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 is the root of Oberon and Titania's feud in A Midsummer Night's Dream?

2. In what city does A Midsummer Night's Dream begin?

3. Why do Belarius, Polydore and Cadwal leave Imogen in the woods?

4. At his castles, what appears before Macbeth directing him to Duncan's chamber?

5. For what purpose does Proteus hire the disguised Julia in Two Gentlemen of Verona?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Leontes respond to his new daughter at the beginning of The Winter's Tale?

3. What is the problem among the young lovers at the beginning of A Midsummer Night's Dream?

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

5. Why is Posthumus banished at the beginning of Cymbeline?

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

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

8. Why does Claudio think Hero is cheating on him in Much Ado About Nothing?

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

10. How does Valentine becomes the leader of bandits in Two Gentlemen of Verona?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Shakespeare's comedies are driven often by a sense of confusion and mistaken identity. People are not who they appear to be. In an essay, compare three comedies that make frequent use of mistaken identity to drive the plot. Is the confusion manufactured or accidental? Does it cause pain to anyone involved? How is it resolved, and are all the mysteries solved?

Part 1) Much Ado About Nothing

Part 2) Comedy of Errors

Part 3) Twelfth Night

Essay Topic 2

In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare famously said the course of true love never did run smooth. Write an essay charting the arc of a particularly tumultuous courtship in one of the stories. What two characters are in love, and what obstacles prevent their complete happiness? How do they respond to these obstacles? Do they over come them or break apart from each other? Through this courtship, what is Shakespeare saying about romance and commitment?

Essay Topic 3

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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