Climax of a Story

1. Which of the following best describes the climax of a story?
a. The moment when a new character is introduced to solve a key issue in the story.
b. The moment of greatest tension when the outcome is decided.
c. The moment when a character narrates to the reader his/her motivations.
d. The moment when the protagonist is revealed to be the antagonist.
2. In medias res is a Latin term that refers to…
a. When a writer chooses to skip over exposition and begin the story in the midst of
b. When a writer provides some indication of something that happened before the events
of the story.
c. When a character has some major realization that changes his/her outlook for the rest
of the story.
d. The pleasurable anxiety readers feel that heightens one’s attention to the story.
3. In John Updike’s “A&P,” Lengel is best described as

a. The dramatic hero.
b. The protagonist.
c. The antagonist.
d. None of the above.

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The theme of a story is the central point that is clear throughout the entire work. In
Updike’s story one theme is that of conformity vs. rebellion of social expectations.
Which of the following quotes best exemplifies this theme?
a. Lengel says to the girls, “That’s policy for you. Policy is what the kingpins want.
What the others want is juvenile delinquency.”
b. Sammy thinks to himself, “You never know for sure how girls’ minds work (do you
really think it’s a mind in there or just a little buzz like a bee in a glass jar?)…”
c. Sammy thinks to himself, “I bet you could set off dynamite in an A & P and the
people would by and large keep reaching and checking oatmeal off their lists…”
d. Sammy says, “She’s one of these cash-register-watchers, a witch of about fifty with
rouge on her cheekbone and no eyebrows…

5. Which of the following works included significant use of stream of consciousness
a. “Sonny’s Blue’s”
b. “A&P”
c. “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall”
d. “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”
6. A flat character is one that has…
a. Several distinct characteristics.
b. A character of great complexity.
c. A character with only one outstanding trait.
d. A common or stereotypical character


7. A symbol is…
a. A person, place, or thing in a narrative that suggests a meaning beyond its literal
b. Granny’s letters in “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall”
c. The eye in “The Tell-Tale Heart.”
d. All of the above.
8. In Ernest Hemingway’s “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” the younger waiter is very
frustrated with the old man at the bar; however, the older waiter is much more
understanding of him. Why is this true?
a. The older waiter simply dislikes the younger waiter and prefers the company of the
old man.
b. The older waiter understands the need for a clean and well lighted place to escape the
boredom of old age.
c. The older waiter likes to keep the bar open late at night so that he can make more
d. The older waiter was there to keep the old man from commiting suicide.


9. Pick the following that best describes the theme of William Butler Yeats’ “The Lake Isle
of Innisfree.”
a. A desire to return to a place of perfect peace and happiness.
b. Memory of a place from childhood versus the reality of the present.
c. Frustration with scientific explanations of the cosmos.
d. Both a and b.
10. A lyric poem is defined as…
a. A poem intended to teach a moral lesson.
b. A poem written as a speech made by a character at some decisive moment.
c. A poem that tells a story.
d. A short poem expressing the thoughts and feelings of a single speaker.
11. If the theme of a poem is a recurring idea in a

a. The speaker of the poem.
b. The main topic of a poem, whatever the poem is “about.”
c. The opening and closing lines of the poem.
d. None of the abov

12. Read the following stanza from Theodore Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz” – “We romped
until the pans / Slid from the kitchen shelf; / My mother’s countenance / Could not
unfrown itself.” Which of the following best describes the tone of this stanza?
a. Joy: the speaker is happy to be dancing with his father.
b. Fear: the speaker and his mother are afraid of his father.
c. Indifference: the speaker is just playing along and his mother is disinterested in their
d. Tense: the speaker dances and the mother i

13. Irony is defined as…
a. A discrepancy between what is said and what is meant.
b. A fictitious character created to be the speaker of a work.
c. A mood or manner of expression in a literary work.
d. All of the above.
14. Allusion is defined as…
a. Any language suitable for verse; elevated language intended for poetry.
b. Words that express general ideas of concepts.
c. A brief and sometimes indirect reference in a text to a person, place, or thing.
d. Words that specifically name

15. Denotation is defined as…
a. A particular variety of language spoken by an identifiable regional group.
b. The literal meaning of a word.
c. The language of common people.
d. Unschooled, everyday speech.

17. Which of the following best describes the climax of Susan Glaspell’s Trifles?
a. When Mr. Hale tells the County Attorney what happened when he arrived at the
Minnie Wright’s house the day prior.
b. When Minnie Wright kills her husband, John.
c. When Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale decide which of Minnie’s belongings to bring her in
d. When Mrs. Peters finds herself torn between her desire to save Minnie and her duty to the law.

