The Oresteia Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What has Electra been forced to do in the years since her father's death?

2. What does Orestes firmly reinforce while protesting his innocence to the council?

3. What does Athena decide about the case presented to her by Orestes and the Furies?

4. What do the Furies complain about when Athena leaves in the second part of the third play?

5. Whose ghost is urging the Eumenides to chase Orestes?

Essay 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 reactions the chorus and Orestes have to Clytemnestra's relationship with Aegisthus. Conversely, look at how the chorus and Clytemnestra treat Agamemnon when he reveals that he has brought Cassandra back with him as a concubine. What do these differing reactions signify about the roles of men and women in this play? Are these a reflection of the time? Bear in mind that in the first play the chorus is comprised of old men. Cite specific examples from the text to support your argument.

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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