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. At his castles, what appears before Macbeth directing him to Duncan's chamber?

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

3. Why does Antonio agree to the "pound of flesh" condition in Shylock's bond?

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

5. At the beginning of The Winter's Tale, what does Leontes order regarding his new daughter?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. How does Prospero find Ariel in The Tempest?

9. Why does Claudio think Hero is cheating on him in Much Ado About Nothing?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Shakespeare's stories can span the range of possible settings: some exist in one day and one location, while others take place over many lands and many years. In an essay, compare the two most extreme examples: The Tempest and Pericles. Which is the more compact of the narrative and which the more expansive? What common plot devises and character types do they share? How does each one end, and how does the setting affect the progression of the plot to this finality?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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