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. In The Winter's Tale, what does Leontes want his counselors to ask the oracle at Delphos?

2. How does Leontes want Polixenes killed at the beginning of The Winter's Tale?

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

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

5. In A Midsummer Night's Dream, what penalty does Hermia face if she refuses he father's choice of marriage?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What bad decision does Antonio make regarding borrowing money in Merchant of Venice?

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

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

6. How does Oliver try to kill Orlando in As You Like It?

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

8. How does Prospero find Ariel in The Tempest?

9. Why does Belarius think Imogen is dead in Cymbeline?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Shakespeare - like all writers of the Renaissance - has a central amount of stock character types that recur in his stories: the tenacious lover, the jealous companion, the conniving monarch, etc. In an essay, choose a character type that recurs throughout several stories. How does this character generally function in the story? Does he or she generally find success or ruin? Why do you think this is? Cite from the appropriate stories to illustrate your essay.

Essay Topic 2

The tragic figure of Shakespeare's stories suffer because they make rash decisions without considering the full ramifications of their actions. Write an essay discussing three tragic figures from the collection and the decisions they make. What drives the most destructive of these choices? What does the character want to accomplish, and what does he or she not consider regarding the ramifications of these choices? How do these choices undo this character, and what is Shakespeare saying about the human condition with this reversal?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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