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 city does Clytemnestra describe as being ruined, burned, and full of mourning for the dead?

2. What does Electra find when she wonders aloud if her brother has returned?

3. Why does the herald believe what he claims about Agamemnon's brother?

4. Whom did Clytemnestra send into exile?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What is significant about Agamemnon walking into his palace barefoot?

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

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

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

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

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

7. How did Agamemnon make the winds blow so that they might sail to Troy before the events of the play?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What are the roles of justice and revenge in "The Oresteia"? What are the differences between the two? What characters seek justice and what characters seek revenge? How does this reflect upon the play cycle as a whole? Cite specific examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

Create a thesis centered around the argument that a good deal of the problems in "The Oresteia" are the results of a generational conflict. Cite specific examples from the text to support your arguments. Points to consider include:

1) The differing approaches to revenge and justice in each generation.

2) The conflict between the elder gods and the younger gods.

3) Athena's peace offering to the Furies at the end of the play.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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