The Oresteia Test | Final 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 revealed with Orestes in the fourth part of "The Libation Bearers"?

2. What do the Furies turn into at Athena's behest at the very end of The Oresteia?

3. What will be the first action taken when Orestes and Pylades infiltrate the palace?

4. To whom does Orestes pray when he arrives at the destination Apollo sent him to?

5. When the Furies do not awaken, what does the ghost urge them to dream about?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the chorus know that Aegisthus is being murdered?

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

3. What was Clytemnestra's dream?

4. After receiving false news in the third part of the second play, what is Clytemnestra's reaction to news of Orestes' supposed death?

5. How does Clytemnestra attempt to defend herself against Orestes in the last part of "The Libation Bearers"?

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

7. Why is Clytemnestra's dream significant to Orestes?

8. What is the conflict between the Furies and Apollo?

9. 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"?

10. According to what he tells Electra and the chorus, why is Orestes seeking vengeance for his father's death?

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

Consider the god Apollo. On one hand, he is Orestes' savior, offering his support and guidance of the young man at every turn. On the other hand, Apollo has ruined Cassandra's life, cursing her and allowing Troy to be defeated. Explore the conflicting roles of Apollo and how he has affected the events of "The Oresteia". Cite specific examples from the text.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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