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. What does the final couplet of the play warn the audience against?

2. What has happened to Waitwell after Lady Wishfort discovers what he really is?

3. What social issues did the play focus on?

4. When accused of adultery, what does Mrs. Fainall do?

5. Why did Congreve use the epilogue?

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. Why do we feel sympathy for Lady Wishfort even though she is vain and is berating a servant at the beginning Act 5, Scene 1?

3. In what way does the discussion of marriage between Lady Wishfort and Sir Rowland differ from the discussion of Mrs. Millamant and Mirabell?

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

5. What is the significance of the black box?

6. Explain the importance of the discussion of their marriage by Mrs. Millamant and Mirabell.

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

8. How do critics today differ from Congreve's description of them?

9. Why does Mirabell agree to help the Fainall's achieve peace in their marriage?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Do the characters in the play show growth or changes as the play progresses? How much of the play's meaning depends on this growth? How do you think the characters will have changed five or ten years from now?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

How has Congreve worked to make us feel sympathetic to certain characters while having no sympathy for others? Explain your answer with specific examples from the play.

(see the answer keys)

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