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. How does Thaisa seemingly die in Pericles?

2. In Comedy of Errors, how can a merchant from Syracuse avoid death in Ephesus?

3. How does Othello kill Desdemona?

4. What self-destructive habit does Timon of Athens have at the beginning of his story?

5. What does the jail provost send the Duke in Measure for Measure to ensure Claudio's safety?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens to Aegeon's lost son and servant in Comedy of Errors?

2. Why does the Duke of Vienna give up power at the beginning of Measure for Measure?

3. How does Timon of Athens lose faith in mankind?

4. How does Pericles end up marrying Thaisa?

5. How does Petruchio tame Katharine on their wedding day?

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

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

8. How do Romeo and Juliet die?

9. Why can Orsino not woo Olivia successfully in Twelfth Night?

10. Why cannot Bianca get married in Taming of the Shrew?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare famously said the course of true love never did run smooth. Write an essay charting the arc of a particularly tumultuous courtship in one of the stories. What two characters are in love, and what obstacles prevent their complete happiness? How do they respond to these obstacles? Do they over come them or break apart from each other? Through this courtship, what is Shakespeare saying about romance and commitment?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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