Marat / Sade 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. How old is Marat when the events of the play begin?

2. What does Simone tell Corday to do when she sends her away in Scene 9?

3. How many years has the Marquis de Sade been living at Charenton at the time of the play?

4. What famous French text does Coulmier invoke in his Scene 2 speech?

5. How does Sade characterize the process by which Revolutionaries dole out death sentences?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the state of the Revolution in 1793, according to the Singers in Scene 5?

2. Describe Corday and Duperret's interchange in Scene 29.

3. Why is Marat particularly outraged by aristocratic revulsion at the executions?

4. What is the execution of Damiens and what does it signify to Sade?

5. What role does Marat imply he wants to play in France in Scene 27?

6. What recommendation does Coulmier make to Sade and the assembled actors at the end of Scene 6?

7. Describe the world that Corday and Duperret describe in Scene 22.

8. Why does Sade feel the need to write horrific stories of aristocrats while in the Bastille?

9. What is the state of Marat's health in Scene 7?

10. What final points does Coulmier make in the Epilogue?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the play-within-the-play, Sade has created a sort of spectrum from far-left (Roux) to the far-right (Corday). Where do all the major players in this play fall on this spectrum? What does each extreme of this spectrum want regarding France? What is its ideal society? Does Sade present both as equally dangerous in the play?

Essay Topic 2

In The Marat/Sade, Peter Weiss creates a compelling dynamic for his cast: many of his cast members are mentally disturbed, and their psychological infirmities affect their roles in the play-within-the-play. Write an essay on this dynamic in three parts:

Part 1) What is the infirmity of the actor playing Marat? How does this infirmity make him particularly appropriate for the role? How does this infirmity limit his movement on the stage?

Part 2) What is Charlotte Corday's ailment? How does this affect her ability to play her role in the play-within-the-play? How do the other characters onstage interact with her?

Part 3) What is Duperret's mental infirmity? How does this affect his interaction with Corday? How does the Herald deal with him in his scene's with Corday?

Essay Topic 3

In the great debate between Sade and Mart, Sade's viewpoint is more complex and ambiguous. As an aristocrat turned Revolutionary turned voice for political apathy, his worldview is strange and inwardly focused. Write an essay on etymology of this viewpoint. Why did Sade join the Revolution, and why was he repelled by it? What does he view as most important in life? What is his attitude toward violence and its place in society?

(see the answer keys)

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