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 key piece of information do the Cardinal and Ferdinand finally have in Act 2, Scene 5?

2. What rumor about Antonio and the Duchess is circulating among the common people?

3. After Antonio confronts Bosola outside of the Duchess's room, what does he drop as he walks away from Bosola?

4. What do Antonio and the Duchess tease Cariola about when Act 3, Scene 2 opens?

5. Cariola's statement after the wedding can be seen as foreshadowing what?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do you think of the fact that Bosola still does not know who the father of the Duchess's children is?

2. Does it seem in character for Delio to be offering money to Julia for her to become his mistress? Why or why not?

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

4. Delio and Julia ask for the same piece of property. What is Pescara's reason for giving the property to Julia?

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

6. Why are there so many rumors flying around the palace in Act 2, Scene 2?

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

8. Delio thinks there is still a small chance that the Cardinal will find compassion and reconcile with Antonio in Act 5, scene 3. What does Delio think might prompt this change?

9. Both Ferdinand and the Cardinal react strongly to the news of their sister's baby. Who reacts in a more gruesome manner? Please refer to the text in your answer.

10. Why did Bosola tell the Duchess's brothers about her baby being born?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Antonio often acts on information given to him by others, and follows the instructions of other people. Is this wise on his part? Why or why not? Use at least 3 examples from the text to support your thesis.

Essay Topic 2

What function does the echo serve in Act 5, Scene 3 (when Antonio and Delio are talking about Antonio's plans to confront the Cardinal about the Duchess's murder)? Describe 3 things Webster is able to convey to the audience by using this particular literary device. What other literary devices could be used to convey a similar message?

Essay Topic 3

What literary devices does the author use to convey things about the characters within the first few scenes of the play? Thinking about the way Webster uses characters, foreshadowing, and dialogue, pick 3 characters, and describe how these devices help the reader know more about the characters and what is going to happen later in the play.

(see the answer keys)

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