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. 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

How much are the characters molded by their time and place? Would the same characters act differently in modern society? What traits would remain the same and which ones would be replaced with other traits?

Essay Topic 2

If you were a friend of Mirabell, would you have supported his scheme to marry Mrs. Millamant? Explain why or why not.

Essay Topic 3

Congreve seemed to be critical of Restoration society for various reasons. Find at least three examples in the play that illustrate his criticism. Explain why he thought each one of these points was negative. How would he have changed these failings? Explain your answer in detail.

(see the answer keys)

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