POLY TRB /UNIT I / Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Book of the Duchess



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Unit I: Chaucer to Shakespeare


S.No Title P.No
01 Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Book of the Duchess 10
02 Edmund Spencer’s Epithalamion 29
03 William Shakespeare’s Sonnets (8, 15, 24, 30, 37, 40, 46, 76, 82, 91, 112, 116, 126, 140, 144, 147, 154)          48
04 Francis Bacon’s Essays

F Of Oxford

F Of Nobility

F Of Travel

F Of Friendship

F Of Love

05 Ben Jonson’s  Volpone or the Fox 111
06 Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus 142
07 Sir Thomas More’s Utopia 167
08 John Webster’s The White Devil 191
09 William Langland’s Piers the plowman 223
10 William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors 237
11 William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream 256
12 William Shakespeare’s Hamlet 277
13 William Shakespeare’s Henry VIII 308
14 William Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour Lost 342




  1. Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Book of the Duchess

Geoffrey Chaucer

  • Geoffrey Chaucer (1340 – 25 October 1400), known as the Father of English Poetry.
  • He is widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Age.
  • He was the first poet to be buried in Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey.
  • He is called as ‘Morning Star of Renaissance’.
  • He achieved fame during his lifetime as an author, philosopher, civil servant and astronomer, composing a scientific treatise on the astrolabe for his ten-year-old son Lewis.
  • Chaucer also maintained an active career in the civil service as a bureaucrat, courtier and diplomat.

Early Life:

  • Poet Geoffrey Chaucer was born in1340 in London, England.
  • Chaucer’s father, John, carried on the family wine business.
  • Geoffrey Chaucer is believed to have attended the Paul’s Cathedral School, where he probably first became acquainted with the influential writing of Virgil and Ovid.
  • In 1357, Chaucer became a public servant to Countess Elizabeth of Ulster, the Duke of Clarence’s wife.
  • In 1359, the teenage Chaucer went off to fight in the Hundred Years War in France, and at Rethel, he was captured for ransom.
  • King Edward III helped pay 16 pounds of ransom to release Chaucer.
  • After Chaucer’s release, he joined the Royal Service, traveling throughout France, Spain and Italy on diplomatic missions throughout the early to mid-1360s.
  • For his services, King Edward granted Chaucer a pension of 20 marks.
  • In 1366, Chaucer married Philippa Roet, the daughter of Sir Payne Roet, and the marriage conveniently helped further Chaucer’s career in the English court.
  • By 1368, King Edward III had made Chaucer one of his esquires.

Public Service:

  • From 1370 to 1373, he went abroad again and fulfilled diplomatic missions in Florence and Genoa, helping establish an English port in Genoa.
  • He also spent time familiarizing himself with the work of Italian poets Dante and Petrarch along the way.
  • By the time he returned, he and Philippa were prospering, and he was rewarded for his diplomatic activities with an appointment as Comptroller of Customs, a lucrative position.
  • Meanwhile, Philippa and Chaucer were also granted generous pensions by John of Gaunt, the first duke of Lancaster.
  • In 1377 and 1388, Chaucer engaged in yet more diplomatic missions, with the objectives of finding a French wife for Richard II and securing military aid in Italy.
  • During trips to Italy in 1372 and 1378, he discovered the works of Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch—each of which greatly influenced Chaucer’s own literary endeavors.
  • Busy with his duties, Chaucer had little time to devote to writing poetry, his true passion.
  • Chaucer established residence in Kent, where he was elected a justice of the peace and a Member of Parliament in 1386.
  • When Philippa passed away in 1387, Chaucer stopped sharing in her royal annuities and suffered financial hardship.

