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. Lying to his father in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Proteus says his letter from Julia is from whom?

2. What does Rosalind give Orlando when she first meets him?

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

4. What wild animal kill Antigones in The Winter's Tale?

5. What relative does Lysander plan to flee to with his beloved in A Midsummer Night's Dream?

Short Essay Questions

1. Under what circumstances does Lear go mad?

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

3. Describe the interaction between Prospero and his enemies on the island at the end of The Tempest.

4. In The Tempest, how does Prospero bring his enemies to the island?

5. How does Prospero find Ariel in The Tempest?

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

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

8. In A Midsummer Night's Dream, how does Oberon change the hearts of the Athenian youths?

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

10. How does Posthumus return to Britain at the end of Cymbeline?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In much of Shakespeare's writing, the natural and the supernatural interact, with mysticism coloring and driving the course of human events. Write an essay about three such instances, discussing the function and form of supernatural events:

Part 1) What is the story of A Midsummer Night's Dream before the introduction of the fairy world? How do the fairies affect the human world? Is this effect intentional or incidental to their business? Discuss how the events of this fairy world color the events of the Athenian youths.

Part 2) How does the realm of magic come into play in The Tempest? Who is reacting and fighting against magic, and who is controlling it? Discuss the way magic is used in the narrative as a driver of story. What magical figures are central to this story, and what specific actions do they undertake?

Part 3) What do the witches of Macbeth represent? How are they catalysts for the action, driving human interaction and rash action? Chart their appearances throughout the story. What promises do they make to the main character, and how do these promises prove false in the end?

Essay Topic 2

Coincidence plays an important role in all of the Shakespearean narratives. Individuals lose and find each other often, and always at just the right moment. Write an essay three cases of coincidence that are important to drawing the narrative forward in the story:

Part 1) How does Hermione end up in the cave where her long-estranged brothers live? Discuss the series of unconnected circumstances that drew her to this place, and why she immediately leaves it. How is all made right and this reunion explained in the end of Cymbeline?

Part 2) Discuss how Leontes loses his child at the beginning of The Winter's Tale. What series of events bring her back to him with a significant suitor? Were any of these events perpetrated by the repentant Leontes? What is the result of Paulina's return at the end of the play?

Part 3) How does the life of Pericles, Prince of Tyre, mean that coincidence is always a factor for him? Discuss the process by which Pericles loses his entire family and how he gets them back. What factors - supernatural and natural - contribute to this reunion?

Essay Topic 3

In much of Shakespeare's canon, death is not necessarily a complete end to an individual's influence over human events. Using The Winter's Tale, Hamlet, and Macbeth as subjects, write an essay discussing the role of ghosts and reincarnation in Shakespeare. Who returns to the realm of the living after death? When these characters return, how do they affect the world of the living? What is the nature of this return?

(see the answer keys)

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