Tales from Shakespeare 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 role does Ariel take on the island in The Tempest?

2. In The Tempest, where on the island do Sycorax imprison good spirits?

3. Which of the following is not a prophecy the witches make at the beginning of Macbeth?

4. What two dangerous animals does Orlando save Oliver from in As You Like It?

5. In what state does Cordelia's army find the mad Lear?

Short Essay Questions

1. At the end of As You Like It, what happy news arrives concerning the banished duke?

2. What is the rift in the spirit room at the beginning of A Midsummer Night's Dream?

3. Describe the interaction between Prospero and his enemies on the island at the end of The Tempest.

4. Why is Cordelia banished at the beginning of King Lear?

5. How does Lady Macbeth convince Macbeth to kill Duncan?

6. How are Hero and Claudio reunited at the end of Much Ado About Nothing?

7. In The Winter's Tale, how does Paulita convince the king of Bohemia to let her marry his son?

8. In The Tempest, how does Prospero bring his enemies to the island?

9. How does Portia save Antonio's life in Merchant of Venice?

10. How is Paulita saved from death at a young age in The Winter's Tale?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Coincidence plays an important role in all of the Shakespearean narratives. Individuals lose and find each other often, and always at just the right moment. Write an essay three cases of coincidence that are important to drawing the narrative forward in the story:

Part 1) How does Hermione end up in the cave where her long-estranged brothers live? Discuss the series of unconnected circumstances that drew her to this place, and why she immediately leaves it. How is all made right and this reunion explained in the end of Cymbeline?

Part 2) Discuss how Leontes loses his child at the beginning of The Winter's Tale. What series of events bring her back to him with a significant suitor? Were any of these events perpetrated by the repentant Leontes? What is the result of Paulina's return at the end of the play?

Part 3) How does the life of Pericles, Prince of Tyre, mean that coincidence is always a factor for him? Discuss the process by which Pericles loses his entire family and how he gets them back. What factors - supernatural and natural - contribute to this reunion?

Essay Topic 2

Love is a frequent theme of Shakespeare's narratives, but love in his comedies is markedly different from love in his tragedies. Write an essay comparing the way couples interact in Shakespearean comedy and tragedy. What does the courtship - provided it is shown - look like? Is deception involved? In comedies, why does Shakespeare always end after the marriage? What occurs after the marriage in Shakespeare's tragedies? What does this say about Shakespeare's attitude toward the institution of marriage?

Essay Topic 3

Shakespeare's stories often involve a divide between the town - with its merchants and political squabbles - and the country, a setting of ease and merriment. Citing specific stories from the text, discuss in an essay how Shakespeare uses this divide in his stories. What can occur in the country that cannot in the town? How are interactions different? Why do people choose to - or are forced to - leave the city? Do comedies or tragedies use this device more often?

(see the answer keys)

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