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. In the first play, how is the chorus described in the narration?

2. Who comprises the group of women at Agamemnon's tomb?

3. What does Cassandra remove from her person in the fourth part of the first play?

4. For what does Aegisthus thank the gods in the fifth part of the first play?

5. What interrupts the chorus's meditations on life at the end of the fourth part of "The Agamemnon"?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why does the chorus call out for Orestes to return home at the end of the first play?

3. How does Cassandra describe Apollo and why?

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

5. Why does Clytemnestra lose patience with Cassandra in the fourth part of "The Agamemnon"?

6. Why did Agamemnon go to Troy?

7. What does Orestes find mysterious about the women approaching Agamemnon's tomb?

8. What is Cassandra's curse and why was it placed on her?

9. What is Clytemnestra's vision for the future after the death of Agamemnon?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In "The Oresteia", the women are the ones who are depicted as seeking revenge. With this in mind, what is the play attempting to say about women? Create a strong thesis. Points to consider include:

1) Clytemnestra's revenge for her daughter's death.

2) Cassandra's visions and her prayers that her death will be avenged.

3) The Furies as bloodthirsty, vengeful goddesses.

4) Orestes' quest of revenge.

5) The roles of Athena and Apollo in Orestes' plight.

Essay Topic 2

The language of "The Oresteia" alternates between being simple dialogue and poetically complicated. Discuss the use of language in the following format:

Part 1) The chorus invoking the gods.

Part 2) The simple exchanges of dialogue.

Part 3) The stylized speeches of Cassandra and the Furies.

Cite specific examples from the text.

Essay Topic 3

Choose one of the following topics to write about:

1) The description of Clytemnestra being "god abandoned."

2) Clytemnestra's relationship with Aegisthus.

3) The use of the Trojan women as the chorus in the second play.

(see the answer keys)

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