Honors humanities unit 4 test review the Renaissance and Reformation art, artists, places, and terms

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The Renaissance and Reformation

There will be approximately 10 slides on this test. Know artists, titles, facts, interpretations, and home countries for each of the main works of art.

High Renaissance Art

Florence and the Medici family


Leonardo da Vinci

humanism, individualism, exploration

rediscovery of Classical art & myths

Italian Renaissance art


aerial perspective

linear perspective

vanishing point









Sistine Chapel Ceiling

“The Last Judgment”


“Last Supper”

“Mona Lisa”




“School of Athens”

Northern Renaissance Art

Flanders (present-day Belgium and some parts of Netherlands)

Ghent (a city in Flanders)

The Netherlands


Robert Campin (The Master of Flemalle)

Merode Altarpiece

Jan and Hubert van Eyck

Ghent Altarpiece

Jan van Eyck only

“Giovanni Arnolfini and His Bride”


“The Garden of Earthly Delights”


“The Wedding Dance”

“The Fall of Icarus” (connect to literature)


“The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”


oil paint

triptych / polyptych







Martin Luther (German)

Protestant movement


views on Pope

95 Theses

vernacular language vs. Latin / reading the Bible

Gutenberg’s press

Catholic Sacraments (7) : Baptism, Communion, Confession / Reconciliation, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, and the Anointing of the Sick (last rites)
Protestant Sacraments (2): only Baptism & Communion. Why? For Protestants, is Communion transubstantiation or simply meaningful and symbolic?

LITERATURE (Know authors, titles, facts, languages, characters, plot, and interpretations.)

Machiavelli’s The Prince (Italian)

Shakespeare’s Macbeth (English)


Lady Macbeth





the Witches

Old Man (in Macbeth)

Concepts in Macbeth: birds, blood, equivocation, manhood, milk, Nature, growth (plants), natural vs. unnatural, fate, free choice, sleep, arrogance, certainty, good & evil, manhood, loyalty, friendship, kinship, limits of human knowledge (e.g. medicine), mystery, magic, friendship, sin, paranoia and projection, dissatisfaction, womanhood, or ambiguity/duplicity (double-ness)

Castiglione’s The Courtier (Italian)

Marlowe’s The Tragical History of the Life & Death of Doctor Faustus (English)

Doctor Faustus

Helen of Troy



PEWSLAG – 7 Deadly Sins

Good Angel / Bad Angel

Old Man (in Faustus)

Concepts in Faustus: prudence vs. recklessness, good vs. evil, equivocation, sin, paranoia and projection, mystery, magic, loyalty, natural vs. unnatural, fate, free choice, limits of human knowledge (e.g. medicine), arrogance, friendship, certainty, good & evil, dissatisfaction, or ambiguity/duplicity


There will not be any listening portions on this test, but the main pieces of music from the lecture are on ePark2 for your review. To prepare for the test, know the key facts from the music lecture. Be able to compare medieval, late medieval, and Renaissance Christian music. How did the music change over time?

conflicting attitudes in the Catholic church:

1) Pope Gregory in 6th century: music can be too sensuous; needs lots of rules (Gregorian chants)

2) Abbé Suger in 12th century: sensual beauty gets one closer to God (Gothic cathedrals; know his quote)

early medieval plainsong / plainchant (Ms. Bates’ “singing”): one syllable per note; music serves the words; monophonic (only “one voice” or note at a time); no rhythm or beat; no instruments

later medieval plainsong / plainchant (medieval Kyrie Eleison): many syllables per note (“L-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ord have Me-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-ercy”); words serve the music; still monophonic (only “one voice” or note at a time); still no instruments; still no rhythm or beat; a little bit of harmony

Renaissance street music: instruments, clashing sounds (dissonance), harmony, vernacular (street) language, catchy rhythms

Renaissance religious music (Palestrina’s Kyrie Eleison): words serve the music; polyphonic makes more complex and beautiful (multiple melodies or “voices” at a time, like in a round); harmony (higher and lower voices singing different notes at once); still no rhythm or beat

language of church masses and music: Latin

exception to Latin is “Kyrie Eleison” (What language? Greek. Where from? Bible. Meaning? “Lord have mercy.”)

How to be a good audience member (two words): Don’t move.

