wolf of incontinence

        • Virgil’s role in the Inferno

to serve as Dante’s spiritual guide

        • Image used to convey divine wisdom and power

the sun

        • Theme

sins can be overcome only by following a long and challenging path


      • Canto III (“The Vestibule of Hell”)

        • What sin of nearly soulless caused them to be condemned to run eternally in a circle?

they did not side with God or Satan

        • Primary reason Charon rages at Dante’s presence

Dante’s soul is still in Grace—he has the opportunity for forgiveness

        • Central idea

Punishment is the unavoidable outcome of sin



      • Canto V (“The Second Circle of Hell”)

        • Francesca’s view of her affair

she justifies it as being acceptable based on the story of Lancelot

        • Theme

people who choose passion over reason will face punishment


      • Canto XXXIV (“The Ninth Circle of Hell”)

        • Dante’s emotional state at end of the Inferno

one of relief

        • Theme

those who do not repent of their sins face their own damnation
Literary Terms

*know the definitions and be able to relate to the works of literature / recognize examples)


Theme-central idea or statement that unifies and controls and entire literary work
Terza Rima—a three-line stanza form with interlocking rhymes that move from one stanza to the next
Tercet—a three line unit or stanza of poetry
Canto—a sub-division of an epic or narrative poem comparable to a chapter in a novel
Vernacular—the everyday or common language of a geographic area or the native language of commoners in a country as opposed to a prestigious dead language maintained artificially in schools or text
Medieval Romance—a tale of high adventure that usually idealizes chivalry and the knight’s love for his lady and tends to be mysterious and focus on supernatural elements
Archetype – details, plot patterns, character types, or themes that appear in the literature of many different cultures (such as the quest, disguised identity, the sun, numbers, archetypal woman, wise old man, scapegoat, etc.)
Quest—the pursuit of someone or something of great importance; while on a quest a hero journeys great distances, defeats evil, demonstrates bravery, and grows in wisdom and maturity
Symbol—a person, place, animal, or object that has its own meaning but also suggests a larger meaning
Medieval Epic—focused on ideas such as loyalty and valor, that bound societies together; they also defined and expressed the character of a people, were based on historical events, and were performed long before they were written down
Epic Hero—a person of extraordinary abilities who represents a culture’s highest values
Heroic Flaw—a defect of character that may lead to suffering or even death
Feudal Values—social pattern developed with a hierarchy of roles and power; lordvassalsknights
Chivalry—code of honor that governed the lives of lords and vassals
Courtly Love—concept of expressing admiration and love; generally secret and between members of the nobility
Allegory—literary work with two levels of meaning—literal and symbolic
Imagery—writing that uses descriptive details to appeal to the five senses and create mental images in readers’ minds
Characterization—the art of revealing character
Direct Characterization—a writer simply tells a reader what a character is like
Indirect Characterization—a writer suggests what a character is like by showing what the character says or does, what other characters say about him or her, or how other characters behave toward him or her
Allusion—a reference within a literary work to something outside the work (such as a famous person, historical event, etc.)
Symbolic Retribution—the idea that one’s punishment is fitting for one’s sin
Satire-A literary work that ridicules (makes fun of) its subject through the use of techniques such as exaggeration, reversal, incongruity, and/or parody in order to make a comment or criticism about it.
Exaggeration- To enlarge, increase, or represent something beyond normal bounds so that it becomes ridiculous and its faults can be seen
Incongruity- To present things that are out of place or are absurd in relation to its surroundings. 
Reversal-To present the opposite of the normal order (e.g., the order of events, hierarchical order)
Parody- To imitate the techniques and/or style of some person, place, or thing.



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