The Way of the World Test | Final 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 Lady Wishfort dismiss Foible?

2. What advice does Mirabell give Lady Wishfort when she protests Fainall's demands?

3. What does Mrs. Marwood do to stop the argument between Petulant and Sir Wilfull in Act 3, Scene 3?

4. What inconvenience does Foible point out about Sir Rowland to Lady Wishfort?

5. What does Congreve's cheerful discussion of marriage reveal to the audience?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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.

2. Discuss Lady Wishfort's character as it has developed throughout the play.

3. Why is Mrs. Marwood one of the least sympathetic characters in the play?

4. Discuss Lady Wishfort's plans for receiving Sir Rowland. Why are the plans so elaborate?

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

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

7. Explain Mrs. Fainall's relief at not being found out by her mother.

8. What is the significance of the black box?

9. As Act 4, Scene 2 opens Waitwell seems to be successful in his pursuit of Lady Wishfort. Why is this so? What is Lady Wishfort's reaction?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There are multiple devious characters in this play. Discuss who they are, their motivations, and their purpose in the play. Did they deserve their outcome? Why or why not?

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

Congreve claimed that 'Fame and fortune are fleeting'. What does he mean by this statement? Do you think it is true? Why or why not? Give specific examples (either from the play or real life) to illustrate your point of view.

(see the answer keys)

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