John Scotum: found beauty in stone (consistent with Abbé Suger’s beliefs)

Hildegard von Bingen: composed for female voices (also a famous poet, mystic, musician, and abbess)

King Ethelbert: first Christian English king; converted through exposure to St. Augustine’s choir of monks (there were no doubt many factors, but this is a legend retold again and again; perhaps there is some kernel of truth) For the full story: http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=morris&book=english&story=christian

Guido d’Arezzo: used lines on fingers as first staff; developed prototype of modern musical notation (lines on fingers like the lines on modern music where notes are placed)

Guido’s hand, Hildegard recording a vision, and Abbot Suger depicted in a medieval window:


There will be approximately 40 multiple choice questions on this exam.

See the “Unit 4 Links” tab on the website. There are some excellent short videos and websites that may be helpful. Be sure to review the art PowerPoints and additional resources available on ePark2. The Northern Renaissance Art teacher’s notes are also on ePark2.
There will be a lot of art identification. Also be prepared for a lot of quote identification (spoken by, about, and to). Review major themes in the literature. Compare and contrast.
You should read about the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation in your CI. SOME of the paintings are in your book, including some special Master Works analysis sections. You will have to Google the paintings that are not found in your CI and are not on Moodle.
Utilize the introductions to the time periods found in the front in the Norton Anthology to review the changes and values found in the Renaissance. Also, read the introductions to the authors and their works (found right before each piece of literature).
The Catholicism handout from first semester is also under Unit 4 Handouts if you’d like to review the beliefs and practices, some of which the Protestant movement criticized during the Reformation.

Unit 4 Test Essay Prompt: 50% of Grade
Write TWO BODY PARAGRAPHS in which you consider the similarities between:
(1) the character Macbeth from the play Macbeth


(2) the character Faustus from the play The Tragic Death of Doctor Faustus

Include the THESIS as your introduction.
Include a brief but meaningful conclusion (one sentence is sufficient).
In this comparison, make sure you focus on a theme or themes that will be the basis for the comparison of the two characters.
Include quotations and specific events from the plays to support each point.
Feel free to reference other works of literature, art, or music as you see fit; however, the focus must be specifically on Macbeth and Faustus.

(from Ken Krimstein’s book Kvetch as Kvetch Can)



All essays should have a thesis with both a subject and an opinion (also called commentary). For a literary comparison/contrast essay, an appropriate subject might be a theme that both works address.

Some examples of themes are faith, choices, hubris, power, or the limited political power of women. The opinion in the thesis should be a truth or moral lesson that can be learned about that theme through examination of the literature. The opinion should be a point that is not obvious (reasonable people could disagree), and there should be lots of evidence to support it.
Here is one way to write a literary comparison/contrast thesis: “Character A in Work A and Character B in Work B both show that [theme] leads to [result/truth/lesson].”
If your thesis is that the two works come to contradictory conclusions, make sure the two conclusions you present are actually comparable opposites: “Character A in Work A shows that [theme] leads to [result], whereas Character B in Work B shows that [theme] leads to [opposite result].”
Here is an example:
Oedipus shows that if you try to control fate, your arrogance will lead to your demise, whereas Machiavelli promotes success through a calculated set of strategies designed to control events.
The theme for this thesis is FATE. The lesson learned from Oedipus is not to try to control fate. The lesson learned from Machiavelli is that you should try to control fate. Could someone disagree with these conclusions? Yes (Good!). Is there strong evidence from both texts to support the thesis? Yes (Good!).
Make sure the opinion (result/truth/lesson) is meaningful. Do not make the mistake of giving a fact as a lesson, e.g., “Oedipus shows that if you try to control fate, you will make yourself go blind.” Oedipus does go blind by stabbing his eyes out with a brooch (pin), but that is a fact, not a concept all people can apply to their own lives (even if they own lots of brooches).

A comparison/contrast essay should be organized so it is clear which work you are discussing at all times.

