English  204 Spring 2006--Final Exam Preparation guide

Part  1 50%--60 minutes

In five of the seven following quotations, do four of the six following tasks. [All quotations will be passages read, performed or discussed in class.

1.  Identify author and/or title.

2.  provide a clear paraphrase

3.  describe the mood or character of the speaker

4.  state one or more themes

5.  explicate some interesting aspects of the language: metaphor or other figure of speech, sound reflecting sense, and pattern and variation of meter.

6. relate to historical developments


Fair quiet, have I found thee here,

And Innocence thy Sister  dear!

Mistaken long, I sought you then

In busie Companies of  Men.

Your sacred Plants, if here below,

Only among the Plants will  grow.

Society is all but rude

To this delicious Solitude.

Sample answer:

This is a stanza from "The Garden" by Andrew Marvell. 

The speaker addresses fair quiet and its sister innocence with personification and apostrophe, saying that he mistakenly searched for them in society but now finds them in the retreat of nature.  The plants that represent these divine qualities can only be found in the woods.  Solitude is better than society.

The speaker's mood is elated at having found a place of relief, rest, and enjoyment.

Themes include pastoral celebration of vegetative nature and rejection of city life, and also appreciation of quiet and solitudeÑaspects of the contemplative as opposed to the active style of life.

In addition to apostrophe and personification, the speaker makes a witty paradox about society being rude and gives solitude a desireable taste with the slurpy sound of "delicious."  The regular iambic tetrameter and rhymed couplets create a sense of undisturbed harmony.

Marvell often expresses pastoral longing for the green world as an escape from the strife of passion and of politics and war that troubled England in the mid-seventeenth century.

Part  2 50%--60 minutes

Three of the topics listed below will be on the final exam. You will choose one of them for an essay of about 500 words. Dont spend many words on introduction or conclusion.

1. Obedience and rebellion are each rendered attractive by revolutionary changes taking place in society and culture during the Early Modern period(1500-1660): Renaissance--the  rebirth of learning--and Reformation--the breakdown of central religious authority.  Writers of the period portray rebels both as heroic and as damned.  Discuss the  competing claims of obedience [self-sacrifice, humility, order, tradition] and rebellion [individualism, ambition, freedom, innovation] as displayed in three of the following:

Utopia ,  Part 1


The writings of Queen Elizabeth

Paradise Lost or "Areopagitica"

Francis Bacon's "The Idols of the Mind

2. Holiness, or the attainment of religious salvation and the avoidance of sin, remains a preoccupation of major writers throughout the Early Modern period. Compare and contrast the struggles to achieve holiness in three of the following: Spenser, Donne, Herbert, Milton, Bradstreet

3. Compare and contrast the way romantic love is represented in three of the following relationships.  Pay special attention the themes of a)affection and desire and b)the connections between love and death

Redcrosse and Una

Viola and Orsino

Mary Wroth's Pamphilia and Amphilanthus

John Donne and his beloveds

Milton's Adam and Eve

Ann Bradstreet and her husband

4. Relate  Ann Bradstreet's characterization of "New England" vs "old England" to images of a "New World" found in three of the following: Thomas More's Utopia, Sir Walter  Ralegh's Voyages, the image of Virginia in "Shakespeare in Love," and Milton's new world of Earth.

5. Geographic, Scientific and Spiritual explorations of new territory during the Early Modern period undermined unitary consensus on what was true and caused previously held truths to be classified as illusions or errors. Discuss the theme of misprision, mistaking and error in works by three of the following: Spenser, Ralegh, Shakespeare, Bacon, and Milton.

6. Discuss political issues or religious-political issues of the period as reflected in works by three of the following writers: Thomas More, William Shakespeare (Henry V), Andrew Marvell, John Milton, Anne Bradstreet