Antony and Cleopatra Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Antony say was tied to Cleopatra's rudder "by the strings"?

2. Of what is Antony told concerning his wife in the play's second scene?

3. What does Antony hope to see the enemy numbers of by placing his squadrons on "yond side o' the hill"?

4. How does Caesar respond to Antony's challenge?

5. When does Caesar say he will attack after receiving Antony's challenge?

Short Essay Questions

1. What causes Antony to experience a dramatic change at the play's beginning?

2. What is the meaning and significance of "a Lethe'd dulness" as Pompey uses the phrase in line 27 of Act 2, Scene 1?

3. For what reason does Mecaenas imply that striking Antony while the beleaguered triumvir is in his rage is strategically sound

4. Why does Octavius Caesar lament the absence of Mark Antony?

5. How does Cleopatra expose her true self in Act 3, Scene 13?

6. For what reason does Antony insist upon assailing Caesar by sea at Actium, despite the protestations of his loyal men?

7. What characterizes Antony's speech after Actium, before Cleopatra arrives, at the palace in Alexandria?

8. Why does Enobarbus tell Menas that that which has caused amity between Caesar and Antony will likewise "prove the immediate author of their variance"?

9. Why is it suggested by Agrippa that Mark Antony be married to Octavia?

10. What is the significance of the discussion between Enobarbus and Agrippa in the first part of Act 3, Scene 2?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A dominant means of exposition and plot movement in the play is through the unseen but contextually described battles. Being careful to read out from the play and not into the play, explicate the significance of the battles at Actium and Alexandria, analyzing in what ways the various victories and defeats occur and what the significance of each is. Who wins the battle? How does he win the battle? What are the consequences of the battle being won? What is revealed about the various involved characters through their reactions to the conclusions of the various battles?

Essay Topic 2

As Antony's rival, Octavius Caesar plays a vital role in the tragic story of Antony and Cleopatra. As the story's external antagonist, he helps to propel the action of the story. In a thoughtful essay, analyze the character of Caesar, being sure to contrast him with Mark Antony but nonetheless retaining focus on Caesar himself. What are his principal traits as a character? What are his motivations? How does he treat other characters in the story? What worldview does Caesar represent? How does Caesar correspond to a changing world dynamic?

Essay Topic 3

Though not an antagonist in the traditional sense of the word, Cleopatra acts as a catalyst for the internal conflict that contributes to Mark Antony's disintegration. This makes Cleopatra a somewhat unique character in literature. Compose an analytical essay that examines the peculiarities of her character, including how they affect Antony, but focusing principally on Cleopatra. What characterizes her personality? What traits does she habitually evince in the play? What are her motivations throughout the play? Does her behavior, by the final act, change from how she comports herself in the play's first act?

(see the answer keys)

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