Major Works:

  1. French Period: (1360-1370)
  • The Romaunt of the Rose:
  • It is based on French work ‘Le Romaunt de la Rose’ by Lorris and De Meung.
  • It is allegorical, dream poem written in Octosyllabic Couplet.
  • It begins with an allegorical dream, in which the narrator receives advice from the god of love on gaining his lady’s favour.
  • It has three fragments (i.e.) A, B, C.
  • The Book of the Duchess: (1369)
  • Chaucer’s first published work was The Book of the Duchess, a poem of over 1,300 lines.
  • It is an elegy for Blanche, Duchess of Lancaster, addressed to her widower, the Duke.
  • It is called as “The Dreame of Chaucer”.
  1. Italian Period: (1370- 1385)
  • The House of Fame (1382)
  • It is a poem of around 2,000 lines in dream-vision form based on ‘Dante’s Divine Comedy’.
  • It is allegorical poem written in Octosyllabic Couplet.
  • It has the description of temple of
  • The Legend of Good Women (1385)
  • It is based on ‘Boccaccio’s Mulieribus’
  • Chaucer introduced the stanza form of iambic pentameter couplets i.e Heroic Couplet in The Legend of Good Women, which is seen for the first time in English.
  • It has a prologue and 9 legends.
  • It describes 9 famous women.
  • Troilus and Criseyde:
  • It was influenced by The Consolation of Philosophy, which Chaucer himself translated into English.
  • Chaucer took some the plot of Troilus from Boccaccio’s Filostrato.
  • Chaucer invented Rhyme Royal i.e. Chaucerian Stanza (7 lines) in this poem.
  • Troilus and Criseyde is a narrative poem of 8,000 lines that retells the tragic love story of Troilus and Criseyde in the context of the Trojan War.
  • Anelida and Arcite:
  • It tells the story of Anelida, queen of Armenia and Arcite.
  • It has some elements of Boccaccio’s Tessida.
  • Parlement of Foules:
  • His works included Parlement of Foules, a poem of 699 lines.
  • This work is a dream-vision for Valentine’s Day that makes use of the myth that each year on that day the birds gather before the goddess Nature to choose their mates.
  • This work was heavily influenced by Boccaccio and Dante.
  • It was written in 1380, during marriage negotiations between Richard and Anne of Bohemia.
  • It had been identified as peppered with Neo-Platonic ideas inspired by the likes of poets Cicero and Jean De Meung.
  • The poem uses allegory, and incorporates elements of irony and satire as it points to the inauthentic quality of courtly love.
  • Translation of Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy as Boece:
  • Boece is Chaucer’s translation into Middle English of ‘The Consolation of Philosophy’ by Boethius.
  • It was originally written in Latin, stressed the importance of philosophy to everyday life.
  1. English Period: (1384 – 1390)
  • The Canterbury Tales:
  • Chaucer wrote the unfinished work, The Canterbury Tales.
  • The Canterbury Tales is by far Chaucer’s best known and most acclaimed work.
  • Initially Chaucer had planned for each of his characters to tell four stories a piece.
  • The first two stories would be set as the character was on his/her way to Canterbury, and the second two were to take place as the character was heading home.
  • Apparently, Chaucer’s goal of writing 120 stories was an overly ambitious one.
  • In actuality, The Canterbury Tales is made up of only 24 tales and rather abruptly ends before its characters even make it to Canterbury.
  • The tales are fragmented and varied in order, and scholars continue to debate whether the tales were published in their correct order.
  • Despite its erratic qualities, The Canterbury Tales continues to be acknowledged for the beautiful rhythm of Chaucer’s language and his characteristic use of clever, satirical wit.
  • A Treatise on the Astrolabe:
  • A Treatise on the Astrolabe is one of Chaucer’s prose works.
  • It is an essay about the astrolabe, a tool used by astronomers and explorers to locate the positions of the sun, moon and planets.
  • Today it is one of the oldest surviving works that explain how to use a complex scientific tool, and is thought to do so with admirable clarity.

Later Life:

  • From 1389 to 1391, after Richard II had ascended to the throne, Chaucer held a draining and dangerous position as Clerk of the Works.
  • He was robbed by highwaymen twice while on the job, which only served to further compound his financial worries.
  • To make matters even worse, Chaucer had stopped receiving his pension.
  • Chaucer eventually resigned the position for a lower but less stressful appointment as sub-forester, or gardener, at the King’s park in Somersetshire.
  • When Richard II was deposed in 1399, his cousin and successor, Henry IV took pity on Chaucer and reinstated Chaucer’s former pension.
  • With the money, Chaucer was able to lease an apartment in the garden of St. Mary‘s Chapel in Westminster, where he lived modestly for the rest of his days.


  • He died October 25, 1400 in London, England.
  • He was the first to be buried in Westminster Abbey i.e. Poet’s Corner.


