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. Which of the following is not a title that Joyce attaches to Odysseus in this section?

2. What composer's music reduces Lenin to tears int his section?

3. Why does Tzara quote so sparingly from Hugo Ball's diary in describing him to Joyce?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

At the beginning of the play, Carr provides a long explanation of the events that are to progress. Throughout the monologue he has difficulty getting his facts straight. As related by Carr, many of the seemingly-absurd assertions later crop up in the play. In three parts, write about the way in which Stoppard brings these absurdities to life. Why do they initially seem impossible? How do they manifest themselves in the action later?

Part 1) Carr's description of Joyce vacillating between gregarious gentleman and horrid miser.

Part 2) Placing a bet on the success of Lenin.

Part 3) Lenin the Scandinavian.

Essay Topic 2

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?

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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