Tales from Shakespeare Test | Final 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. What relation is Claudius to Hamlet?

2. In All's Well That Ends Well, which of the following characters does not return to France immediately after Bertrand's marriage in Italy?

3. How does Pericles win the Thaisa's hand in marriage?

4. Who acts as go-between for Othello's wooing of Desdemona?

5. What does Pericles do with Thaisa's body after she seems to die?

Short Essay Questions

1. What plot does Claudius concoct to be rid of Hamlet at the end of the story?

2. How does Pericles end up marrying Thaisa?

3. What challenge does Bertram make to Helena in All's Well That Ends Well?

4. How does Pericles lose Thaisa at sea?

5. What is the state of affairs between Ephesus and Syracuse in Comedy of Errors?

6. What are the marriages that end Measure for Measure?

7. Describe Iago's revenge against Othello.

8. Why is Hamlet dissolute at the beginning of the story?

9. Why does Hamlet kill Polonius?

10. How is the opening of Twelfth Night similar to the story that begins Comedy of Errors?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

In his stories, Shakespeare deals with individuals that hurt and betray their fellow man. These characters have many disparate reasons for doing this. Discuss three such malefactors and their motivations in an essay:

Part 1) Why does Macbeth choose to kill Duncan, his king? What external forces impel him to commit this evil act, and why does he acquiesce to them? Discuss how Macbeth makes progressively more evil choices to protect himself. What is Shakespeare saying about the way evil men are made?

Part 2) What drives Shylock to insist upon a pound of flesh as payment from his rival Antonio? What does his place in Venetian society have to do with this? To what extent does Antonio represent this marginalized place?

Part 3) How is Iago different from the other villains in Shakespeare's stories? What drives him to destroy Othello, Cassio, and Desdemona? Does he hold a grievance against all of them? To what extent does Shakespeare present Iago as a portrait of pure evil?

Essay Topic 3

Many of Shakespeare's stories take place in the court of ruling people. In such stories - like Cymbeline, Macbeth, King Lear, or Hamlet - the acquisition power is the driver of conflict. Write an essay charting the way power changes hands in three such stories. Who loses power who should control it? What usurper or group of usurpers takes power, and how is this unnatural acquisition reighted by the end of the narrative?

(see the answer keys)

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