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 does Clytemnestra's entrance reveal in the fifth part of "The Agamemnon"?

2. What does Aegisthus brag about to the chorus?

3. What advice does Electra ask of the chorus while at her father's tomb?

4. How does Clytemnestra defend her actions against Agamemnon to the chorus?

5. In her first appearance, Clytemnestra claims the chorus does not believe her. On what grounds does she base this claim?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the chorus know that Aegisthus is being murdered?

2. What are the Furies and why are they tormenting Orestes at the end of "The Libation Bearers"?

3. Why does Orestes decide to go back to the oracle?

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

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

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

7. Why does Aegisthus threaten the chorus?

8. What are Agamemnon's feelings about Troy?

9. What is the continuing theme among the chorus as to what happened to Troy and why?

10. What is the conflict between the Furies and Apollo?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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