Life Is a Dream 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 do Rosaura and Clarnn discover?

2. Who is the son of the current elderly king of Poland?

3. Who might Astolfo marry?

4. What does Astolfo hope to claim?

5. What does Basilio regret?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Basilio's decision regarding who the heir is to the throne?

2. Because of some "portent" Basilio reads in the stars at his son's birth, he locks up his son, Segismundo, while still a baby and is determine to keep him confined for the rest of Segismundo's life. Is this a wise decision?

3. What does Segismundo do upon hearing Rosaura's pleas for mercy?

4. What is Segismundo doing in this first scene?

5. What happens when Clotaldo spies the sword which Rosaura is wearing?

6. What is Estrella's response to Astolfo's protestations of love and desire for marriage?

7. How does Basilio know the kind of ruler Segismundo would be?

8. Who has overheard Segismundo and what does this person do upon hearing Segismundo threaten murder?

9. Of course, this type of scenario is quite unlikely to occur in one's experience today; however, what do you imagine you would think of finding a man in the state in which Segismundo is and how do you think you would respond?

10. Why do you think Clotaldo questions Clarnn about Rosaura?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

When King Basilio enters in Act 1, Scene 2, one of the topics upon which he expounds is that of Astrology.

Write an essay answering the following questions:

1. Do you believe astrology is a valid way to plan one's day/life?

2. How often do you read your daily astrological prediction and would you alter your plans based upon the daily chart? Why or why not.

3. If astrology were proven to be true and accurate, do you believe you could change your fate as predicted by the stars? How would you do so?

4. If science proved astrology to absolutely false, would you still read your daily advice from the astrology column in the newspaper? Why or why not. If you do not read the astrology column, why not?

Essay Topic 2

In Act 3, Scene 1, Segismundo perpetuates an act of clemency to Clotaldo, who has in the service of the king, wronged Segismundo over the years.

1. Do you believe you would have granted Clotaldo clemency had he participated in your imprisonment?

2. Is there a time you have, against the advice of others or your inclination, forgiven someone for a grievous wrong that person committed against you? How did you feel afterward? Were you glad to have forgiven that person?

3. Do acts of clemency from a king or president or ruler serve the greater good? Explain your answer and give an example, either real or hypothetical.

4. Just before leaving office, the president of the United States often grants pardons to numerous felons. Do you believe this power to grant pardons by the president is right? Does it benefit the nation or just the person receiving the pardon?

Essay Topic 3

Rosaura is dressed like a man on her quest to redress a wrong by Duke Astolfo. There have been numerous instances throughout history of women who have dressed as men in order to travel safely, pursue a career, or even to follow husbands to war. Choose one of the following to write a cohesive, detailed essay:

1. Discuss reasons why you think women would want to pass as a man during the 1600s when this play takes place. What would they gain and what would they lose?

2. Is there any reason in today's society that a woman might want to pass as a man? List three situations where it might be advantageous for a woman to pass as a man. Discuss why it would be helpful in each situation. What might happen if the woman did not dress and pass as a man in the same situation?

3. Research and write an essay on documented situations when a woman dressed as a man in the past when women were not as free to mingle in worldly affairs. One such situation is the fact of Pope Joan, who pretended to be male all the way from priesthood to being named Pope. Learn about her life and the consequences of her choice and write about it.

4. Today, there is much unisex dress--men and woman often wear jeans, tee shirts, tennis shoes, similar-style jackets, etc... Discuss the implications as to why most men would not consider clothing designed for women; whereas, women will do the opposite. What does this say about American/European cultural mores and gender issues?

(see the answer keys)

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