exam questions

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Answer each of the following questions as specifically as possible. If you consult any outside sources please be sure to cite them appropriately in the exam responses. HINT: You may draw from your discussion posts to develop these answers. Be sure to review your supplementary readings on Sophocles and the Greek theatre as found in our text.


1. Identify Creon’s hamartia. What is Antigone’s?

2. In Greek tragedy, what are the purposes of the Chorus? How accurately are these purposes fulfilled in Antigone?

3. What does it mean to call Tiresias a seer?

4. Identify the Aristotelian unities in Antigone.

5. According to Aristotle, what two emotions do we experience as a result or a catharsis? Why do these occur at the end of Antigone?

6. A major theme in the play is the importance of being true to oneself. Each of the characters in the play, for better or worse, are true to themselves. What does it mean to say that the following characters are true to themselves: Creon, Antigone, Tiresias, Ismene, Haemon, Eurydice, Chorus?


1. What does it mean to say that the “fourth wall” has been removed? How does this fact help us to follow and understand the dramatic action on stage?

2. Playwrights often overturn or modify our expectations or character to surprise us, or to make a character a deeper, more interesting subject. Explain how Ibsen achieves this with Nora’s character by comparing what Nora seems to be early in the play to what she does become as the play draws to a close.

3. What does it mean to say that every production of The Doll House is an interpretation?

4. Explain the importance of Mrs. Linde’s complex past (and her involvement with Krogstad) to the play.

5. Explain the cultural and social significance of the end of the play when Nora leaves everything behind and slams the door.


1. The men in the play are able to determine the means and opportunity for the murder but are unable to determine the motive. Without all three, they cannot convict Mrs. Wright. The women in the play, however, are able to discern Mrs. Wright’s motive. What was her motive, and how were the women able to deduce it (consider especially the canary, the sticky shelf, the broken stitches in her knitting, the littered kitchen and the canary cage)?

2. How do the men stereotype the women in the play? Given the time in which this play was written and produced, what point do you think the author is making about the roles of men and women during that era?


Now reflect on our semester together and answer to the best of your ability the following questions you may pull from your discussion responses if relevant):

So what? That is, what does it matter that we have read and discussed a large quantity of poetry, many pieces of short fiction, and two pieces of drama?

From what we have learned and discussed, from what you have discovered over the past fifteen weeks, what recommendations could you make to your fellow students who might wish to carry their experience to another, higher level of understanding?