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. To what does the chorus compare Troy after the herald exits?

2. Whom does Orestes wonder might be leading the crowd of women coming to Agamemnon's tomb?

3. What past events does Cassandra see in a vision?

4. For what does Clytemnestra scold the chorus in the second part of the first play?

5. What does Orestes leave behind at his father's tomb in tribute ?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. For what is the herald giving thanks during his entrance?

6. How does Clytemnestra describe her life to her husband during Agamemnon's absence?

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

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

9. Why does Aegisthus threaten the chorus?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the use of the chorus in "The Oresteia".

Part 1) Analyze their roles as observers in all three plays.

Part 2) How does the chorus become active participants and characters at certain points?

Part 3) How is the chorus able to act as a guide for the audience and readers?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Choose one of the following options to write about. Cite specific examples from the text to support your thesis.

1) Electra as a passive character.

2) The herald's statements about the price of victory in war.

3) The curse on the house of Atreus.

(see the answer keys)

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