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 interrupts the chorus's meditations on life at the end of the fourth part of "The Agamemnon"?

2. What does Clytemnestra claim about her life since Agamemnon left for war?

3. What does Cassandra remove from her person in the fourth part of the first play?

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

5. When does the second play take place?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are Agamemnon's feelings about Troy?

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

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

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

5. What evidence does Electra find that convinces her Orestes has returned to Mycenae?

6. What dispute does Clytemnestra have with the chorus over the consequences of her murdering Agamemnon and Cassandra?

7. What news does Clytemnestra bring the chorus in the beginning of "The Agamemnon"?

8. What happened to Menelaus, according to the herald?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the use of dramatic irony within "The Oresteia". What characters seem to be the victims of this? Why can these characters never truly fulfill their goals? City specific examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

When the Greek tragedies were first written, the stories and characters were well known to the audiences, which is why "The Oresteia" has a fairly complicated web of plot lines, history, and characters. Luckily, for modern audiences who may not be as familiar with these stories, though, characters, especially the chorus, offer insight and back stories in what is about to take place. Discuss the use of exposition in "The Oresteia". Does it add to or subtract from the content of the play? Is it strictly necessary to be familiar already with these stories? Why? Cite specific examples from the text to support your claims.

(see the answer keys)

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