18. Trifles begins with a great deal of dialogue that sets the scene and explains what
happened before the events of the play. This is defined as…
a. Plot
b. Exposition
c. Subplot
d. Rising action
19. Dénouement is defined as…
a. The final part of the narrative, the concluding action(s) that follows the climax

b. Nonverbal action that engages the attention of the audience.
c. A speech that a character addresses directly to the audience.
d. The opening portion of a narrative or drama in which the scene is set

20. A comedy of manners is defined as…
a. A witty satire set in elite or fashionable society.
b. A humorous play whose action is usually fast-moving and improbable.
c. A type of comedy featuring pratfalls, pie-throwing, fisticuffs, and other violent
d. A parody or travesty of another play or kind of play

21. In Greek theater, the purpose of the chorus is to…
a. Quickly change set pieces and direct the principal actors on the stage.
b. Stand to one side of the action and converse with the principal character and
c. They sing songs in between ac

22. In Greek theater, a satyr play…
a. Was an obscene parody of a mythic story performed by the chorus.
b. Was a type of underground or “bootleg theater” for those who could not afford to
attend dramas held in the amphitheater.
c. Was only attended by those in the Athenian governing

23. Hubris is defined as…
a. The hero’s error or transgression; his flaw or weakness of character.
b. The revelation of some fact not known before.
c. The hero’s extreme pride, leading to overconfidence.
d. None of the above.
24. Which of the following is not a custom of elizabethan theater?

a. Masks
b. Elaborate sets
c. Elaborate costumes
d. All of the above

25. Shakespeare’s plays were performed at…
a. The Theater of Shakespeare
b. The Globe Theater
c. The Theater of London
d. The Theater of the Thames
26. Shakespeare was an actor and a playright for

a. Lord Chamberlain’s Men
b. The Globe Company
c. The Merchants of Venice
d. The Company of Lord Andronicus

27. Greek plays were performed twice a year at religious festivals and associated with…
a. Persephone, the queen of the underworld.
b. Aphrodite, the goddess of fertility, beauty, and love.
c. Demeter, the goddess of harvest and fertility.
d. Dionysus, the god of wine and crops.
28. Realism is defined as…

30. Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House is best described as…
a. Tragicomedy
b. Expressionism
c. Theater of the absurd
d. Realism
31. What reasons does Iago give for hating Othello at the beginning of the play

a. He is not promoted to lieutenant.
b. There is a rumor that Othello is having an affair with Emilia.
c. Both a and b
d. None of the above
32. When Othello is accused of using spells and medicines to convince Desdemona to love him what does he say really made her to fall in love with him?

a. He told her stories of his experiences at war, and she had sympathy for him.
b. He rescued her from a bad relationship with Roderigo.
c. He gave her a prized possession, and she was so flattered by the gesture that she fell
in love.
d. He rescued Desdemona from her stern father barbantio.

33. At the end of the first act, why does Iago repeatedly tell Roderigo to “put money in thy
a. Because Roderigo owes money to the Venetian government, so Iago tells him to sell
everything he has to avoid being arrested.
b. Iago leads Roderigo to believe that Desdemona will tire of being married to Othello
and that she will be impressed if he has a lot of money.
c. Because Roderigo has fallen out of favor with Othello, and Iago suggests that selling
everything he has and giving it as a wedding gift for Othello and Desdemona will bring him band in to othellos good graces.

34. We learn that the war with the Turks ends before it even begins. Why is this true?
a. Othello, a skilled general, was able to swiftly kill the Turkish general. As a result,
the Turkish army fled.
b. A storm sunk Turkish fleet. Othello and his army are therefore able to return to
Cyprus and avoid direct conflict.
c. Michael Cassio, Othello’s new lieutenant, was able to negotiate peace with the
Turkish general.
d. Brabantio is able to divert the Turkish fleet and they end up becoming lost at sea
before the wat can begin.
35. Iago makes his attitude towards women clear. Which of the following best describes his feelings?

a. While he has no respect for Othello or Michael Cassio, he treats women, such as
Desdemona, with the highest respect.
b. He objectifies women and repeatedly emphasizes their beauty.
c. He says the only woman he was ever able to trust was his mother.
d. He does not think that women have any value and believes they are two-faced and see more details at,story%20is%20a%20literary%20element.