Although it is possible to write a sophisticated essay that weaves discussion of two works into each paragraph, this is not a great strategy for an essay exam, when you do not have time to edit for clarity. We recommend that you keep your focus on one work or character in each body paragraph. Another possibility is an A / B / A / B format in both body paragraphs, although the Humanities teachers find this to be harder to follow in most essays. A shaping sheet for the simpler organization as well as a shaping sheet for the more complex approach to organization (A / B / A / B) are both included at the end of this document.
Consider how you want to organize your paragraphs based upon the key parts of your thesis. Using the thesis mentioned earlier, you might want to dedicate the first half of each of the body paragraphs to the method the character used to try to control his own fate. In the second half of each paragraph, you could demonstrate the different outcomes. This shows a “before and after” progression for each character.
Here is an outline for this paper in which each character is discussed in a separate paragraph. This is probably the easiest approach to organizing a comparison / contrast essay. Notice that the thesis shows an action and result (before and after) for each character. Then the each body paragraph gives details about at least one important action and one important result for the character:
THESIS: Oedipus shows that if you try to control FATE, your arrogance will lead to your demise, whereas Machiavelli promotes success through a calculated set of strategies to control events.
PARAGRAPH 1 TS (character A): Oedipus tries to control fate in a variety of ways, but he pays for his folly and his life is destroyed.

#1 Oedipus CD/CM showing that he tried to control his fate:

avoids the location in the prophecy, avoids the people in the prophecy, ignores facts, prophecy comes true, gains confidence/ego through solving the riddle of the sphinx and becoming king, sleeps with mother and kills father, fathers "monster" children, tries not to see what is right in front of him

#2 Oedipus CD/CM showing that his attempts led to his demise:

blinds himself, is banished, wife is dead, is alone, children will be parentless, kingdom is left without a good leader
PARAGRAPH 2 TS (character B): Machiavelli tries to control fate in a variety of ways and gets positive results.

#1 Machiavelli CD/CM showing that he tried to control fate:

observes and collects data about the methods of different rulers and their successes/failures; draws logical conclusions about which methods are most effective; is willing to use unpleasant means if the ends are just

#2 Machiavelli CD/CM showing success / positive results:

more order, justice, respect for law, less bloodshed, more prosperity

Highly effective CD begins with a transition phrase like “For example,” or “In addition,” and then flows directly into a lead-in that gives the context of the CD (who, what, when, where). Here’s an example of a well-written CD:

For example, Macbeth arrives at a banquet in his own castle to celebrate the new crown on his head. He can’t take his seat at the table because the bloody ghost of Banquo, the friend whom he arranged to have murdered, appears to be sitting in his chair. He says to the ghost, “Thou canst not say I did it.”
Note that an effective CD is not necessarily just one sentence. Also, quotations do not need to be long to be useful. Try to memorize a couple of meaningful quotations to use in your essay.

What counts as effective literary CD:

what the character SAYS

what the character DOES

specific and detailed paraphrase (He called the servant a swine and punched him in the face.)

facts about setting, time, or historical context

direct quotation (put in quotation marks)

What is not effective literary CD:

summary (unless quick and relevant)

interpretation that is really CM

(He was happy.)

generic language (He became different.)

concrete detail that doesn’t support the TS

super long quotations (choose only key words or phrases)

a long, unedited, or random list of facts


For an essay test, all CD should be accompanied by at least as much commentary explaining it (a 1:1 ratio). Try using the phrase “This shows that…” to begin your commentary. Commentary can explain a character's motivation or interior thoughts and feelings ("He did this because he thought/felt/wanted..."). Commentary can explain the meaning of a character's words or actions ("This is important because..."). To extend the commentary, try comparing the character or situation to another character or situation to show why it is distinct. Always connect back to the thesis and remember what you are trying to prove.

Avoid the five common commentary mistakes: drifting from your topic, contradicting your thesis, using concrete detail as commentary, generic commentary, and commentary that repeats itself.
CONCLUSION PARAGRAPH (one or two sentences for this exam)

For the conclusion of a literary essay, you can't go wrong with drawing a moral or universal truth about human nature from the topic at hand. Generalize your conclusion in a way that gives the reader a "take away" lesson that is applicable in real life today or gives a new perspective on a genre, time period, culture, gender, or social role. The first sentence in the paragraph below would be a decent one-sentence conclusion for our Oedipus/Machiavelli test essay. If you had more time, you could write the entire short paragraph below for an essay test conclusion:

The fates of these two men show us how, as humanity moved from ancient times to the Renaissance, rational analysis began to challenge the age-old truths of mythology and faith. In ancient times, people believed all the overwhelming forces of nature, human suffering, and mystery were controlled by outside forces that no human could avoid or change, such as the gods and Fate. In the Middle Ages, mysteries of nature and human suffering were presumed to be controlled by God. By the time of the Renaissance, although Machiavelli mentions Fate and religious piety, his overwhelming message is that an individual with a single-minded purpose can – through observation, analysis, and the application of rational strategies – be the prime determinant of his own fate.

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