Death and the Maiden 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 Paulina tie to the chair?

2. What is the purpose of the commission?

3. Why were Gerardo and Paulina frightened by a visitor in the middle of the night?

4. Why is it likely Paulina does not want to encounter Roberto?

5. What is Gerardo yelling through the bedroom door?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Paulina pretend when Gerardo comes to bed and how does Gerardo respond?

2. What is the purpose of the commission the government is forming?

3. What music does Paulina play and what does she say to Roberto about the music?

4. Why do you think Act 1, Scene 3 has no dialogue?

5. When and under what circumstances did Paulina meet Dr. Miranda?

6. With whom is Gerardo speaking and about what?

7. What does Paulina finally say is the main thing she wants from Roberto?

8. What is Gerardo going to tell Paulina about what he thinks Roberto is going to do?

9. What does Paulina say to Roberto about breakfast?

10. How does the play, DEATH AND THE MAIDEN, open?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The tension immediately picks up when Paulina hears a car, looks out the window and grabs for a gun.

1. What does Paulina's actions in the beginning of the play tell the audience? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

2. What would you do in your home if you felt afraid?

3. Some say that fear produces aggression, such as Paulina with the gun. Do you think this is true? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

By the end of Act 1, Scene 3, assuming we don't already know the story, we know that Paulina is either crazy or desperate. Perhaps it is a combination of both.

1. Do you think Paulina is crazy? Why or why not? Support your answer with examples from the text.

2. Do you think a person can be crazy and still live as normally as Paulina lives? Why or why not?

3. Why might desperation look like mental illness? Use examples to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Some audience members may also be shocked by Paulina's act of taking off her panties and stuffing them in Roberto's mouth. It is a moment that defines the disgust she feels for him. It is also a kind of smug revenge, as we shall see in later scenes, or a display of her new-found feminine power, now that she has the upper hand.

1. Do you think the act of Paulina stuffing Roberto's mouth with her panties might indicate some of the torture she endured? Why or why not? What type of torture would it suggest? Why?

2. Paulina now has the upper-hand with a man she believes was one of her captors. Do you think doing what she is starting to do only brings her down to his level? Why or why not?

3. If you found someone you thought had imprisoned you and tortured you what would your response be?

(see the answer keys)

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