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. Why is the herald so joyful?

2. According to Agamemnon, what kept him strong during the war?

3. Whom did Clytemnestra send into exile?

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

5. How do the women describe Clytemnestra in their first appearance in "The Libation Bearers"?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What dispute does Clytemnestra have with the chorus over the consequences of her murdering Agamemnon and Cassandra?

3. What message does Clytemnestra send with the herald to Agamemnon?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Choose one of the following topics to write about:

1) The description of Clytemnestra being "god abandoned."

2) Clytemnestra's relationship with Aegisthus.

3) The use of the Trojan women as the chorus in the second play.

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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