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 goddess demanded Iphigenia in sacrifice?

2. What kept Agamemnon from leaving for Troy right away?

3. What does Clytemnestra remind the chorus to do after Aegisthus's outburst?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. To what does the chorus compare Troy and why?

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

3. What feelings does the Watchman have while on the roof in the beginning of the play?

4. What are the herald's thoughts on the effects of the war?

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

6. What are the disputes amongst the chorus when they hear Agamemnon screaming from inside the palace?

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

8. What is the dispute Agamemnon and Clytemnestra have about his homecoming?

9. What do the chorus of women comment upon while bewailing their grief over Agamemnon?

10. For what does Clytemnestra take particular offense with the chorus in the last part of "The Agamemnon"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the use of foreshadowing in "The Oresteia". What different forms are used to convey the foreshadowing? How does the heightened language of the play help? How do the chorus and Cassandra's prophecy foreshadow the coming events? Cite specific examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast the reactions of Clytemnestra and Cilissa when they receive false news of Orestes' "death." Consider, then, the words of Apollo in the third play about the roles of the mother and the father in a child's life. What is the play saying about the nature of maternal love? Create a strong thesis and use specific examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

Consider the reactions the chorus and Orestes have to Clytemnestra's relationship with Aegisthus. Conversely, look at how the chorus and Clytemnestra treat Agamemnon when he reveals that he has brought Cassandra back with him as a concubine. What do these differing reactions signify about the roles of men and women in this play? Are these a reflection of the time? Bear in mind that in the first play the chorus is comprised of old men. Cite specific examples from the text to support your argument.

(see the answer keys)

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