Lear 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. Why does Bodice say she had troops bring North and Cornwall back?

2. Who suggests the workman be imprisoned rather than executed?

3. How does Lear respond to the judge when asked, "And these ladies are your daughters?"?

4. Who says in an aside that she is disappointed in her husband?

5. What does the Carpenter bring to the Wife?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Fontanelle say on the stand against her father?

2. Why does Lear tell Cornelia she must destroy the wall? What does he say regarding pity?

3. Who is the Gravedigger's Boy? What does the exposition reveal about his background? What is his purpose in the play?

4. Why do the villagers come to hear Lear speak? What message is he telling them?

5. Who appears to Lear in prison? How was this character known to Lear before this point?

6. What does Lear say about the Farmer's Son joining the army? How does this show a change in his character?

7. Do Bodice and Fontanelle trust one another? What actions or dialogue reveals their true feelings?

8. Why has Lear been spared in the prison? How does he escape?

9. Why does the Ghost stay with Lear at the end of Act 2, Scene 2?

10. Why is the Ghost unhappy and crying in Act 3, Scene 3?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is the significance of Lear's being blinded? How does this relate to actions in Shakespeare's Lear? What is the symbolism that this act illustrates?

Essay Topic 2

What does Fontanelle's execution and subsequent on-stage autopsy contribute to the play? What change comes about because of this scene? Do you agree or disagree with the choice to put this scene on stage? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Lear makes a reference in Act 3 to Christ on the cross, which contains a certain irony in that Lear eventually finds himself in a similar place to that in which Christ found himself - executed by those in authority as an example to others who would think and believe and act independently. What are other Biblical references in Lear? How can Lear (and others) be compared to Biblical figures?

(see the answer keys)

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