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36. In Act 2, How does Iago plan to ruin Michael Cassio’s reputation?
a. By proving that Cassio has no actual experience in war and that the peace treaty
with the Turks was all Iago’s idea.
b. By getting Cassio drunk at the celebration and making Cassio look like a fool in
front of the crowd of people and Othello.
c. By announcing Cassio’s relationship with Bianca, a courtesan
d. none of the above

37. After Cassio’s reputation as been ruined, what does Iago say to him about the importance
of one’s reputation?
a. That one’s reputation is everything and that Cassio must do everything he can to
regain his.
b. That Othello will forget Cassio’s misdeeds by morning and his reputation will be
c. That reputation is unimportant and that it is gained without merit and
undeservingly lost.
d. That Cassio never had a good reputation to begin with, so he should not concern
himself with trying to improve upon it.
38. Because Cassio is so insistent upon regaining his reputation, whom does Iago suggest he see in order to regain his reputation?

a. Desdemona: as Othello’s wife, she has his ear and his confidence.
b. Emilia: Iago’s wife, since she works closely with Desdemona and Othello.
c. Montano: the governor is the only one who can provide him with a
recommendation to be restored to his former position and regain his reputation.
d. Brabantio: as a high ranking official, he will be able to convince Othello to restore
cassios reputation

39. When Cassio meets with Desdemona, what does Iago say to Othello as they approach to
make Othello suspicious of his wife?
a. That Cassio fled away too “guiltylike.”
b. That Iago saw Desdemona kiss Cassio.
c. That Iago saw Desdemona give Cassio “a love letter.”
d. That Cassio has been meeting with Desdemona almost daily.
40. When Desdemona pleads with Othello to speak with Cassio, how does he respond?
a. He is respectful and promises to speak with Cassio right away.
b. He slaps Desdemona for “obsessing” over Cassio.
c. He is dismissive and says that he will speak with Cassio only if Cassio comes
d. He promises her that if she speaks his name further that he will kill Cassio that
very night
41. What object does Emilia find and give to Iago?
a. Desdemona’s wedding ring
b. Desdemona’s love letters to Cassio
c. Desdemona’s necklace given to her by Casio
d.Desdemonas handkerchief

2. In the third act, what does Iago say that finally makes Othello believe that Desdemona
has been unfaithful?
a. He says Emilia revealed that Cassio and Desdemona have been together for
b. Iago overheard Cassio talking in his sleep of his love for Desdemona.
c. Iago says that he overheard Desdemona dictating a love letter to Cassio.
d.None of the above
43. What does Cassio ask his mistress, Bianca, to do for him at the end of Act 3?
a. To take his love letters and hide them at her brothel.
b. To find him a place to hide for the night so Othello will not find him at his
c. To make a copy of Desdemona’s handkerchief because he admires the
d. To bring a message to Desdemona professing his love for her.
44. Once Iago forces Othello to believe in the affair, Othello says he wants to poison
Desdemona that night.What does lago suggest instead?

a. He tells Othello not to wait until the evening. Othello should put the poison in
Desdemona’s afternoon tea.
b. He tells Othello to report her adultery to Montano who will have her hanged by
c. He tells Othello to strangle Desdemona in their bed that she contaminated.
d. He tells Othello to banish Desdemona so that she may never return home again.

45. In Act 4, Desdemona defends herself and swears to Othello that she has been faithful.
Afterwards, she speaks with Emilia and asks her to do what that foreshadows the end of
the play?
a. Desdemona wants Emilia to pen a letter for her saying that she will kill herself
because she cannot bear the accusations Othello has made.
b. Desdemona wants Emilia to burn the handkerchief that has caused her marriage
so many problems.
c. Desdemona asks to see her father one last time because she knows her life will end soon
d.Desdemona wants Emilia to lay down her wedding sheets on her bed for that evening.

46. At the end of Act 4, what does Emilia say is the reason for cheating wives?
a. She says it is the fault of prostitutes like Bianca for tempting men to be unfaithful.
b. She says that it is the husbands’ fault if wives cheat because women have the
same drives as men.
c. She says men cheat when wives ask for too many possessions, like jewelry and
clothing. Once a husband cheats, the wife will respond in kind
d.None of the above
47. What does Iago say he will never do again at the end of the play?
a. He says he will never speak again.
b. He says he will never trust a woman again after Emilia reveals his schemes.
c. He says he will never serve another general like Othello again.
d.None of the above

48. In A Doll’s House, why does Torvald fire Krogstad from the bank?
a. Because Krogstad had an affair with Nora.
b. Because Krogstad was a forger.
c. Because Krogstad was stealing money.
d. Because Krogstad refers to Torvald by his first name

. At the beginning of the play, when Torvald asks Nora what she wants for Christmas, she
says she wants…
a. A box of macaroons from her favorite bakery.
b. Money that she can wrap in gold paper and hang from the Christmas tree.
c. A new dress for when she dances the tarantella.
d. A vacation to Italy the following summer.

