Old and middle English MCQ in English Literature

Old English and Middle English Period MCQS | English Literature

Multiple Choice Questions on Old and Middle English Periods | History of English Literature

Old English Period (450-1066)

Middle English Period (1066-1500)

Who is the first great English scholar and father of English learning ?

Ans. Bede who wrote the 'Ecclesiastical History of the English People'. 

 'The Battle of Brunanburh' and 'The Battle of Maldon' are -

Ans. Anglo-Saxon battle poems.

'Eleny' is an Anglo-Saxon poem written by

Ans. Cynewulf

'The Dream of the Rood' is ascribed to -

Ans. Cynewulf

Name one Anglo-Saxon religious poem.

Ans. 'Genesis' by Caedmon.

Who has been called 'The Father of English prose?

Ans. Alfred

450-1066 Old English or Anglo Saxon Period

1066-1500 Middle English Period

Lollards Movement' happened in-

Ans. 1377

What does 'Widsith' mean ?

Ans. the wide goer or wanderer ( the far traveller)

When did Augustine arrived in Britain?

Ans. 597 A.D.

 Which Anglo-Saxon poem celebrates defeat in war ?

Ans. 'The Battle of Maldon'

Normans came from ?

Ans. Scandinavia

Anglo- Saxon poetry has been derived from -

Ans. Heathendom / Church

Who was Geoffrey of Monmouth ?

Ans. A Welsh Monk

'Love Rune', a lyric, was written by-

Ans. Thomas Dales

'Cursor Mundi', a metrical Romance was written in -

Ans. 1320

'Rule of Anchoresses' by Bishop Poore was written in-

Ans. 1225

Name an Anglo-Saxon poem which celebrates a mythological bird.

Ans. 'The Phoenix' (The bird is compared with Christ.)

In which Anglo-Saxon poem is a female warrior the protagonist? who is the poet?

Ans. Judith, the poet is Caedmon

Who is the author of  'Sermo Lupi ad Anglos'?

Ans. Wulfstan

Edward died in -

Ans. 1066

William the conquerer died in -

Ans. 1087

Orm the writer of the poem 'Ormulum' was a-

Ans. Monk 

 'The Owl and the Nighingale' is attributed to-

Ans. Nicholas de Guildford

 Who is the father of English Poetry?

Ans. Chaucer is the Father of English Poetry

The occupation of Chaucer's father was-

Ans. a wine merchant

When did the Norman conquest take place?

Ans. 1066

Who is the last Anglo-Saxon king ?

Ans. Harold who died at Battle of Hasting in 1066.

'The Owl and the Nightingale' is a-

Ans. debate poem

Who granted Magna Charta to the English?

Ans. King John of England in 1215.

To which century Arthur did belong?

Ans. Sixth century

Name the famous Middle English poem which is a long debate between two birds?

Ans. 'The Owl and the Nightingale' attributed to Nicholas de Guildford

How are the metrical romances of the Middle English period classified according to their subject matter?

Ans. The metrical romances of the Middle English period are classified into four categories:

The Matter  of Rome,
The Matter of France,
The Matter of Britain, and
The Matter of England.

 'Adam' and 'The Resurrection' are mystery, miracle or interlude?

Ans. Mystery plays

 Name two Miracle Plays.

Ans. 'Noah' and 'Abraham and Isak

Who translated Geoffrey of Monmouth's  'History of the Kings of Britain' into Anglo-Norman. Who then translated it into English?

Ans. Wace translated it from Latin into Anglo-Norman (putting the title as 'Roman de Brut')  and then Layamon, a periest, translated this book into English giving the title 'Brut'.

 'The Vox Clamantis' and Confessio Amantis' are two great works of -

Ans. Gower (the second work is in English)

What are the two major Dialects in Middle English period?

Ans. 'Northern dialect' and 'East Midland dialect'

What is the name of the poem written by Chaucer on the death of  Blanche?

Ans. 'The Book of the Duchess'

The word 'Norman' has come from? 