  • “Chaucer is our well of English undefiled”Spenser
  • “Here is God‘s plenty”John Dryden
  • “Some of his characters are vicious; and some virtuous” – John Dryden
  • “Chaucer is perpetual fountain of good sense, learned in all sciences” – John Dryden
  • “Chaucer is the father of English poetry” – John Dryden
  • “Chaucer lacks the high seriousness of the great classics” – Mathew Arnold
  • “With him, real poetry is born” – Mathew Arnold
  • “Chaucer found his native tongue a dialect and left it a language” – Lowes





The Book of the Duchess

  • ‘The Book of the Duchess’, also known as ‘The Dreame of Chaucer or The Deth of Blaunche’ is the first major long poem published by Geoffrey Chaucer.
  • It is an elegy written on the death of Duchess Blanche of Lancaster, first wife of John of Gaunt, who was the fourth son of King Edward III.
  • John of Gaunt was a patron and at some point, a brother-in-law to Chaucer.
  • The Duchess Blanche died of plague on September 12th 1368.
  • The poem was composed sometime between 1368 and 1372 and it is generally considered to be flattering to both the Duke and the Duchess.
  • It is written in French Octosyllabic Couplet, which has eight syllables in a line, adapted from the French by Chaucer.
  • It has the echoes of the French poems ‘Jugement dou Roy de Behaingne and Jugement dou Roy de Navarre’ by Guillaume de Machaut.
  • It is a poem of the dream-vision genre which has 1334 lines.
  • The most obvious clue to this is the name of the deceased woman of the poem, which is ‘Lady White,’ as the name ‘Blanche’ means white.
  • The evidence includes handwritten notes from Elizabethan antiquary John Stowe indicating that the poem was written at John of Gaunt’s request.
  • There are references to a ‘long castel’, suggesting the house of Lancaster and a ‘ryche hil’ as John of Gaunt was earl of Richmond and the narrator swears by St John, which is John of Gaunt’s saint’s name.
  • The poem begins with a sleepless poet who lies in bed reading a book. The poet reads a story about Ceyx and Alcyone and wanders around in his thoughts. Suddenly the poet falls asleep and dreams a wonderful story. He dreams that he wakes up in a beautiful chamber by the sound of hunters and hunting dogs. The poet follows a small hunting dog into the forest and finds a knight dressed in black who mourns about losing a game of chess. The poet asks the knight some questions and realizes at the end of the poem that the knight was talking symbolically instead of literally: the black knight has lost his love and lady. The poet awakes and decides that this wonderful dream should be preserved in rhyme.


Character List:


  • The narrator is a man who may or may not have resembled Chaucer himself.
  • He is dying over the loss whether through death or through rejection of his beloved lady.
  • His lovesickness has led to sleeplessness and despair, and he seems unable to imagine any hope.
  • He is an insomniac and dreams the vision of the story in this poem.
  • He reads this book while lying awake one night.
  • The personal details are probably conventional rather than idiosyncratic, for similar details are found in other narrators of the Continental love poems.


  • Seys is the king in the story in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.
  • In some editions the spelling of his name is modernized to Ceyx or sometimes Ceys.


  • Alcyone is the queen in the story in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.
  • Chaucer spells it as “Alcione.”


  • Morpheus is the Roman god of sleep in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

Black Knight:

  • The Black Knight, possibly an idealized version of John of Gaunt.
  • He is a representation of the Dreamer’s own psychological state.
  • He tells the story of the loss of his wife, Lady White.
  • He is young, about twenty-four years old, with few hairs in his beard.
  • His entire life has been given to the service of love, and it has not been an easy service for him. He was so fearful of rejection that he only made up songs about his beloved; when he finally did approach her, he was indeed rejected, leading to terrible sorrow for a year.
  • After a time, his beloved perceives his virtue, loyalty, and faithfulness and accepts him.
  • Her death leaves him disconsolate.

Lady White:

  • Lady White is the representation of the Duchess Blanche.
  • She is the lost love of the Black Knight.


  • Lady Fortune is the allegorical representation of chance against whom the Black Knight rails.



A proem is a short introduction, in verse, to the matter and meaning of the rest of the poem. Some published editions of the poem do not make a division between The Proem and The Dream. The Proem is lines 1 through 290, and The Dream is lines 291 through 1334, the end of the poem.

