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 does Orestes wonder about Aegisthus after he has murdered his mother?

2. Who commanded Orestes to seek vengeance for his father's death?

3. What is the main conflict between Athena and the Furies?

4. Why should Apollo's claim about the nature of parenthood appeal to Athena?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What are the Furies and why are they tormenting Orestes at the end of "The Libation Bearers"?

3. What does Orestes mean when he cries out to Zeus in the second part of "The Libation Bearers"?

4. Why is it important that Orestes tell Athena who his father was when the goddess comes to him?

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

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

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

8. According to their words in the second part of the third play, what do the Furies believe about their rights?

9. How does the chorus influence Cilissa when she enters?

10. Who is revealed to be encouraging the Furies to hunt Orestes and why?

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

Choose one of the following options to write about. Cite specific examples from the text to support your thesis.

1) Electra as a passive character.

2) The herald's statements about the price of victory in war.

3) The curse on the house of Atreus.

Essay Topic 3

When the Greek tragedies were first written, the stories and characters were well known to the audiences, which is why "The Oresteia" has a fairly complicated web of plot lines, history, and characters. Luckily, for modern audiences who may not be as familiar with these stories, though, characters, especially the chorus, offer insight and back stories in what is about to take place. Discuss the use of exposition in "The Oresteia". Does it add to or subtract from the content of the play? Is it strictly necessary to be familiar already with these stories? Why? Cite specific examples from the text to support your claims.

(see the answer keys)

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