Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Two discarded questions from the final exam I put together today

by J J Cohen

Inspired by the examinations that Karl has posted at ITM, like this one, I am introducing a fill in the blank section to this year's final for "Myths of Britain." The three TAs and I brainstormed appropriate questions this morning. In the discard pile are two I suggested:

1. What color was the Green Knight? ____________
2. If the Green Knight’s parents were not green, then what colors were they likely to have been? (assume verdant dermal pigmentation is a nonrecessive trait) _____________

6 comments:

dan remein said...

Actually, I have it from a secret text of Merlin's that I found once--it was in Welsh and I was going to translate it into Latin, but I had to write all these seminar papers!!!--that the Green Knight was not green at all. He was pink. Bertilak, feeling generally pissed despite getting to be the instrument of such great magic because he despised the colour pink to such an inordinate extent that it was against kynde, demanded that the poets record him as having been green, because he was such a great fan of spinach, and other plants. He was quite the gardener, and would cut back his been plants with that axe of his.

The alliterative SGGK poet of course knew this as well. But he could say nothing, even during the late alliterative poetic thing that was going on, because Bertilak formed a secret society to protect his secret long after he was dead (kinda like that da vinci code thing...). In fact, if I don't show up as Kalamazoo, you'll know what happened to me, and for once I don't mean that the seminar papers will have finally gotten to me.

Jeffrey J. Cohen said...

Mr. Remein, please see me after class so we can talk about your progress in the course (and negotiation to the film rights of The Code of the Pink Knight) (though I suspect it is a code that involves the kind of toe tapping that once got Larry Craig in trouble in a Minneapolis restroom).

Eileen Joy said...

Or how about this question [?]:

If the Green Knight gets on a train in Philadelphia heading for DC at 1:00 pm, and Gawain gets on a plane in NYC heading for Costa Rica at 2:00 pm, how long does it take for Kate Moss to find Tiny in JJC's bookbag?

prehensel said...

I think Dan's source confirms my theory that the Pink/Green Knight had an eating disorder.
"Bot his wombe and his waste were worthily smale" sounds to me like Bertilak was a little too caught up in appearances.

Since we know from the Secret Source that he loved spinach and we know he certainly wasn't a vegetarian, it's my contention that he used raw spinach--pounds of it--as a laxative, which would make him one of the earliest cases of bulimia.

Dissertation and book deal please!!

Dr. Virago said...

I once actually included this bonus question: WHAT is your favorite color?

You wouldn't believe how many students left it blank because they thought they had to supply the next line from the movie!

Michelle said...

I think they have to go back in, especially that second one. And when they miss it forward them to biology courses like mine. :-)