Travesties Test | Lesson Plans Final Test - Hard

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Final Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What role from The Importance of Being Earnest does Carr actually play?

2. Why does Cecily dislike Oscar WIlde?

3. What type of literature does Lenin denounce in a 1905 speech in this section?

4. Having only studied alphabetically, Carr says that politically he has not progressed beyond what?

5. What profession does Lenin's attire suggest when he enters in Act 2?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Tristan Tzara is the contrarian of Travesties. He seems to lash out at all set values, just as Dada as a movement lashed out at accepted artistic norms. Focusing on his defamation of beauty, reason, and causality, write an essay about the character of Tzara. Why does he lash out at both Joyce and Carr? How does he connect the violence of the First World War to the art that came before Dada? Why, in the end, is he able to woo Gwendolen?

Essay Topic 2

In Travesties, the setting of Zurich is a central component of the story, creating a unique combination of peace and fervor. Write an essay about the role of Zurich in the play in three parts:

Part 1) At the beginning of the play Henry Carr speaks glowingly of life in Switzerland during the war. What does he love in particular about it? How is it a succor for someone who has been in the trenches?

Part 2) Joyce and Tzara both comment that Zurich has become the artistic center of Europe. What has brought so many creative souls to the city? What new and old art is being created?

Part 3) Zurich is also the home of political exiles. Describe the exiled leftist Russian government that holds regular gatherings in Switzerland. How do they plan the revolution from their exiled post?

Essay Topic 3

Travesties is a homage and subversion of Oscar Wilde's comedy of manners The Importance of Being Earnest. He steals certain characters and scenes outright and transposes them to a different era. Write an essay about the connection between these two plays in three parts:

Part 1) The two love interests in The Importance of Being Earnest are also called Cecily and Gwendolen. They, too, have odd caveats for their love. What conditions do the two women give in this play regarding their hearts and how do they reflect a world in flux?

Part 2) Mistaken identity plays a major role in Wilde's farce like in Stoppard's. Why do characters in Travesties assume false identities? What is the meaning of the switched folders? How do both represent something more political than personal?

Part 3) Earnest is a product of the Victorian Era, an era of certitude and stricture. Travesties transposes this story to the Edwardian era, when certainty died in the trenches. How does Stoppard undermine Wilde's pat farce injecting it with the madness of the First World War?

(see the answer keys)

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