The Way of the World Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is a chocolate house?

2. What news does the footman bring Mirabell at the chocolate house?

3. Why did Mirabell pretend to love Lady Wishfort?

4. Why does Mirabell believe the scheme to deceive Lady Wishfort is necessary?

5. The actor who reads the prologue also plays which character?

Short Essay Questions

1. What opinion do you have of Mirabell's trickery in pretending to love Lady Wishfort in order to marry Mrs. Millamant? Is this too far-fetched to be believable or is it a possibility? Explain your point of view using specific examples from the play.

2. In what way(s) is the play different from the usual farce audiences were accustomed to?

3. How have the fortunes of the lovers been determined in this play? Is this a good thing or a bad one? Explain your point of view.

4. How does Congreve feel about Mirabell's plot?

5. 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?

6. Does Congreve achieve his purpose with the endless teasing of Sir Wilfull by his half-brother Witwoud and Petulant?

7. Why is this play considered to be universal instead of simply a Restoration comedy of manners?

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

9. Describe Mirabell's character.

10. What is the relationship between Waitwell and Foible?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Witwoud, Sir Wilfull, and Petulant are minor characters in the play. They provide comic relief and further the plot along.

Part 1) Compare and contrast the two cousins: Witwoud and Sir Wilfull.

Part 2) What do you think would have happened in the play if Sir Wilfull had insisted on marrying Mrs. Millamant?

Part 3) Describe how Petulant tries to show his importance.

Essay Topic 3

In the prologue, Congreve claims that tastes are determined by fate and that natural fools are blessed by fate. What does he mean? Does fate determine our destiny? Why or why not? Explain your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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