Private Lives 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 Elyot and Amanda conclude about their past relationship?

2. In Act I, where do the honeymooning couples plan to spend their first night together?

3. According to Amanda, what did her and Elyot's love do to their relationship?

4. Where do Amanda and Victor plan to eat dinner?

5. What can Sibyl do that Amanda cannot?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do Amanda and Elyot choose Paris to run away to?

2. To Sibyl's dismay, Elyot does not care for her mother and believes that Sibyl married him in part to escape her. What do the differing attitudes about the mother reveal about Sibyl's character?

3. What would be the best way to describe the relationship between each of the married couples?

4. What is the significance of "Solomon Isaacs?"

5. When Elyot implores Sibyl that they must leave the hotel, Sibyl is uncharacteristically firm and stubborn about staying. What happened throughout the act that may have given her more of a backbone?

6. What does Elyot's pastime of traveling the world imply about his character?

7. Why would Victor say to Amanda that she was frightening him?

8. At the start of the play, is Elyot in love with Sibyl? How can the reader tell?

9. What are Victor and Sibyl's attitudes on the subject of their spouses' previous marriage?

10. When discussing the possibility of getting a sunburn, Amanda remarks to Victor, "I did so hope our honeymoon was going to be progressive" in response to his declaration that he could not love her anymore than he already does. What does this statement portend about Amanda's views on relationships, particularly her marriage to Victor?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"Private Lives" is known for sharp, witty dialogue. What role does the dialogue play in this story? How does it add to the plot, humor, and character development?

Essay Topic 2

The stage directions and dialogue are very direct with how the characters should look. Discuss the physical characteristics, clothing, and age of each character and how it reflects upon each character. Why is it important that Sibyl is seven years younger than Elyot or that Victor is in his mid-thirties? What about the difference in costuming between Amanda and Sibyl? How do the characters appear to each other?

Essay Topic 3

Consider the character of Louise. Why is she included in the play? What is the purpose of Sibyl and Victor not being able to understand her foreign language? What does she add to the overall arch of the play?

(see the answer keys)

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