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 Sibyl dislike?

2. When Sibyl and Victor leave, what do Amanda and Elyot do with the cocktails?

3. How long have Amanda and Elyot been divorced at the start of the play?

4. What time is it, specifically, at the top of Act I?

5. What is the view from the terrace?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

3. 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?

4. Why does Sibyl keep asking Elyot about Amanda?

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

6. Amanda describes her marriage to Elyot as, "two violent acids bubbling about in a nasty little matrimonial bottle." Why would she use those words and what images do they provoke?

7. What does Elyot mean when he claims that he and Amanda were too in love for their relationship to last?

8. 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?

9. How can the reader interpret Amanda's statement about a person's private life?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

"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 3

In the world of this play, does it seem that love cannot exist without violence? How do violence and passion relate to each other or do they at all? Cite specific examples from the script to support your argument.

(see the answer keys)

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