Short Questions About English Literature

Directions: Answer each of these 20 questions for 5 points apiece (100 points possible).

1. Briefly summarize Machiavellis view, as expressed within the portion of his essay The Prince, studied in class, on the subjects of liberality and parsimony in a leader (4-6 sentences):
Machiavelli prefers parsimony over liberality and he gives his reasons for this choice. He says that the prince should be parsimonious since he would be spending money on improving his military and at some point in time he would run out of money. If the prince preferred liberality, he would be generous and would run out of money sooner and to recover that money he would have to levy taxes on his people, which ultimately defies the purpose of liberality.

2. Choose either the word “optimist” or the word “pessimist” to fill in the appropriate blanks:
Machiavelli seems a/a pessimist about human beings and human nature.

3. On theme developed by Machiavelli in “The Prince” is that (underline or highlight the correct answer):
A. Humanity is inherently untrustworthy.
B. People are fickle
C. A leader should never take his or her power for granted.
D. All of the above

4. Miguel de Cervantes’s main character in his novel Don Quixote loses touch with reality because (choose the BEST answer, based on what you can specifically find in the READING):
A. he develops Alzheimers Disease.
B. he watches too much TV
C. he reads too many books
D. he is malnourished and doesn’t get enough rest

5. The lady to whom Don Quixote swears everlasting love and allegiance is:
A. Beatrice
B. Mary
C. Dulcinea
D. Cleopatra

6. Don Quixotes squire is named Sancho Panza and Don Quixotes horse is named Rocinante

7. Don Quixote’s real name is Alonso Quijano

8. One of the more famous scenes in Don Quixote is when he encounters some windmills and believes that they are giants.

9. Don Quixote considers one of the main hindrances to his successfully carrying out many of his deeds of valor to be the evil work of whom? Friston

10. One of the key themes of the novel Don Quixote seems to be the distinctions between illusion and reality.

11. Based on your reading of Shakespeares Othello, what do you consider to be Othellos worst flaw, and why? (2-4 sentences)
The biggest flaw in Othello’s character is his lack of trust in his loved ones. He loved Desdemona but despite his love he fell for Iago’s trick and became completely convinced of Desdemona’s guilt without even asking her about the whole matter.

12. The character Othello in Shakespeare’s play and O.J. Simpson have in common two of the following circumstances (circle 2 out of 3):
A. both are dark-skinned and face discrimination based on skin color
B. both are married to fair-skinned Caucasian women
C. both are convicted in a court of law of killing their wives
D. both enjoy playing golf

13. Othello’s wife’s name is Desdemona and Iago’s wife’s name is Emilia

14. Which character “plants” Desdemona’s handkerchief on Cassio:
A. Bianca
B. Iago
C. Roderigo
D. None of the above

15. Who, being madly in love with Desdemona himself is easily manipulated to do Iago’s bidding:
A. Cassio
B. Brabantio
C. Roderigo
D. The Duke of Venice

16. Explain the symbolic role of the white handkerchief in Othello:
The white handkerchief represented the purity and the bond between Othello and Desdemona. As long as the handkerchief was with Desdemona, it signified her purity and as soon as it went away from her, Othella began to distrust her character.

17. A trait shared by Machiavelli, author of The Prince, and Shakespeare’s character Othello is that each:
A. tends to assume the worst about others
B. is a lascivious hedonist
C. is more at home off the battlefield than on the battlefield
D. Wrote many books while in exile

18. Cervantes’s main character Don Quixote and Shakespeare’s main character Othello have the following in common:
A. Both were born in Africa
B. Both have assistants who are themselves important in the plot
C. Both are married to white women
D. Both have epilepsy

19. Of all the readings for the course, which did you like best? Please explain your answer (3-5 sentences)
I liked Koran the most because of its language and style. Even though it is a religious book, the message is delivered in the form of both prose and poetry which grasps the reader’s attention. Also, it is fairly simple to understand.
(Choose one: Lysistrata by Aristophanes, Genesis, New Testament, Confessions by St. Augustine, Koran)

20. Of all the readings for the course, which did you like the least? Please explain your answer (3-5 sentences)
(Choose one: Lysistrata by Aristophanes, Genesis, New Testament, Confessions by St. Augustine, Koran)

Although all of the readings were very interesting, my least favorite is the Confessions by St. Augustine. Firstly it is an autobiography blended with diverse topics like philosophy and theology which makes it hard to understand. Furthermore, almost every incident is linked to have a religious implication which is sometimes hard for the reader to grasp.

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