Final exam: Drama
Final exam: Drama
READ INSTRUCTIONS FOR EACH PART OF THE EXAM. ALL OF YOUR RESPONSES SHOULD BE RECORDED IN ONE DOCUMENT. WHEN YOU ARE DONE, SAVE YOUR EXAM RESPONSES (BE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR LAST NAME AS PART OF YOUR DOCUMENT TITLE), THEN SUBMIT YOUR COMPLETED EXAM TO THE “EXAM #2” SUBMISSION FOLDER UNDER THE “ASSIGNMENTS” LINK ON OUR D2L COURSE SITE. THE EXAM IS DUE BY NOON ON Wednesday, December 9th. YOU CAN USE YOUR BOOK & NOTES DURING THE EXAM, BUT NOTHING ELSE. GOOD LUCK ON THE EXAM. DO YOUR HONEST BEST.
Part I: Multiple choice, fill in the blank (12 questions, 2 points each except for #12 (worth 3 points); total of 25 points possible)
For the multiple choice questions, indicate the correct answer. For fill-in-the-blank, supply the correct term or phrase, or the appropriate response (spelling counts!).
1) According to Aristotle’s observations of tragedy, the hero or chief character of the play is a person of nobility or “high estate,” who is also fallible. The hero’s downfall is a result of an error or transgression, or of a weakness or flaw, the term for which is:
- peripeteia b. hamartia c. anagnorisis d. havarti
2) In some classical tragedies, a hero’s transgression is a weakness the Greeks called hubris. To what does hubris refer? Provide a brief definition below.
3) Who wrote Oedipus the King?
- Aristophanes b. Euripides c. Aristotle d. Sophocles
4) Oedipus first assumes the position of king of Thebes and wins the hand of the recently widowed queen because he did what for the people of Thebes?
5) Per Aristotle’s observations of tragedy, the tragic hero first experiences a reversal, defined as a revelation of some fact not known before or of some person’s true identity. T or F
6) Which of the three principal literary genres does Susan Glaspell’s Trifles represent? ____________________________
7) The occasion for the original performance of Oedipus the King was to celebrate the feast day of which of the following:
- a) Archimedes b) Dionysius c) Apollo d) Athena
8) In Act I of Fences, Lyons’s view of the world is different in a lot of ways from Troy’s, leading Lyons to remark: “You and me is two different people, Pop.” Which of the following does NOT explain why Troy and Lyons fail to see eye-to-eye?
- a) Unlike Troy, Lyons doesn’t want to live his life punching somebody’s time clock
- b) Troy thinks Lyons throws his money away and is irresponsible
- c) Unlike Troy, Lyons values music as something that helps get him out of bed in the morning
- d) Lyons thinks he should be able to borrow money from Troy once in a while
- e) Like Lyons, Troy boasts about his mastery as a star athlete
9) In the final scene of the play Fences, we find out that Lyons is (which of the following)?
- a) about to graduate from military school
- b) serving time for cashing other people’s checks
- c) refusing to attend his father’s funeral
- d) planning on marrying his girlfriend, Bonnie
10) At the beginning of the play, Fences is set in which of the following years:
- 1957 b) 1984 c) 1968 d) 1929
11) The play Trifles has a pyramidal structure and observes Aristotle’s notion of the unities. What are the three unities that Aristotle referred to? ____________________________________________________________
12) Of all the works we’ve read this semester (short stories, poems, plays), which was your favorite to read that made the deepest impression on you and why? (worth 3 points possible)
Part II: Short answer questions (15 points each for a total of 75 points possible)
Respond fully and thoughtfully to five (5) of the following questions. Length of response should be 1-2 healthy paragraphs. You must address at least one question on each of the four plays. Be sure to support your support response with relevant and specific examples from the text. NOTE: Avoid very general opening remarks that merely repeat the question. Get right to the question at hand.
*ADDITIONAL NOTE: Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of another’s work (e.g. words, phrases, ideas, information, interpretation). For Parts II and III, I am not interested in explanations from sources like Sparknotes, Shmoop, or essays.com, or any other outside source. If I find that you used such sources and incorporated them into your essay, you will receive zero points. I am interested in your thoughtful response based on your reading, attentiveness during class discussions, and thoughtful observations and connections.
- How might the character Troy Maxson be understood as a product of the historical period in which he grew up? What, for example, do we learn both from the playwright’s notes at the beginning of the play, and from what Troy relays about his life experiences throughout the play that helps us understand the influence that the society and culture have had on Troy’s world view (i.e. the way that Troy sees himself and the way the world works)?
2) At the very beginning of the play Fences, right before the list of characters, the playwright includes an epigraph, dedicated to a friend of his, which reads: “When the sins of our fathers visit us / We do not have to play host. / We can banish them with forgiveness / As God, in His Largeness and Laws.” How do the ideas expressed in this epigraph relate to (and shed light on) the father/son relationships in the play?
3) How is Gabriel’s trumpet symbolic in the play, and how do we read the ending scene in which Gabriel’s trumpet fails to make any sound, leaving Gabriel to improvise with a dance?
4) In Sharon E. Cooper’s Mistaken Identity, how does the title of the play reflect the nature of the conflict between the two characters, Kali and Steve? How are the characters mistaken about each other’s identity, and perhaps “mistaken” in some way about their own?
5) According to Aristotle in his observations of tragedy, audience members should experience a purgation (katharsis) of emotion, specifically, the emotions of pity and fear. Based on what happens in the tragedy Oedipus the King, why would the play have the audience experience these particular emotions? In other words, explain why the purgation of pity and fear would be appropriate responses for the audience to experience.
6) In Oedipus the King, the Chorus has the last words of the play, in which they entreat the audience to look upon Oedipus, a man “most masterful” whom others envied, but whom, now, misfortune has swallowed. Their final lines are as follows: “Look upon that last day always. Count no mortal happy till he has passed the final limit of his life secure from pain.” What are we supposed to understand, or be reminded of, by these last words of the Chorus concerning the lot of Oedipus, and the lot of mankind in general?
7) Explain the nature of the conflict in Susan Glaspell’s play Trifles. (Keep in mind that there is more than one type of conflict that the play makes evident).
8) Why do you think Susan Glaspell titled her play Trifles? How does the title relate to the dramatic action in the play and to the play’s theme(s)?
9) In his “Commencement” address to the graduates of Kenyon College, what does David Foster Wallace say is “the real value of an education” as he defines it? What does it have to do with choice, and how would you say literature contributes to such an education?