In The Book of the Duchess, the poet is introduced in the first person. He has difficulty getting to sleep and has not slept, he says, for eight years. He reaches for a copy of a “romaunce” (a word describing the Metamorphoses of the ancient Roman poet Ovid) and reads the tale of King Seys and Queen Alcyone.

The king goes across the sea on a ship, and a storm arises and drowns all aboard. Queen Alcyone is anxious at home and awaiting his return, sends to the east and west looking for him. Until she knows the king’s fate, she will not eat bread. Distraught, she prays to Juno to send her a dream that would tell her of the fate of Seys. Juno immediately sends Alcyone to sleep, and he sends a messenger to Morpheus, the god of sleep. Morpheus is to go to the Great Sea (the Mediterranean) and enliven the king’s drowned body with his own spirit. This reanimated corpse he should send to Alcyone to speak to her and show her he has drowned.

Juno’s messenger goes to the dark valley where the gods Morpheus and Eclympasteyr sleep. He rouses Morpheus, who does Juno’s bidding and conveys the dead Seys to speak to his wife Alcyone. In her dream, Alcyone sees Seys at the foot of her bed, and he tells her that he has died and that she must find his body by the sea and bury it. He also tells her not to remain in sorrow too long. He adds that she was his true love in life. With “To lytel while oure blysse lasteth” [too little while our bliss lasts] (line 211), he leaves her, echoing a theme of this and other poems in Chaucer’s love-poetry oeuvre. Alcyone awakens, and Seys is gone.

The narrator now reflects how helpful it would be to have the god of sleep come and give him much-needed rest himself. He describes the offering he would make to Morpheus and to his goddess, Juno: an elaborate bed of doves’ down, with striped gold and black satin and linen from Reynes. He would give this gift to obtain the swift and deep sleep that Alcyone did when Juno answered her prayer.

The narrator then falls asleep on his book and experiences so strange and wonderful a dream that, he says, no one on earth can properly interpret it. Not even the famous Biblical interpreter of dreams, Joseph, who read dreams for Pharaoh (see Genesis, Book 41), nor Macrobius, the late Roman author who wrote a famous (in Chaucer’s day) commentary on Cicero’s Dream of Scipio, would have the skill to read the fantastic dream the narrator had that night.

The narrator now begins recounting his dream. He thinks that it is the month of May. He hears a great number of birds singing loudly outside his window. The windows of the chamber in which he lies are stained glass, and they depict the story of the Trojan War. The walls are painted with the text and pictures of the Romaunce of the Rose. Through the window the dreamer hears the sounds of a great many horsemen assembling for a hunt. The dreamer, in his dream, goes to his horse and joins the hunt.

He asks one of the huntsmen whose hunt this is and learns that it is the Emperor Octavian’s. A young dog, obviously at a loss when the deer give the hunting company the slip, approaches the narrator. The narrator follows it down a green and flowery pathway. The dreamer then describes a primeval forest of great trees, overrun with flowers—more flowers, he thinks, than can be in heaven. It is filled with deer and other animals, more than can be counted. There the dreamer meets a knight dressed in black. The knight is sorrowful, and while he sits he is composing a verse (called a complaint) about his sorrow in love.

The complaint details how his lady-love, whom he “loved with al my might” (line 478), has been lost. When the knight has finished his song, he suffers a kind of emotional heart attack and becomes deathly pale. The knight is insensible, though the narrator greets him. Finally the knight is roused and apologizes. The sorrowing knight is courteous, and the narrator endeavors to learn more about him. The narrator tries to comfort the knight, but he is inconsolable. In fact, the knight is sorrowful unto death. “For y am sorrow, and sorw ys y” (“For I am sorrow, and sorrow is I,” line 597).

The knight then begins a tirade against Fortune, who turns her wheel at a whim, making him, a man she has favored before, into a miserable wretch. The knight describes a chess game between himself and Fortune in which Fortune has tricked him and won. The dreamer hears the knight’s tale of woe, and he begs the knight to remember the teachings of Socrates. Socrates taught that the philosophical man should be above the vagaries of Fortune.

The dreamer tries to talk the knight out of suicide by enumerating the foolish people in history who killed themselves for love and were judged harshly for it. The knight explains that he has lost more than the narrator knows, and he will tell him the story of it if he promises to hearken to it. The narrator gladly agrees.

