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

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

3. For what does Clytemnestra particularly take offense with the chorus while reveling in her triumph?

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

5. For what does Clytemnestra scold the chorus in the second part of the first play?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What is the Watchman's duty at the beginning of "The Agamemnon"?

5. What does Orestes find ironic about the deaths of Aegisthus and Clytemnestra?

6. What does Athena decide to do about judging the case between Orestes and the Furies?

7. What are the Furies and why are they tormenting Orestes at the end of "The Libation Bearers"?

8. Why does Apollo appear to Orestes while at Delphi?

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

10. What is Cassandra's curse and why was it placed on her?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the use of foreshadowing in "The Oresteia". What different forms are used to convey the foreshadowing? How does the heightened language of the play help? How do the chorus and Cassandra's prophecy foreshadow the coming events? 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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