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. According to Clytemnestra, what did she watch for while Agamemnon was gone?

2. How does Clytemnestra defend her actions against Agamemnon to the chorus?

3. For what does Clytemnestra triumphantly reproach the chorus in the fifth part of "The Agamemnon"?

4. According to the herald and the chorus, what has happened to Agamemnon's brother?

5. According to the chorus, what was Paris's crime?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Electra supposed to do at her father's tomb?

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

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

4. What are Agamemnon's feelings about Troy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

The language of "The Oresteia" alternates between being simple dialogue and poetically complicated. Discuss the use of language in the following format:

Part 1) The chorus invoking the gods.

Part 2) The simple exchanges of dialogue.

Part 3) The stylized speeches of Cassandra and the Furies.

Cite specific examples from the text.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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