A Thousand Clowns Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Herb Gardner
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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 Murray state that Nick could easily turn into?

2. What does Murray do when Albert and Sandra prepare to leave?

3. How is Sandra going to start redecorating?

4. What brand of coffee do Sandra and Murray drink?

5. How tall is Nick's plastic hula dancer?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Murray and Nick's "act" that they perform for Leo.

2. Murray tells Albert that he quit <i>The Chuckles the Chipmunk Show</i>. What reasons does Murray give Albert for quitting the show?

3. When Murray's sister, Elaine, showed up at his apartment, what things did she bring with her?

4. Describe the opening scene as the play begins in Act 1, Part 1.

5. When Sandra tells Murray she isn't sure if he is independent or selfish, how does Murray reply?

6. Sandra starts sobbing about a lot of different things that are frustrating her about her job and her life. Describe some of the things that she is crying about to Murray at the end of Act 1, Part 3.

7. Describe Murray's morning routine.

8. Describe Leo.

9. Describe Murray.

10. Describe Sandra and Murray's morning routine in Act 2, Part 1.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Herb Gardner does a fine job of developing the character of Murray Burns. Describe in detail the characterization of Murray Burns from the start of the play to the end of the play. Make sure to include details about Murray's physical characteristics, his actions, his reactions, and even perhaps what his thoughts may be. Include specific examples from the play.

Essay Topic 2

Murray would be considered the protagonist in the play, A Thousand Clowns. Name at least two characters in the play that are antagonists and explain how they cause conflict. Cite specific examples from the play.

Essay Topic 3

A Thousand Clowns was nominated for a Tony award for Best Play in 1963. Describe what elements in the story make it a good candidate for a successful play. Why? Also discuss elements that might not be as good or desirable and why you feel this way. Would you want to see a play like this on Broadway? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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