The Way of the World 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. Why does Fainall say he married his wife?

2. Who is the least important male character in the play?

3. What is the purpose of the play?

4. How does Witwoud describe Petulant?

5. What does Fainall comment about the gathering the previous evening at Lady Wishfort's?

Short Essay Questions

1. Discuss Lady Wishfort's reaction to Foible's revelations in Act 5, Scene 1.

2. Compare Congreve's opinions on love, marriage, and honesty with another play, novel, movie, etc. you know well.

3. Throughout the play, Mirabell has protested his love for Mrs. Millamant. Citing specific examples, what are some of the ways he has demonstrated his love for Mrs. Millamant?

4. As a play, The Way of the World met with little success. However, critics believe it is one of the best comedies of manners ever written. Why do you think there is such a difference in opinion between audiences and critics?

5. Explain what Mrs. Marwood learned when she stayed in the closet in Lady Wishfort's dressing room. How does she react?

6. Why does Mrs. Marwood tell Lady Wishfort she has seen Foible with Mirabell?

7. Lay out Fainall's demands to keep his knowledge about his wife from society. Is this a reasonable revenge or not?

8. Describe Mirabell's plan to marry Mrs. Millamant.

9. Is Congreve's use of character names symbolic of their personalities an effective device?

10. Is Mirabell's elaborate plot going to be successful? Explain why or why not?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Find at least three examples in the play which show how Mirabell feels about Mrs. Millamant. Is his love true? What is true love? Explain your point of view.

Essay Topic 2

In your opinion, who was the most successful character in achieving his or her goals in the play? Why have you chosen this character? Explain why you think this character succeeded where other failed.

Essay Topic 3

Did you like the ending of the play? Do you think it was consistent with the events leading up to the conclusion? How would you have changed it? Write a brief essay explaining how you felt about Congreve's ending.

(see the answer keys)

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