The Duchess of Malfi 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 Delio tell Antonio to ease his fears after the Duchess eats the fruit Bosola gave her?

2. In Act 1, Scene 1, which of the following men is described as very honest?

3. Ferdinand believes the Duchess's reputation is ruined because:

4. How does Delio react to Antonio's secret?

5. When Ferdinand confronts the Duchess about having children, who does he think is their father?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the Cardinal's reaction to the news about his sister's baby show about his personality?

2. In Act 3, is Ferdinand still angry about the Duchess's children after all of these years?

3. If Delio, Antonio's closest friend, is working closely with Ferdinand, has he betrayed Antonio and the Duchess?

4. Because the Duchess did, in fact, disobey Ferdinand and the Cardinal, how does Ferdinand decide to punish her?

5. Why does Ferdinand leave the dagger with the Duchess?

6. Why did Bosola want to find out what was "wrong" with the Duchess so badly?

7. How does Bosola find out that the Cardinal was behind the scheme to kill the Duchess?

8. Was Cariola lying when she claimed she was innocent to Antonio and the Duchess?

9. Why does Antonio decide to marry the Duchess?

10. What does the Duchess think of her brothers at the beginning of the play?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Why do you think we never learn the Duchess's name in the play? What do you think the author was trying to say by not giving her a name? How would the play have changed, or not have changed, if she had been given a name?

Essay Topic 2

Why do you think the Cardinal and Ferdinand forbid the Duchess from getting married again? What were their motivations? Why do you think they refused to change their minds as the play went on?

Essay Topic 3

The Duchess is very trusting throughout the play. Provide 3 examples of times she misplaced her trust. For each of these, who might she have trusted instead? How would the play have been different?

(see the answer keys)

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