The knight says that he was an idle youth, but dedicated to the service of Love, when he met a golden-haired lady who surpassed all other ladies in beauty and perfection. He describes her modesty, moderation, courtesy toward all, and the general integrity of her character. The sorrowing Black Knight also lists her physical charms from her head downward. The Black Knight and Lady White were married and lived in harmony for some years.

The narrator agrees that this was a lovely lady, but he wonders why the Black Knight is still so upset about a game of chess. Finally, after the full explanation of the lady’s worth, the knight, under questioning from the narrator, blurts out that she has died. At last the dreamer understands and agrees that the Black Knight has indeed suffered a great loss. The hunting horn sounds, signaling the end of the hunt. The king’s hunting party goes off toward a long castle, and a bell tolls twelve hours, the time allotted to the knight to tell his tale.

The dreamer awakens from this fantastic dream with Ovid’s Metamorphoses still in his hand. He marvels at the clarity and wonder of the dream, and he decides that it is so good that it should be put into a poem.

Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Book of the Duchess

  • In which year Geoffrey Chaucer born?

            (A) 1340                      (B) 1353                       (C) 1320                     (D) 1330 


  • The Canterbury Tales is an unfinished work, wherein each pilgrim was supposed to tell more than one tale. How many tales did Chaucer originally envision each pilgrim telling?    

            (A) 4                            (B) 2                            (C) 3                             (D) 6


  • In which year did Chaucer fought in Hundred Years’ War between France and England?      

            (A)1379                        (B)1359                      (C)1369                       (D)1382 


  • Geoffrey Chaucer is also known as:

            (A) The reformer of English language             (B) The father of English poetry                     (C) The poet of English language                           (D) The father of English literature 


  • During the period of which king did Chaucer fight in the English Army for the Hundred Years’ War between France and England?      

            (A) Richard II                (B) William I              (C) William II               (D) Edward III 


  • Who was the king when Geoffrey Chaucer was dead?

            (A) David II                 (B) Edward III             (C) Richard II              (D) Henry IV  


  • Which of Chaucer’s works is associated with Valentine’s Day?

            (A)The Canterbury Tales                                (B) Parlement of Fowls                                               (C) The Book of the Duchess                            (D) The Canterbury Tales


  • Which one of the following works of Geoffrey Chaucer is an elegy written for Blanche of the wife of John Gaunt?                             

            (A) The Book of the Duchess                           (B)The House of Fame                                    (C) Troilus and Criseyde                      (D)The Legend of Good Women


  • Which stanza form was first introduced by Chaucer known as Chaucerian Stanza?            (A) Heroic Couplet                                          (B) Rhyme Royal                                                         (C) Octosyllabic Couplet                          (D) Ottawa Rhyma


  • On which Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde was based?

            (A) Boccaccio’s Mulieribus                             (B) Dante’s Divine Comedy         

            (C) Boccaccio’s Filostrato                              (D) Dante’s Inferno


  • What is the title of the earliest of Chaucer’s poems, written sometime between 1369 and 1372?

            (A) The Book of the Counte                             (B) The Book of the Duchess                          (C) The House of Fame                                       (D) Troilus and Criseyde            


  • Who is called as “Morning Star of Reformation”? (Engg – 2016)

            (A)Chaucer                 (B) Wycliffe               (C) Spenser                    (D) Martin Luther 


  • What name is now given to the language in which Chaucer worked?

            (A) Early English        (B) Midddle English (C) Modern English       (D) Old English


  • Geoffrey Chaucer was alive to witness or hear breaking news of some remarkable events in medieval history. Which one of the following events was he not around for?                                                              (A) The Battle of Agincourt                             (B) The Black Death                                       (C) The Deposition of Richard II                          (D) The Peasants’ Revolt


  • Chaucer’s The Romaunt of the Rose belongs to ……..period.

            (A) English                  (B) Italian                    (C) Latin                      (D) French


  • Who said “Chaucer found his native tongue a dialect and left it a language”?

