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. Once he learns the news, Ferdinand seems most focused on:

2. What does the Duchess say to Antonio after eating the fruit Bosola gave her?

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

4. What does Delio tell Julia about her husband?

5. Antonio accuses Cariola of:

Short Essay Questions

1. What reasons does Antonio have to be suspicious of Bosola?

2. After Antonio bans Bosola from entering the Duchess's chamber, Antonio drops a paper. Does he drop this paper on accident or on purpose? Why?

3. What does the fact that the Cardinal has a mistress show about his character?

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

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

6. What does Bosola tell a servant to do with Antonio's body? Why might he have given these instructions?

7. Can Antonio's nosebleed can be seen as an omen? Why or why not?

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

9. What unique literary device does Webster use to convey what is happening when the Cardinal resigns?

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

Religion is used throughout the play as a cover for hidden motives and secret plans. What message do you think Webster was trying to convey about religion at the time? Use 3 examples from the text to support your argument.

Essay Topic 2

Is Antonio a a man of action, or a man of inaction? Support your position using three specific examples from the text.

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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