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 Merchant of Venice, why can Antonio not pay his bond to Shylock?

2. What false name does Rosalind choose for her flight into Arden?

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

4. Why does Lear wander into a storm at night?

5. Whom does Celia fall in love with in As You Like It?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Under what circumstances does Lear go mad?

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

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

5. Why does Macbeth kill Banquo?

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

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

8. How does Prospero find Ariel in The Tempest?

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

10. How are Cordelia and Lear reunited?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

Shakespeare's comedies involve betrayal and reconciliation between family members and friends. Write an essay about three comedies and discuss how friends and family members betray each other. What compels them to do this? What is the fallout from this betrayal? Discuss what events occur that lead to reconciliation among them? What does this redemption say about the nature of friendship, family and love?

Part 1) The Winter's Tale

Part 2) Two Gentlemen of Verona

Part 3) As You Like It

(see the answer keys)

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