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. While mourning her father at his grave, what does Electra pray for the most?

2. According to the chorus in the second part of the first play, what will always prevail?

3. What feelings suddenly strike the chorus after Agamemnon enters his palace?

4. Who accompanies Orestes to Agamemnon's tomb in the beginning of the second play?

5. In which city does "The Oresteia" begin?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does the chorus compare life to a ship at sea during "The Agamemnon"?

3. What does Aegisthus claim about himself and about the murders?

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

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

6. According to the chorus, how must Electra pray?

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

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

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

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

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 2

Choose one of the following to write about:

1) Agamemnon and Clytemnestra's conflict about how he is welcomed home from war.

2) The role of the Furies in this tragedy.

3) Athena's decision that a council of mortals needs to decide Orestes' fate.

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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