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. Where did Jabe have surgery?

2. What is the name of the county in which the play is set?

3. How many places in New Orleans does Carol say she followed Val?

4. Who has gone to the depot to meet Lady and Jabe?

5. Who says, "What people say about you don't mean much"?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who has signed Val's guitar?

2. Compare the characters Val and Sheriff Talbott. How are they alike? How are they different?

3. What did Carol do that got her banned from the county overnight?

4. How does Val regard his guitar?

5. What did Lady's father do after Prohibition took hold?

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

7. How does Lady hear that Val is leaving town? What is her response?

8. What does Carol describe "jooking" as?

9. What story does Beulah tell about Lady's father?

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

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

Discuss the concept of revenge as it applies to Orpheus Descending. Which characters want to enact revenge? Why? How? How is this symbolized in the play?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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