Travesties 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. How many socialist ministers exist in West European governments in 1917?

2. What is the first thing that Carr does when he meets Tzara in this section?

3. Whose poetry does Tzara attempt the dismember for Gwendolen in this section?

4. Who does Gwen leave to tell of her engagement to Tzara?

5. Who is the the Prime Minister of England in 1917?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Stoppard's plays often involve large personalities with different world-views clashing regarding some major topic. In Travesties, the topic is revolution and art. Write an essay on three characters and how they represent different views of these subjects:

Part 1) Henry Carr represents the past, a Victorian ideal. How does he relate to the other characters int he play? How does his obsession with clothing and order represent a style that is going out of fashion?

Part 2) James Joyce is perhaps the most of-the-moment in 1917. To what extend has he reconciled his love for the classical with the acknowledgment that the world is shifting? How is Ulysses a physical representation of this?

Part 3) Tristan Tzara wants to throw away everything that has come before, reject the old forms. How is he the most abrasive of characters on the stage? In what ways are all other characters put off by him?

Essay Topic 2

The play opens with a tableau of the Zurich Library. It includes three tables, inhabited by five characters. Write an essay analyzing this opening tableau as a diagram for the artistic and political debate which is to follow. Who dominates each table? What are these dominant figures doing at the beginning of the play? What major movements of the First World War era are represented by these tables?

Essay Topic 3

Throughout the play cordial, Wilde-esque conversations give way to bouts of unrestrained antipathy between characters. Write an essay about the breaking of the formal shell in the play, focusing on three such outbursts:

Part 1) What is the breaking point for Henry Carr when discussing art with Tristan Tzara in their first conversation of the play? How is Dada so offensive to him? What does Tzara say about the war that infuriates him?

Part 2) Why does Tzara think that Joyce is patronizing him when they discuss Dada in Act 1? How do they differ in their view of classical archetypes in art and literature?

Part 3) Examine the library scene between Cecily and Carr at the beginning of Act 2. What is Cecily's breaking point in discussing Marxism? What patronizing statement does Carr make that sets her off?

(see the answer keys)

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