Shakespeare: Exam 3

English 205 — Shakespeare Exam #3
Fall 2011 — Delahoyde
Washington State University


This final chore covers the last works of our semester:
The Winter’s Tale and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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

The same as before: identify who says, “What fools these mortals be,” or who gets eaten by a bear — that kind of question. This “progeny of evils” will take place first and individually during the scheduled class period: Friday, December 2nd. Some powerful spirit instruct the kites and ravens to be thy nurses.

II. QUOTATIONS. “Merry and tragical?” [Total 50 points; answer 10 for 5 points each.]

A combination of identification and, more importantly, significance questions will follow quotations from the last two works of the semester, extracted for their representativeness of our discussions over key points these final weeks. This time, in the spirit of Shakespeare, this section of the exam may be a collaborative effort: that is, you may, if you like, form human groups of two to five people total, of your own selection. Just be wise in your establishment of boundaries; there is no reason you need to accept into your group at the last minute any gleeking, beef-witted knave whom you’re not sure you’ve even seen in class during most of the semester.

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

Answer the following question thoroughly and precisely, and aim for about two or three pages, double-spaced. Answers should be virtuoso pieces of brilliance manifested in impressive eloquence, with facile reference to specifics from any of the Shakespearean plays from the entire semester where appropriate, rather than just “Words, words, words.”

The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
Are of imagination all compact….
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to aery nothing
A local habitation and a name. What is this character saying exactly? Does Shakespeare believe it (as a kind of Ars Poetica statement)? Explain your answer with reference to a few plays, to contemporary times, to life.

Bring this essay to class with you on Friday, December 2nd, 10:10 am. They will be stapled to the backs of the in-class portions of the exam, o curs├Ęd spite!