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Quiz about Middle English Literature
Quiz about Middle English Literature

Middle English Literature Trivia Quiz


Refresh your knowledge or broaden your horizons with this survey of Middle English Literature. Here, you'll find more than just Chaucer, though you'll find him too!

A multiple-choice quiz by skylarb. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
skylarb
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
116,444
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
20
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
11 / 20
Plays
2162
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 42 (10/20), Guest 152 (1/20), Guest 42 (0/20).
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Question 1 of 20
1. In 1381, peasants used phrases from this work in their revolt rhetoric. Hint


Question 2 of 20
2. This work was written in Latin by a Breton cleric during the Middle English period. Hint


Question 3 of 20
3. Who, during part of the Middle English period, served as the archbishop of Canterbury? Hint


Question 4 of 20
4. Who dictated the first autobiography written in English? Hint


Question 5 of 20
5. He translated "The Fall of Princes" from the French. Hint


Question 6 of 20
6. Who wrote a sequel to Chaucer's "The Nun's Priest's Tale"? Hint


Question 7 of 20
7. He wrote a series of Arthurian romances from prison. Hint


Question 8 of 20
8. This work was written in the Midland dialect, from which Modern English descends. Hint


Question 9 of 20
9. This writer of "Troilus and Criseide" was the son of a wealthy wine merchant. Hint


Question 10 of 20
10. What work contains these lines: "There hurls in at the hall-door an unknown rider . . . Half a giant on earth I hold him to be."

Hint


Question 11 of 20
11. It is thought that this man was the author of "Piers Plowman" because of a play on words in the text. Hint


Question 12 of 20
12. She wrote a book meditating on the meaning of her 'ghostly' visions. Hint


Question 13 of 20
13. This play contains the characters Coll, Gib, Daw, and Mak. Hint


Question 14 of 20
14. Characters in this play include Knowledge, Beauty, Five-Wits, and Discretion. Hint


Question 15 of 20
15. This Middle English ballad inspired many 20th century songs, including Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A Gonna' Fall." Hint


Question 16 of 20
16. In what Middle English ballad does the speaker say, "O mother, mother, make my bed / O make it soft and narrow. / Since my love died for me today, / I'll die for him tomorrow"? Hint


Question 17 of 20
17. In this poem, Chaucer solicits his patron Henry IV to provide him with some cash. Hint


Question 18 of 20
18. In "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight", Gawain engages in a "swap game" with his host. He takes three kisses and a magic belt from his host's wife. Which of these does he then return to the host? Hint


Question 19 of 20
19. What work begins, "It befell in the days of Uther Pendragon, when he was king of all England, and so reigned, that there was a mighty duke in Cornwall that held war against him long time"? Hint


Question 20 of 20
20. This Middle English writer once escaped from Coleshill prison by swimming a moat. He also escaped from Colchester jail, apparently by fighting his way out. Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Jun 19 2024 : Guest 42: 10/20
Jun 14 2024 : Guest 152: 1/20
Jun 12 2024 : Guest 42: 0/20
Jun 11 2024 : Guest 117: 12/20
Jun 05 2024 : Guest 185: 7/20
May 30 2024 : Guest 174: 7/20
May 27 2024 : VijayGoplani01: 10/20
May 26 2024 : Guest 101: 16/20
May 21 2024 : Guest 157: 9/20

Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. In 1381, peasants used phrases from this work in their revolt rhetoric.

Answer: Piers Plowman

"Piers Plowman," a medieval allegory and dream vision, exhibits much sympathy for the commoner.
2. This work was written in Latin by a Breton cleric during the Middle English period.

Answer: The History of the Kings of Britain

Geoffrey of Monmouth produced this book in the 12th century, and much of his history is invented. Monmouth named Brutus, who he said had descended from Aeneas, as the founder of Britain.
3. Who, during part of the Middle English period, served as the archbishop of Canterbury?

Answer: St Thomas Becket

Becket figures in "The Canterbury Tales." The pilgrims are making a journey to the martyr's tomb.
4. Who dictated the first autobiography written in English?

Answer: Margery Kempe

Her "Book of Margery Kempe" tells the story of her visions, which inspired the housewife to become chaste and travel to the Holy Land.
5. He translated "The Fall of Princes" from the French.

Answer: John Lydgate

He also translated "The Siege of Thebes." "The Fall of Princes" is based on another work by Boccaccio. Lydgate is little known today, but in his own time he was nearly as renowned as Chaucer.
6. Who wrote a sequel to Chaucer's "The Nun's Priest's Tale"?

