Orpheus Descending 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's the one word Carol says the ghosts at Cypress Hill say?

2. How old does Val say he is?

3. Who enters the store after the loud savage cry?

4. What does Lady say that the store can never hold?

5. Who does Beulah say burned down the wine garden?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Lady offer Val to save him money in Act 2?

2. Why does Lady feel disappointed in Val in Act 2 Scene 3? Why does he feel disappointed in her?

3. What does Talbott tell Val before he leaves in Act 3, Scene 2?

4. What does Jabe say after Lady is shot? What does he do?

5. Describe Jabe's appearance upon returning from the hospital.

6. What is Val's memory of the woman he saw on the bayou?

7. What does the Nurse accuse Lady of before leaving?

8. What does Vee say has blinded her in Act 3? How long has she been expecting this?

9. Why does Lady call the pharmacist in Act 1 Scene 2?

10. What does Lady tell David in Act 2? How does he react?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the character of Val and explain what characteristics he has which make him a classical Tragic Hero. Define Tragic Hero in your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Williams wrote in his introduction to the play that Orpheus Descending is about "unanswered questions that haunt the hearts of people." Some of the characters simply accept prescribed answers, but not the four main characters -- Val, Lady, Carol, and Vee. They continue to ask questions. What might those questions be, and what answers, if any, do these characters find?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the theme of Rebirth in Orpheus Descending. What symbols represent this theme? What motifs exemplify it? What imagery?

(see the answer keys)

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