Thyestes; Phaedra; the Trojan Women; Oedipus with Octavia 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. What does Atreus offer to Thyestes when the latter apologizes for his misdeeds against him?

2. What does Atreus do to his nephews' bodies?

3. At the end of "Thyestes," what does the titular character entrust to the gods?

4. How does Hippolytus die?

5. Of what does Phaedra's nurse attempt to convince Hippolytus in the second act of "Phaedra"?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Atreus claim about Thyestes' grief at the end of "Thyestes"?

2. In what conflicting moods does Thyestes find himself as he travels to Argos?

3. Describe Theseus' conflicting emotions over the death of his son and upon learning of his wife's deception.

4. How is Theseus manipulated into believing his son raped Phaedra?

5. Discuss the character of Atreus.

6. Over what is Tantalus agonizing in the afterlife and why?

7. Describe Hippolytus' preferences in life and how he is at odds with other people over it.

8. What is significant about Theseus' return from the underworld in regards to the plot in "Phaedra"?

9. Discuss the backstory of the House of Pelops.

10. What does Theseus plan to do at the end of "Phaedra" in regards to his dead family and why?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare the symbolism of hunting to the savagery of modern civilization in a brief essay, as seen in "Phaedra." Be sure to discuss (though not exclusively) the irony of Hippolytus acting as the most civilized of the characters, Theseus' prayer, and Phaedra's attempts to claim Hippolytus for herself. Cite specific examples from the text to support your answers.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the roles of lies in the Senecan tragedy in the following format:

Part 1) Atreus and Tantalus.

Part 2) Phaedra framing Hippolytus for rape.

Part 3) Andromache's attempts to save her son.

Part 4) Creon and shepherd's attempted lies by omission.

Part 5) The differences between lying for gain and lying for good.

In the final section, use the first four parts to help provide examples in this comparison. As always, cite specific examples from the text to support your answers.

Essay Topic 3

What is stoicism? How does this relate to Seneca? How is the Stoic philosophy seen throughout Seneca's plays? Which characters appear to embody stoicism and how does this affect their fate? What does this suggest about Seneca's beliefs? Cite specific examples from the text to support your answers.

(see the answer keys)

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