Answer: Robert Henryson

He also wrote a sequel to Chaucer's "Troilus and Criseide."
7. He wrote a series of Arthurian romances from prison.

Answer: Sir Thomas Malory

His collected tales are called the "Le Morte D'Arthur", and they received that title from his printer William Caxton. He was in prison for presumably stealing cattle. He spent about eight years there, awaiting trial, though he was bailed out from time to time, during which respites he apparently engaged in further theft.
8. This work was written in the Midland dialect, from which Modern English descends.

Answer: The Canterbury Tales

The Midland dialect of Chaucer was spoken in London.
9. This writer of "Troilus and Criseide" was the son of a wealthy wine merchant.

Answer: Geoffrey Chaucer

Chaucer was a part of the growing middle class, but his wife was more noble. His sister-in-law was Katherine Swynford, the wife of John of Gaunt, the father of King Henry IV.
10. What work contains these lines: "There hurls in at the hall-door an unknown rider . . . Half a giant on earth I hold him to be."

Answer: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

The author of this Arthurian tale is unknown, but he is thought to have also written the poems "Patience", "Pearl", and "Purity."
11. It is thought that this man was the author of "Piers Plowman" because of a play on words in the text.

Answer: William Langland

He says that he has "lived in land" and also that his name is "Long Will." A longer version of Will is William, and adding that to Land, scholars have surmised that the author is indeed William Langland. The work is told as a dream vision and is a spiritual allegory.
12. She wrote a book meditating on the meaning of her 'ghostly' visions.

Answer: Julian of Norwich

Julian's visions, which are depicted in "A Book of Showings", convinced her to become an anchoress. Margarey Kempe visited the anchoress to discuss her own visions.
13. This play contains the characters Coll, Gib, Daw, and Mak.

Answer: The Second Shepherd's Play

This mystery play about Christ's nativity includes a comic subplot. The play was performed as part of a cycle of plays in the town of Wakefield. The author of the play is unknown. Several authors probably worked on the cycle, but scholars hypothesize that there was one "Wakefiled Master" who wrote most of them. For more information, see http://www.msu.edu/user/dwyerdav/papers/reconstuction.htm.
14. Characters in this play include Knowledge, Beauty, Five-Wits, and Discretion.

Answer: Everyman

"Everyman" is a morality play and differs from a mystery play because it is (1) not part of a cycle and (2) tells an allegory of spiritual struggle rather than retelling a Bible story. The author of the play is unknown.
15. This Middle English ballad inspired many 20th century songs, including Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A Gonna' Fall."

Answer: Lord Randall

The ballad's speaker asks, "Oh where ha'e ye been, Lord Randall my son? / Where ha'e ye been, my handsome young man?" Dylan's song begins, "Oh where have you been, my blue eyed son? / Where have you been, my darling young one?"
16. In what Middle English ballad does the speaker say, "O mother, mother, make my bed / O make it soft and narrow. / Since my love died for me today, / I'll die for him tomorrow"?

Answer: Bonny Barbara Allen

This ballad was popularized in the 20th century by folk musician Joan Baez.
17. In this poem, Chaucer solicits his patron Henry IV to provide him with some cash.

Answer: Complaint to His Purse

The "Complaint" is written like a love poem, but the object is money, not a woman.
18. In "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight", Gawain engages in a "swap game" with his host. He takes three kisses and a magic belt from his host's wife. Which of these does he then return to the host?

Answer: The three kisses

Gawain retains the magic belt to protect him in his match with the Green Knight, whom he had previously beheaded.
19. What work begins, "It befell in the days of Uther Pendragon, when he was king of all England, and so reigned, that there was a mighty duke in Cornwall that held war against him long time"?

Answer: Le Morte d'Arthur

Uther Pendragon was the legendary father of King Arthur.
20. This Middle English writer once escaped from Coleshill prison by swimming a moat. He also escaped from Colchester jail, apparently by fighting his way out.

Answer: Sir Thomas Malory

Malory was switched about from jail to jail. He was finally freed and pardoned in 1460, and he never actually had a trial. For this and more on his fascinating life, see http://www.malory.net.
Source: Author skylarb

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor bullymom before going online.
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Related Quizzes
This quiz is part of series Literature Before 1500:

Five quizzes on literature written before 1500.

  1. Middle English Literature Tough
  2. Old English Literature Tough
  3. A Test on the Tales Average
  4. Judith (poem translated by Mary Savelli) Average
  5. The Life of Chaucer Tough
  6. Rumi (in the words of Coleman Barks) Average

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