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

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

3. Who concocts the scheme to marry Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

8. How does Proteus betray his friend Valentine in Two Gentlemen of Verona?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

In Shakespeare's day, sea travel was the most common form of extended travel, particularly in the Mediterranean. As such, ship travel and ship wrecks play an important role in his plays as drivers of narrative. Write an essay, citing three stories, of the use of maritime travel in Shakespeare. How does sea travel offer narrative opportunities that land travel does not? Why do so many stories begin with a shipwreck? What narrative needs does he shipwreck provide?

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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