Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

Shakespeare End-of-Semester Exam


SHAKESPEARE: END-OF-SEMESTER EXAM
“A MOST LAMENTABLE COMEDY”

I. IDENTIFICATIONS. “Tedious and brief?” [Total 26 points].

Short identification questions from Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Lucrece, may ask you to identify the patron saint of shoemakers or who says “What fools these mortals be.” These identification questions will be inflicted during the scheduled class period — Wednesday, April 17th, 10:10 am. Then you will say, “O spite! O hell!”

II. QUOTATIONS. “Merry and tragical?” [Total 50 points].

A combination of identification and, more importantly, significance questions will follow quotations from the plays and other relevant materials, extracted for their representativeness of our discussions over key points during these final weeks. This again is not trivial pursuit. If you have read the plays and paid attention in class, only a close review of notes is necessary for preparation; my web notes may be of use also.

III. TAKE-HOME ESSAY. “Hot ice?” [Total 24 points].

DO THIS PART NOW! Answer the following question thoroughly and precisely to about three or four (3-4) pages, double-spaced. Answers should be virtuoso pieces of brilliance manifested in impressive eloquence, with facile reference to specifics from the Shakespearean texts. A hard-copy of the essay is due in class on exam day — Wednesday, April 17th, 10:10 am — to accompany the other in-class components of the test.

Now that you’ve been through a good portion of Shakespeare’s works, what would you say is one of the most important messages Shakespeare would like us to understand?
Based on quotations in several of the works from throughout our semester, discuss this message: its relevance, importance, brilliance, applicability to us in contemporary times. Avoid the obvious, contrived, or trite. Feel welcome to discuss this idea beyond the realm of Shakespeare, in terms of either your personal experience or your worldview.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS

IDENTIFICATIONS

Identify the character or thing referred to (underlined) in the following.

“I am to discourse wonders; but ask me not what;
for if I tell you, I am no true Athenian.”
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“It is the wittiest partition that ever
I heard discourse, my lord.”

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