Ans. Northman

The first official document written in Anglo-Norman was-

Ans. Stalive Promulgated

Chaucer was born in the reign of -

Ans. Edward III

[he lived through that of Richard II and died in the reign of Henry IV]

What is Chaucer's longest narrative poem?

Ans. 'Troilus and Criseyde' 8000 lines

Who is the writer of the 'Four P's'?

Ans. John Heywood

 The Middle English poem 'Pearl' is a-

Ans. Dream allegory

Who translated the New Testament into English?

Ans. John Wyclif

Piers Plowman' has a subtitle. It is-

Ans. a vision

Who was the last Anglo- Norman poet?

Ans. John Gower

'Vox Clamantis' was written by-

Ans. John Gower

 'The Ormulum' and 'Cursor Mundi' are two ___ poems of the Middle Ages.

Ans. Religious

What is Orm's 'Ormulum'?

Ans. It is a paraphrase of the gospel lessons.

The Hundred years War begins in-

Ans. 1338

Who wrote the 'Cursor Mundi'? what does mean the title?

Ans. It is Anonymous ( writer is unknown) it means 'runner of the world'.

 Which language exerted the greatest influence on English literature after Norman Conquest in 1066?
Ans. French

Who wrote 'Historia Regum Britaniae'?

Ans. Geoffrey of Monmouth

Who wrote 'Piers Plowman' ?

Ans. William Langland

 Who is the author of 'Handlyng Synne'?

Ans. Robert Mannyng

Who is the author of 'Morte D' Arthur'?

Ans. Thomas Malory

Who wrote the 'Book of Philip Sparrow'?

Ans. John Skelton

Who introduced sonnet in England?

Ans. Sir Thomas Wyatt and The Earl of Surrey.

Who wrote 'The Knight of the Burning Pestle'?

Ans. Beaumont and Fletcher

Who wrote 'Urn Burial', ' Religio Medici', Vulgar Errors' and ' The Garden Cyrus'? Are these in verse or prose?

Ans. Sir Thomas Browne, all are written in prose

What is the name of the earliest regular English tragedy?

Ans. 'Gorboduc' (also called 'Ferrex and Porrex')

Who wrote the first English tragedy?

Ans. Thomas Sackville and Thomas Norton

In which year was 'Tottels Miscellany' published? 

Ans. 1557

Who is the author of 'Rosalynde'?

Ans. Thomas Lodge

Thomas Lodge's 'Rosalynde' was based on Shakespeare's-

Ans. 'As you Like it'

What is the meaning of the word 'Utopia'?

Ans. place

Who is the person referred to as 'The Faerie Queene' by Spenser?

Ans. Elizabeth

Who wrote 'Amoretti'?

Ans. Edmund Spenser

In Canterbury Tales' the pilgrims were going to-

Ans. The Tomb of Saint Thomas Becket

The gist of 'Canterbury Tales' has been taken from-

Ans. Decamerone

What was the prize for the best story-teller among the pilgrims in the 'Canterbury Tales'?

Ans. A free supper

How many poems are consist in 'Amoretti'?

Ans. 88 sonnets

Who wrote 'Piers the Plowman'

Ans. William Langland

Which poem by Chaucer was written on the death of Blanche, Wife of John Gaunt?

Ans. 'The Book of Duchess'

The Legend of Good Women' was written by -

Ans. Chaucer

'Piers Plowman' is an-

Ans. Allegorical poem

What is the first English comedy?

Ans. Ralph Roister Doister (1551) written by Nicholas Udall

Who wrote 'Areopagitica'?

Ans. John Milton

What is the subject-mater of Holinshed's Chronicles?

Ans. history of England, Scotland and Ireland.

Who wrote 'Women Beware Women'?

Ans. Thomas Middleton

Who wrote 'The White Devil'?

Ans. John Webster

The period of Jacobean age indicates-

Ans. 1603-1625

Who are the Cavalier poets?

Ans. Carew, Herrick, Lovelace and Sucking.

Whose impact was reflected in Chaucer's work after going to Italy ?

