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 does Rosaura reply to Clotaldo's question about the item in #26?

2. What do the guards do when they discover Rosaura and Clarnn?

3. How does Clarnn gain Segismundo's confidence?

4. What does Astolfo hope to claim?

5. Who faces each off in a hallway in the palace?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Basilio want to abdicate his throne?

2. How do Estrella and Astolfo act when the Basilio appears?

3. Why is Basilio talking about his skills as a master astrologer?

4. Why do you think it is important to Rosaura to retrieve her locket?

5. Explain Basilio's response to Clotaldo's actions and how part of Basilio's statement is a theme of the play.

6. 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?

7. What is Segismundo doing in this first scene?

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

9. What is Rosaura's response upon hearing Segismundo explain his predicament?

10. Explain Clotaldo actions in regard to Segismundo at the beginning of this act.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Act 2, scene 2, a literary technique takes place called a narrative contrivance. Write a cohesive, coherent essay, answering the following, using detailed examples to illustrate your points.

1. Research and explain what a narrative contrivance is.

2. What is the most obvious narrative contrivance that takes place in this play?

3. Does this narrative contrivance work for you? Why or why not?

4. How might the author of this play used another way to deal with the narrative contrivance you have identified?

Essay Topic 2

When Rosaura falls from her horse, she hears sounds from a tower and enters to find a man dressed in animal skins and secured with chains. The man acts insane and frightens Rosaura until he calms and they talk. Since you do not know any other information about who the man is at this point, it might occur to you that this person is insane. Choose one of the following to write a cohesive, detailed essay:

1. Research how insane persons were handled in the 1600s and write an essay describing what you learn.

2. Compare and contrast the way mentally ill people were handled in the 1600s versus in the United States or Europe in the 21st century.

3. Research and write an essay outlining the changes in how insane people were treated from the 1600s through the 1900s.

4. There are various differences among cultures as to their attitudes about insane people. Choose three diverse cultures and learn about and write an essay on the similarities and differences as to how an insane person was accepted/not accepted.

Essay Topic 3

In Act 3, Scene 1, Soldiers arrive at the prison tower and ask Segismundo to lead them in a rebellion against the king and his declaration of Asolfo and Estrella as joint heirs to the throne. Answer one of the following in a well-written essay using detailed examples from the book or other sources.

1. How often do you think a king or queen is overthrown by one is his/her children? What do you think are some of the reasons that a child overthrows his/her parent off a throne?

2. Would you be willing to depose your parent from the throne? Under what circumstances?

3. If you were the younger son/daughter and the older child was to inherit the throne but you knew he or she would be a murderous, tyrannous ruler, what would you do? Would you go so far as to have that sibling murdered?

4. Do you think the throne should be passed to the oldest child or to the child most able to rule? How would a parent decide who is most able?

(see the answer keys)

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