Introduction to Medieval Literature: Old English, Middle English, and Historical Context


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Caedmon's Hymn is the earliest recorded poem in Old English. What about its authorship makes it unique?

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1. Why is Old English difficult for contemporary people to read?

2. William Langland's Piers Plowman is an allegorical poem that differs from other kinds of poems because allegorical poems are _____.

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

This quiz and worksheet combo gauge your understanding of medieval literature. You will be quizzed on types of medieval verse and examples of literature written in Old and Middle English.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

Use these assessment tools to assess your knowledge of:

  • Verse style in Caedmon's Hymn
  • Middle English texts
  • Author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  • Poetic classification of Piers Plowman

Skills Practiced

This worksheet and quiz let you practice the following skills:

  • Reading comprehension - ensure that you draw the most important information from the related lesson on medieval literature
  • Making connections - identify the twentieth-century poet who quoted Julian of Norwich
  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained regarding medieval authors and works of literature
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about key works of medieval literature

Additional Learning

To learn more about this subject, review the corresponding lesson titled Introduction to Medieval Literature: Old English, Middle English, and Historical Context. This lesson will help you:

  • Learn the types of medieval poetry
  • Distinguish between works of literature written in Old and Middle English
  • Identify key works of medieval literature and their authors
  • Recognize medieval literature referenced by twentieth-century writers