The Emperor Jones 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 happens to lift Emperor Jones' spirits at the beginning of the second forest scene?

2. Which character is the first to appear in the second scene in the forest?

3. How does Emperor Jones feel in the moments before he first sees the black figures in Act 1, Scene 2?

4. Emperor Jones sees a group of figures in Act 1, Scene 4. Which literary term describes Emperor Jones' speech to the figures he sees?

5. What does this third apparition tell us about Jones' past?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the apparition Emperor Jones sees in the third forest scene.

2. Describe the structure at the center of the stage as the sixth forest scene opens.

3. What gives Emperor Jones his confidence when he learns that the natives are rising against him?

4. Before he sees Jeff, Emperor Jones surveys himself and assesses his plight. How does he feel about his situation?

5. What happens at the beginning of the second forest scene to ease Emperor Jones' fears?

6. Describe the setting for the first scene of the play.

7. Describe the setting when the second scene begins.

8. What is the significance of Emperor Jones' clothing in the fifth forest scene?

9. Describe Emperor Jones' state of mind when the fourth forest scene opens.

10. In what way is Emperor Jones' situation ironic?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Research essay. How has this play been staged in the past? Taking what you can from past reviews, describe the physical properties of professional productions.

Essay Topic 2

Emperor Jones uses violence to solve certain problems in his life, but he is brought down by an act of violence himself. Compare and contrast his murder of Jeff and his murder by the natives. How are they similar? How are they different? Is one act of violence equivalent to another? Is one more or less just than the other?

Essay Topic 3

Citing specific instances from the text, describe three literary devices O'Neill uses in Emperor Jones. These might include foreshadowing, characterization, symbolism, dialect, metaphor, etc. How does the literary device appear in the play? How does it enhance the plot, building the play toward a crisis and then resolving that crisis?

(see the answer keys)

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