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. For which family member's sake did Agamemnon go to Troy?

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

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

4. What had Clytemnestra told her daughter to say in her prayers before she comes to the tomb in the second play?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do the Furies claim Orestes' journey to Athens has been useless when they catch up with him in the second part of "The Eumenides"?

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

3. Why does Clytemnestra lose patience with Cassandra in the fourth part of "The Agamemnon"?

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

5. What does Orestes mean when he cries out to Zeus in the second part of "The Libation Bearers"?

6. Who is revealed to be encouraging the Furies to hunt Orestes and why?

7. What was Clytemnestra's dream?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Is "The Oresteia" inherently misogynistic? Create a strong thesis (it is suggested that this thesis be centered on the characters for the sake of clarity) arguing that "The Oresteia" is or is not misogynistic. Points to consider are the treatment of Clytemnestra by the chorus, the role of Aegisthus, and Apollo's views on parents in the third play.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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