            (A) G.K.Chesterton     (B) A.C.Ward              (C) Lowes                    (D) Dr.Johnson   


  • Chaucer’s epic poem Troilus and Criseyde is considered by some to be his best work. Against what war is this tragic romance set?                                                                                (A) The Hundred Years’ War                         (B) The Peloponnesian War                                        (C) The Trojan War                                        (D) The War of the Roses


  • Chaucer was strongly influenced by classical and early medieval writings and even translated one into the English of his day. Which older work did he translate?             (A) The City of God by St. Augustine         (B) The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius          (C) De Officiis by Cicero                      (D) Metamorphoses by Ovid


  • Who is the first poet of England to occupy the poet’s corner?

(A) John Gower           (B) Spenser                 (C) Chaucer                (D) Shakespeare 


  • Into how many periods can we divide Chaucer’s works?

            (A) Two – French and English                        (B) Three – French, English and Italian                      (C) Four – French, English, Italian and Latin (D) One – English only


  • Who called “Chaucer as perpetual fountain of good sense, learned in all sciences”?

            (A) Spenser                  (B) Arnold                   (C) Dryden                  (D) Albert 


  • The device Chaucer employs in The Canterbury Tales of many characters gathered together, each telling stories, was used by an Italian author in a work probably begun sometime in the late 1340’s. Who was this Italian poet?

            (A) Baldassare Castiglione                             (B) Giovanni Boccaccio                                 (C) Dante Alighieri                                         (D) Francesco Petrarch 


  • Who, according to Mathew Arnold, lacks high seriousness? (Engg- 2016)

            (A) Geoffrey Chaucer  (B) Emily Dickinson     (C) T.S.Eliot              (D) Walt Whitman



  • The idea of which work of Chaucer has been taken from Boccaccio’s Decameron? (SET-2012)     

            (A) The Parliament of Fowls                           (B) Legende of Good Women                          (C) The Canterbury Tales                                     (D) The Book of Duchess  


  • Which Chaucerian text paraodies Dante’s The Divine Comedy? (NET-D09)

            (A) The Canterbury Tales                               (B) The Book of the Duchess                           (C) The House of Fame                                       (D) Legende of Good Women 


  • The rhetorical pattern used by Chaucer in The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales is ….(NET – D10)

            (A) ten syllabic line                                          (B) eight syllabic line                                       (C) Rhyme Royal                                                       (D) Ottava Rhyma 


  • How many legends of good women could Chaucer complete in his The Legend of Good Women? (NET- D2014)

            (A) Six                         (B) Seven                     (C) Eight                     (D) Nine


  • Who calls Chaucer as “a well of the English undefiled”? (SET -16)

            (A) Thomas Malory     (B) Thomas Occleve   (C) John Lydgate         (D) Spenser


  • Who has been called as the “The Morning Star of Renaissance”? (Engg-2016)

            (A) Gower                   (B) Langland               (C) Wyclif                    (D) Chaucer 


  • “The Peasants Revolt” of 1381 was suppressed by……….

            (A) Edward III            (B) Richard II              (C) Henry IV               (D) Henry V 


  • When, in Chaucer’s career, was The Book of the Duchess published?
  • It was the first long work he published, sometime around 1372.
  • It was his last major poem, published right before his death around 1400.
  • It was never published in his lifetime and only unearthed centuries later
  • The date of publication is unknown, since it was passed on through oral tradition for many generations a
  • Chaucer’s long poem The Book of the Duchess had another name, which was _____.

            (A) The Knight’s Dream                      (B) The Dreame of Hunt

            (C) The Dreame of Chaucer               (D) Chaucer’s Consciousness

  • What is a dream-vision poem?
  • An epic poem
  • A poem in which the narrator recounts a dream
  • A lyric poem
  • A story within the overall poem b
  • How long has the narrator of The Book of the Duchess been unable to sleep?

(A) A year                    (B) Eight years            (C) All night                (D) Eight nights

  • When the narrator cannot sleep, what games are options for his insomnia?

            (A) Draughts or marbles                                 (B) Chess or tables

            (C) Cards or dice                                            (D) Draughts or dice

  • The Book of the Duchess was written in what form?

            (A) Iambic pentameter                                    (B) Blank verse

            (C) Villanelle                                                   (D) Octosyllabic couplets

  • For what person is The Book of the Duchess, perhaps, an elegy?
  • The fictional Duchess of the Judgement of Wisdom in Love
  • Alcyone, Duchess of Troy
  • Philippa, Duchess of Hainault
  • Blanche, Duchess of Lancaster
  • Who is Juno?

