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 god does the leader of the chorus praise for Agamemnon's victory?

2. Who is the first character to speak in "The Oresteia"?

3. How does Electra know the offering on the tomb came from Orestes?

4. What woman is accompanying Agamemnon on his return to Mycenae?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What visions does Cassandra see when she looks at the palace?

2. What are Agamemnon's feelings about Troy?

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

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

5. Why is Orestes praying to Hermes and Zeus at beginning of "The Libation Bearers"?

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

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

8. What does Orestes find mysterious about the women approaching Agamemnon's tomb?

9. How does Clytemnestra describe her life to her husband during Agamemnon's absence?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In "The Oresteia", the women are the ones who are depicted as seeking revenge. With this in mind, what is the play attempting to say about women? Create a strong thesis. Points to consider include:

1) Clytemnestra's revenge for her daughter's death.

2) Cassandra's visions and her prayers that her death will be avenged.

3) The Furies as bloodthirsty, vengeful goddesses.

4) Orestes' quest of revenge.

5) The roles of Athena and Apollo in Orestes' plight.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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