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 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

Essay Topic 1

Tales from Shakespeare contains stories based on Shakespeare's comedies and tragedies. Write a three part essay, discussing the difference between Shakespearean tragedy and comedy, citing specific examples of each in the three sections:

Part 1) What features make a tragedy in Shakespeare? How do they almost always end? Discuss which components of narrative are always the same in a tragedy. What type of lesson does Shakespeare intend for the writer to take away from the experience? How does he impart these themes?

Part 2) How does a comedy progress? What is the traditional ending to a Shakespearean comedy? Discuss how a comedy develops differently from a tragedy, and what it relates about humanity. What parts of the human existence does Shakespeare omit in writing a comedy?

Part 3) Compare the experience of reading a comedy and tragedy? How do protagonists in each of these differ in terms of their objectives and dynamic nature? Discuss what the reader is supposed to sympathize with in each case.

Essay Topic 2

In Stories from Shakespeare, Charles Lamb includes a couple of narratives that fixate on the notion of money and how its accumulation and loss can destroy a human being. Write a two-part essay discussing both of these stories, and sum up the essay by theorizing as to Shakespeare's attitude toward money in general:

Part 1) What role does wealth and the lack of it play in the plot of Merchant of Venice? What characters are affected - either positively or negatively - by the accumulation of money? Who loses his soul in the struggle for money? Who nearly loses his life and is eventually redeemed by money in the story? How is money an ambiguous force in the story?

Part 2) How does Money prove the downfall of Timon of Athens? Discuss how all of his relationships in the story are defined by wealth. In the end, what does Timon believe is the point of money and man's relationship to it? What is Shakespeare saying about wealth in Timon of Athens?

Essay Topic 3

The role of women in Shakespeare's work is remarkably ambiguous, particularly in his comedies. Choose three heroines from his comedies - Katharine, Beatrice, Helena, etc - and chart their arc over the course of the narrative. Are their objectives relatively constant throughout? Do they take their courtship into their own hands over the course of the narrative? Are they dynamic character, changing over the course of the narrative? If so, what changes them? Is it self- or society-imposed?

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