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 is Cassandra's reaction to Clytemnestra?

2. To whom does Electra pray while at Agamemnon's tomb?

3. Why does Agamemnon walk inside his palace the way he does?

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

5. What reasoning did Clytemnestra give for exiling a certain person before the events of "The Agamemnon"?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. According to the chorus, how must Electra pray?

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

9. What are the herald's thoughts on the effects of the war?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

A constant, repeated theme in the first play of "The Oresteia" is that the Trojans got what they deserved when their city fell and people killed or enslaved. Explore this theme in the larger context of the entire play cycle. What does it mean when characters in "The Oresteia" are justifiably punished? How do they react to being punished? Cite specific examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

Choose one of the following options to write about:

1) Agamemnon and women.

2) Clytemnestra's role in setting the Furies upon Orestes.

3) Cassandra's prophecies.

Cite specific examples from the text to support your arguments.

(see the answer keys)

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