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. To whom does Enobarbus speak in the first part of Act 3, Scene 2?

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

3. What is the name of the man who accompanies Caesar in Act 3, Scene 8?

4. Where is Antony reported as being, by Caesar, in Act 3, Scene 6?

5. Where does Caesar say that Pompey resides in Act 2, Scene 2?

Short Essay Questions

1. For what reasons are tensions brewing between Antony and Caesar in Act 3, Scene 4?

2. For what reason does the Soothsayer tell Antony he must go back to Egypt?

3. What characterizes the reports that the messenger gives to Cleopatra of Octavia?

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

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

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

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

8. How do his companions react to Antony's speeches in Act 4, Scene 2?

9. How does Caesar instruct Thyreus to win Cleopatra from Antony?

10. How does Menas propose to make Pompey the ruler of the world?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

One of the most complicated characters in the play, despite the brevity of his appearance, is the Clown who delivers the deadly asps to Cleopatra in the final scene. Though his phrasing is somewhat veiled and ambiguous, a multitude of arguments can be made for any number of interpretations of his character's significance. In a very carefully constructed essay, analyze the Clown's words to Cleopatra and make an argument for some definite interpretation of his meaning. What are the referents for the people and conditions to which the Clown alludes? What is the significance of his commentaries insofar as they relate to the actions and characters of the play? Why have a clown deliver such a message?

Essay Topic 2

An essential element of the tragic play is the evocation of pity from the audience. In order to evoke pity, the audience must be enabled to relate with the characters caught up in the tragedy. In a broad-minded and considerate essay, analyze the means by which the play makes those involved in the tragedy, principally Antony and Cleopatra, but also Enobarbus and Eros, as well as any others caught in the struggles between mightier characters, sympathetic to the audience or reader. What scenes demonstrate the unfortunate nature of these characters' sufferings? How do they portray the characters as pitiable? What is the fundamental root of relation between the audience and the pitiable characters in these scenes? What does this reveal about dramatic tragedy and its relationship to human nature?

Essay Topic 3

Throughout the play, Caesar uses many incidents and faults of others to his own advantage. Although not the philosophy promoted in the 18th century, this is nonetheless an evaluation of people and objects based on their utility, and thus a form of utilitarianism. Compose an analytical essay that evaluates Caesar's methods of evaluating others. In what ways does Caesar put to use other people, objects, incidents, situations, or human faults? Upon what basis does he reward or punish individuals? What is the moral significance of such a method of evaluation? What is problematic about using others as a means to one's own end?

(see the answer keys)

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