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. Who does Rosaura pursue to Poland?

2. What does person in the answer to question #74 express?

3. In what is Clotaldo particularly interested?

4. How serious is the dishonor which Astolfo has done to Rosaura?

5. With whom does Clotaldo probably sympathize?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Briefly summarize Rosaura's actions after this pardon and Clotaldo's response.

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. What are some of the ways Segismundo demonstrates his unsuitability for the throne?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the opening to Act 1, Scene 2, Cousins Estrella and Asolfo are niece and nephew to the king, who as far as they know, has no son or daughter of his own. Estrella claims the throne as the eldest child of the eldest daughter; Astolfo's claim lies in the fact of his gender. Were the situation reversed and Astolfo was the eldest child of the eldest daughter, there would be no question to his rights to the throne. Most monarchies of Europe are based upon preference to males as heirs to the throne even today. Choose one of the following to write a cohesive, detailed essay:

1. Write a cohesive essay detailing why you think men are or are not more capable of ruling than woman. Include some historical citations from at least two European countries.

2. Write an essay discussing how you think the ruling styles of men and women would differ. Which style would you prefer? Why?

3. Write an essay describing how you think the rules of ascension should be enacted and why you believe your idea is better than two European counties you research.

Essay Topic 2

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?

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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