The Oresteia 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. What is the function of the herald at the beginning of the second part of the first play?

2. To Aegisthus's consternation, of what does the chorus remind him?

3. What was Apollo's reaction to Cassandra not meeting his expectations when he granted her with a gift?

4. Who accompanies Orestes to Agamemnon's tomb in the beginning of the second play?

5. How does Electra know the offering on the tomb came from Orestes?

Short Essay Questions

1. What dispute does Clytemnestra have with the chorus over the consequences of her murdering Agamemnon and Cassandra?

2. What are the chorus's opinions on Paris and his actions in the second part of "The Agamemnon"?

3. What happened to Menelaus, according to the herald?

4. For what is Agamemnon praised and what is his response when he returns to Mycenae?

5. What is Electra supposed to do at her father's tomb?

6. Why is Orestes praying to Hermes and Zeus at beginning of "The Libation Bearers"?

7. What news does Clytemnestra bring the chorus in the beginning of "The Agamemnon"?

8. What visions does Cassandra see when she looks at the palace?

9. What message does Clytemnestra send with the herald to Agamemnon?

10. What does Aegisthus claim about himself and about the murders?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the use of dramatic irony within "The Oresteia". What characters seem to be the victims of this? Why can these characters never truly fulfill their goals? City specific examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

Clytemnestra and Orestes are two of the main characters upon which "The Oresteia" is centered. Discuss the following:

Part 1) Compare and contrast Clytemnestra and Orestes.

Part 2) How do their missions of vengeance differ and how do the gods (including the Furies) look upon them?

Part 3) Orestes' exile by Clytemnestra and how it affects the outcome of the play.

Essay Topic 3

What is Cassandra's role in the first play? What is her history with the house of Atreus? Is she the only inherently tragic figure in "The Oresteia"? Cite specific examples from the text to support your arguments.

(see the answer keys)

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