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Tales from Shakespeare Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _____________________________ Period: ___________________________

This quiz consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What head of state is with Antonio on the ship in The Tempest?



2. What do the robbers in Two Gentlemen of Verona request of Valentine?



3. In Much Ado About Nothing, what does Hero do when accused of infidelity?



4. What does Prospero do to Antonio when the two meet at the end of The Tempest?



5. What does Portia disguise herself as at the end of Merchant of Venice?



Short Essay Questions

1. What plot does Claudius concoct to be rid of Hamlet at the end of the story?



2. Why does Hamlet kill Polonius?



3. How are Orlando and Oliver reconciled in As You Like It?



4. How does Prospero find Ariel in The Tempest?



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



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



7. What is Don Pedro's attitude to Beatrice and Benedick at the beginning of Much Ado About Nothing?



8. What is the state of affairs between Ephesus and Syracuse in Comedy of Errors?



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



10. What are the marriages that end Measure for Measure?



Essay Topics

Tales from Shakespeare translates the plays of William Shakespeare into a series of twenty stories intended for children. In this process, Charles Lamb has kept some of the more adult themes that were present in the plays. Write an essay in three parts dealing with the prevalence of adult themes in the collection:

Part 1) In comedies like The Winter's Tale and Much Ado About Nothing and tragedies like Othello, Shakespeare deals with infidelity and mistrust between lovers. How do these themes manifest themselves? Which characters suffer as a result, and what is learned from this painful experience?

Part 2) In King Lear and Hamlet, in particular, Shakespeare deals with the duty a child owes his or her parents. Discuss the strained relationships at the center of these stories. What sense of neglect or betrayal exists in them? How are these relationships more intense forms of everyday struggles?

Part 3) Shakespeare deals fairly unsparingly with intolerance in The Merchant of Venice and Othello. What types of intolerance are discussed in these stories? Which characters subjugate which? What is learned about this type of racial and religious intolerance over the course of the narrative?

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?

Many of Shakespeare's stories take place in the court of ruling people. In such stories - like Cymbeline, Macbeth, King Lear, or Hamlet - the acquisition power is the driver of conflict. Write an essay charting the way power changes hands in three such stories. Who loses power who should control it? What usurper or group of usurpers takes power, and how is this unnatural acquisition reighted by the end of the narrative?

(see the answer keys)

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