            (A) A lady the narrator loves                           (B) A Roman goddess

            (C) A heroine of the Trojan war                      (D) The wife of the Black Knight

  • What book does the narrator of The Book of the Duchess use to help his insomnia?

            (A) Ovid’s Metamorphoses                              (B) The Bible

            (C) Roman de la Rose                                     (D) The Tale of Seys and Alcyone

  • Of what rank are Seys and Alcyone?

            (A) Earl and Countess                                     (B) Lord and Lady

            (C) King and Queen                                        (D) Duke and Duchess

  • How does Seys die?

            (A) Lost in the forest                                        (B) Drowned in a shipwreck

            (C) Killed in battle                                           (D) A broken heart

  • What does Alcyone refuse to do until she has found out what happened to Seys?

            (A) Stop weeping         (B) Remarry                (C) Eat bread              (D) Sleep

  • To whom does Alcyone pray when she hears nothing of Seys?

            (A) Morpheus              (B) Juno                      (C) Jupiter                   (D) The God of Love

  • Who is Morpheus?

(A) Alcyone’s brother                                      (B) The god of sleep   

            (C) The god of love                                         (D) The messenger of Seys


  • What does Juno bid Morpheus, through her messenger, to do?

            (A) Reanimate Seys and send him to Alcyone (B) Bring Alcyone to speak to Juno

            (C) Bring Seys back to life                               (D) Send Alcyone to be with Seys

  • When Alcyone sees Seys brought to her by Morpheus, where is she?

(A) In Juno’s temple    (B) By his graveside    (C) Alone in the forest (D) In bed

  • What color is the knight wearing when the dreamer first encounters him?

            (A) Red                        (B) Grey                      (C) Black                     (D) White

  • What kind of poetry is the “complaint” or “compleynt” in Middle English?

            (A) Limerick                (B) Lyric poetry           (C) Requiem                (D) Elegy

  • What game does the Black Knight play with Fortune?

            (A) Dice                       (B) Draughts               (C) Chess                    (D) Jousting

  • Where does the narrator in The Book of the Duchess find the Black Knight?

            (A) On horseback in the hunt                          (B) Waiting outside his lady’s chamber

            (C) In a castle                                                  (D) In a flower-filled meadow

  • What fundamental thing does the narrator not understand about the Black Knight’s story?
  • That Lady Fortune is the main subject of his story
  • That the story is a comedy
  • That the Lady White has died
  • That the Black Knight is actually his enemy
  • How does the Black Knight describe his lady?
  • In philosophical terms
  • Her virtues first, physical attributes second
  • From the head down
  • In no particular order


  • What does Lady Fortune spin?

            (A) The globe              (B) Her wheel              (C) A spinning wheel   (D) An orb


  • What is one of the sources for Chaucer’s reference to Lady Fortune?

      (A) Augustine’s Confessions                            (B) Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy

      (C) Augustine’s City of God                            (D) Aristotle’s Poetics

  • What is shown in the stained glass of the narrator’s dream chamber?

      (A) The War of the Roses                                (B) The Trojan War

      (C) The Romaunce of the Rose                       (D) The Hundred Years’ War

  • What is painted on the walls of the narrator’s dream chamber in The Book of the Duchess?

      (A) The Trojan War                                         (B) The First Crusade

      (C) The Romaunce of the Rose                       (D) The War of the Roses


  • To whom does the Black Knight say he was in service before he met Lady White?

            (A) Juno                      (B) The God of Love   (C) Morpheus              (D) The Virgin Mary


  • Which is the first tale in The Canterbury Tales?

            (A) The Cook’s Tale                                        (B) The Friar’s Tale                                        (C) The Knight’s Tale                                         (D) The Merchant’s Tale


  • The Canterbury Tales was written in the ……………. (PT-2006)

            (A) North Eastern Dialect                               (B) South Midland Dialect                              (C) South Western Dialect                                     (D) East Midland Dialect 


  • What narrative perspective does Chaucer employ in the opening of “The General Prologue”? (NET- 2016)

            (A) A first person – I                                        (B) Omniscience                                              (C) Third Person                                                    (D) Free indirect discourse      










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