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 do Orlando and the disguised Rosaline discuss when they meet in Arden?

2. Where do Belarius and her two brothers, Polydore and Cadwal, live?

3. Which of the following characters dies at the end of Cymbeline?

4. In Merchant of Venice, how does Shylock make money as a usurer?

5. At the end of Much Ado About Nothing, Hero pretends to be her own what?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How do Antonio and Shylock lend money differently in Merchant of Venice?

3. Why does Kent have to disguise himself to follow King Lear?

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

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

6. How does Prospero find Ariel in The Tempest?

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

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

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

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

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

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?

Essay Topic 3

Many Shakespearean stories involve an individual attempting to subvert a social structure: Macbeth, Othello, Shylock, Hamlet, Katharine. Write an essay about three such characters and discuss how this attempt progresses in the story. Why does this character choose to subvert this system? What does he or she want to achieve, and what subversive actions does he or she take? How does this character end up as a result?

(see the answer keys)

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