Your exam will cover all the information from first semester, including literature, writing, and research. He is a brief study guide that will remind you of what to study. This does NOT take the place of your personal studying!
I. The Romans in England : Julius Caesar was actually in England, and the Romans founded Londinium. There is much extant archaeological evidence of their time in England. The left around 400 A.D.
II. Anglo-Saxon period: 449-1066: Know the culture and the time period background; King Arthur lived during this time period, though his identity is unclear. Shipwrecks such as the Sutton Hoo offer evidence of the Anglo-Saxon occupation. They were artistic people and not "barbaric" like we might think they were. However, there were 7 Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and much fighting between the groups. They apparently wrote poems (now most are lost) and gave us Beowulf. You should know the traits of A.S. poetry: use of kennings; alliteration; no rhyme; heavy rhythm; use of caesuras; four beats per line. In Beowulf, there is the eternal struggle between good and evil (Beowulf and Grendel), and there is also the acceptance of death as a part of life. WYRD represents the concept of fate, which determined a man's life. (How does the idea of WYRD turn up in Macbeth later?). Know the main characters and events in Beowulf. Beowulf is an epic, and you should know what an epic is.
III.Medieval period: 1066-1485. William the Conqueror defeated Harold the Saxon at the Battle of Hastings. Because William was from France, he brought his language with him, of course, and 10,000 words were absorbed into Old English to help our language evolve into Middle English, the language of Chaucer. Chaucer wrote the Canterbury Tales around 1385, though he died before they were finished. All the characters were to tell four stories--two on the way to Canterbury and two on the way back. The pilgrims were made up of every walk of life, including church people, upper class, and peasants. (Chaucer was also highlighting the hypocrisy of the church and making other statements also about the various groups and people). There are mostly males on the trip, though there are two females. The pilgrims are on their way to visit the shrine of Thomas Becket, the murdered saint of England. Becket was buried at Canterbury (though his tomb was later raided and destroyed by the armies of Henry VIII). Becket quarelled with Henry over the power of the church. The Canterbury Tales give us a wonderful cross-section of what Medieval life and people were like. The stories reflect the tellers of the tales. Chaucer puts himself in the story and not only narrates, but adds comments to the reader. The description of the characters make up the General Prologue, and they are important because they give us so much info about the time period. BTW, if you check this web site, you will see Canterbury Tales tests posted. You could use these for practice and study.
Renaissance: 1485-1660: The focus of our studies of this time period was two of Shakespeare's works, Macbeth and Hamlet. Macbeth was written in 1606, probably to please the new king, James I. Hamlet was a later play. For both plays, you should know the characters, their personality traits, their roles, and their ultimate fates. You should review the action in both plays, as you will need to know what happens (and when). There are quotes on the play--not because you should have the play memorized, but because you should know the characters well enough to be able to figure out who would have said such a line. For example, who suspects Macbeth of "foul play"? Who talks of strange events in nature that occurred the night of Duncan's death? Think about themes in both Macbeth and Hamlet.
Literary terms: Know the definitions of these words and how they relate to what we have studied! personification; allusion; rhyme; rhythm; kenning; caesura; soliloquy; aside; alliteration; symbol; foil characters; protagonist; antagonist; pun; Renaissance man.
Writing: thesis; first person; second person; bibliography; Works Cited; plagiarism; MLA format