50. What is it that Krogstad wants from Nora?
a. Krogstad has been in love with Nora for years and he wants her to leave Torvald
and run away with him.
b. Krogstad has been fired from his position at the bank and he wants Nora to speak
with Torvald on his behalf.
c. Krogstad wants Nora to convince Torvald to provide him with a letter of
recommendation so he can get a job at another bank.
d. Krogstad wants Nora convince Torvald that his is not guilty of the crime he is accused of

51. What did Nora do that Krogstad knows about and uses to blackmail her?
a. Nora forged her deceased father’s signature on a check to pay back Krogstad for
money he lent her.
b. Nora had an affair with Krogstad’s brother just after she married Torvald eight
years prior.
c. Nora tried to take out a loan for her own use, which Torvald would find reprehensible
d.None of the above
52. At the beginning of Act 2, what does Nora say that foreshadows the end of the play?
a. She asks Kristine, “Do you think Torvald could forgive me for a silly one-night
b. She suggests to the nursemaid that she is thinking of “ending it all” for the affair
she had with Krogstad’s brother.
c. She asks the nursemaid, “Do you think [the children] would forget their mother if
she went away good?”
d. None of the above
53. In Act 2, Torvald mentions several reasons why he looks down upon Krogstad. Which of
the following is one of those reasons?
a. Torvald does not like that Krogstad is a divorced man. He believes that marriage
should last “until death.”
b. Torvald does not like that Krogstad is “uneducated” when compared to the
education he received in Italy.
c. Torvald believes that Krogstad is an “inadequate” father and has no respect for his
inability to properly provide for his children.
d. Torvald mentions that Krogstad refers to him by his first name instead of Mr.
Helmer. Torvald does not like the suggestions that he and Krogstad are equals.

54. What does Krogstad leave behind for Torvald that Nora becomes obsessed with at the
end of Act 2?
a. Krogstad wrote Torvald a letter explaining Nora’s affair with his brother.
b. Krogstad wrote Torvald a letter explaining how Kristine lied about being a widow
to get a job at his bank.
c. Krogstad wrote Torvald a letter explaining Nora’s forgery of her father’s
d. None of the above
55. At the end of Act 3, Torvald finally discovers what Nora has done. What does she say
needs to happen after he reprimands her?
a. She needs him to admit all his wrongdoing or nothing will ever be the same again.
b. She says she needs to leave him and the children, likely forever, so she can
become independent and educate herself.
c. She says she will stay married to him but that it will be in name only to keep up appearances
d.None of the above

Instructions. Write down just the correct letter.

Instructions: The question below are all short answer responses. You only need a few
sentences to answer each (at least 80-100 words minimum, but it is fine if you exceed this). You
do not need to quote from the play, but be specific, not vague and check your writing for errors.
If your answer is unclear or too vague, you cannot earn credit.
(4 points each)
1. In the Chapter 36: The Modern Theater notes, I explained Realism and “problem plays.”
What makes A Doll’s House a work of Realism and why is it considered a problem play?
2. When Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House was first released, the play was considered very
controversial for its time. In particular, Nora’s actions at the end of the play were thought
of as unforgivable, considering her role as a mother. As a result, some theater directors
considered changing the ending. Ibsen was very unhappy with this, but in order to
prevent others from altering his work, he changed the ending to appease directors. First,
read the excerpt from a letter he wrote to the editor of the Nationaltidende (a Danish
In order to prevent such a possibility [of a director changing the ending of the play], I
sent to him [the director], for use in case of absolute necessity, a draft of an altered last
scene, according to which Nora does not leave the house, but is forcibly lead by Helmer
to the door of the children’s bedroom; a short dialogue takes place, Nora sinks down at
the door, and the curtain falls. This change, I myself, in the letter to my translator,
stigmatize as “barbaric violence” done to the play. Those who make use of the altered
scene do so entirely against my wish… When my works are threatened, I prefer, taught
by experience, to commit the act of violence myself, instead of leaving them to be treated
and “adapted” by less careful and less skillful hands. –Henrik Ibsen (1880)
After reading the letter, why would Ibsen have been so upset and consider it “barbaric
violence” that he was forced to change the ending of A Doll’s House? How does the new
ending alter the play as a whole?
3. Given the overarching theme of the play as well as how it ends, which of the following
characters best represents the antagonist of A Doll’s House: Nils Krogstad or Torvald
Helmer? Why? Provide specific examples to support your answer.

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