Ans. Dante and Petraich

The first published work of Chaucer is -

Ans. 'The Book of the Duchess'

Chaucer's 'House of Fame' is based on-

Ans. Dream Vision

Chaucer's 'Troilus and Criseyde' was influenced by-

Ans. The Consolation of Philosophy

'The dethronement of Richard II' and ' Accession of Henry IV' took place in-

Ans. 1399

Chaucer died in-

Ans. 1400

Who made the first complete virsion of the Bible in English?

Ans. Miles Coverdale (in 1535)

Shakespeare's 'First Folio' was published in?

Ans. 1623 

'The Duchess of Malfi' was written by-

Ans. John Webster

Who wrote 'The Shoemaker's Holiday'?

Ans. Thomas Dakker

The Peasants' revolt' began in-

 Ans. 1381

The War of Roses took place during the period -

 Ans. 1455-1485

Who are known as 'Lollards'? Ans. John Wycliff and his followers

The Peasants' Revolt' is also known as - Ans. Tyler's Rebellion

Caxton sets up printing press at Westminister in- Ans. 1476

The first book printed in England was- Ans. 'The Dictes and Sayengis of Philosophers'

The Mystery Plays dealt with- Ans. Biblical theme

Who is known as the most gifted writer of Interlude? Ans. John Heywood

Who restored Roman Catholicism in England? Ans. Queen Elizabeth I

The reign-period of Queen Elizabeth I is- Ans. 1558-1603

'Voyages and Discoveries' has been written by- Ans. Hakluyt


Periods of English Literature

Old English / Anglo-Saxon Period 


Middle English Period 


Renaissance / Early Modern Period 


Elizabethan Age (1558-1603)

Jacobean Age (1603-1625)
Caroline Age (1625-1649)
Commonwealth / Puritan (1649-1660)

Neoclassical Period 
Restoration Period (1660-1700)
Eighteenth Century (1700-1785)

Romantic Age

Victorian Period 


  • 'Songs ans Sonnet' known as Tottle's Miscellany, appeared in- 

Ans. 1557

  • Who introduced sonnet first time in English Poetry? Ans. Wyatt and Surrey

  • 'Astrophel and Stella' was written by-  Ans. Sydney

  • 'Arcadia' is a - Ans. Romance

  • Who wrote 'Epithalamion'  Ans. Spenser

  • Epithalamion' commemorates the occasion of -  Ans. Spenser's marriage with Elizabeth Boyle

  • Who is the central character in 'The Faeries Queen'? Ans. Prince Arthur

  • 'Amoretti is a collection of ----- sonnets. Ans. 84 Sonnets

  • The twelve knight in 'The Faerie Queen' represents twelve- Ans. Virtues

  • Thomas Moore's 'Utopia' was published in - Ans. 1516

  • 'Utopia' is described as - Ans. 'the prologue to the Renaissance

  • Which is the first important treatise on education? Ans. 'The School Master'

  • The third edition of Bacon's Essays containing 58 essays appeared in - Ans. 1625

  • 'The Unfortunate Traveller or The Life of Jack Wilton' is written by - Ans. Thomas Nashe, it is the first picaresque novel in English.

  • Who wrote the first revenge tragedy? Ans. Ben Johnson

  • Marlow's blank verse is also known as- Ans. Mighty Line

  • Who coined the phrase 'Marlowe's Mighty Line' ? Ans. Ben Johnson

  • The first Folio edition of Shakespeare's plays was printed in- Ans. 1623

  • Shakespeare is known as-

Ans. Bard of Avon

The name of Shakespeare's birth place is - Ans. Sratford-upon-Avon

The sub-title of Shakespeare's ' The Twelfth Night'  is - Ans. What you Will

Shakespeare's 'All's Well That Ends Well' is called a - Ans. problem comedy

'The Advancement of Learning' was written by- Ans. Sir Francis Bacon

'If music be the food of love, play on' the line is taken from- Ans. The Twelfth Night

'Dido, the Queen of Carthage' was written by- 

Ans. Christopher Marlowe   

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