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 relationship do Julia and Castruchio have?

2. Antonio tells Bosola that Bosola is the chief suspect in:

3. What first causes Bosola to be suspicious of Antonio?

4. The Duchess hires Bosola because:

5. What does Delio tell Julia about her husband?

Short Essay Questions

1. What reason does the Cardinal give for asking Pescara, Malateste, Roderigo, and Grisolan not to enter his brother's chambers? What is the real reason?

2. How does the Duchess react when she sees her husband and children (supposedly) murdered?

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

4. How does Ferdinand react when Bosola tells him that the Duchess has been murdered?

5. Was the fruit Bosola gave the Duchess really poisoned?

6. What does the birth of the Duchess's son mean?

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

8. Why does Antonio lock up the palace?

9. How does Antonio react to the news that the Duchess has had a baby?

10. After she is strangled, the Duchess regains consciousness for a few brief moments. What does Bosola tell her during that time, and why?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Ferdinand gradually descends into madness as the play progresses. Describe one thing each character listed below could have done to try to prevent his madness from progressing, and specify when they might have done it.

1) Bosola

2) The Cardinal

3) The Duchess

Essay Topic 2

Poison, and poisoned objects, make an appearance several times throughout the play. Citing three examples, how do you think Webster is using poison as a literary device? What is poison supposed to symbolize, and what message is Webster trying to convey with it?

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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