Death and the King's Horsemen Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is Elesin doing when he realizes that his last day is almost over?

2. The messenger should be denied _______ he asks for.

3. At which setting does the play open?

4. Which of the following characters is NOT introduced in the first scene of the play?

5. "Death and the King's Horseman" is a story of ____________________ rather than British colonization.

Short Essay Questions

1. Explain the opening scene of Act 1, Scene 1. What do you find out about Elesin Oba?

2. What are Elesin's last requests before his death?

3. What information is given about the Yoruba in the author's note?

4. What does Elesin confess when Pilkings leaves his cell in Act 1, Scene 5? To whom does he confess this?

5. Why does Olunde return to the Yoruba people in Act 1, Scene 4?

6. What is the conflict with the bride Elesin chooses in the first scene of the play?

7. What will happen to the king if Elesin fails to make the transition?

8. Soyinka mentions Pilkings in his author's note. What is important to understand about Pilkings' character, according to Soyinka?

9. What is the background story of Wole Soyinka?

10. Explain what happens when Elesin emerges from the bridal tent.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Which events of the play are set in a public place? Why does Soyinka do this?

Essay Topic 2

The British and the Yoruban people are very different in belief and practice, although some similarities do exist between each of the cultures. What do the similarities add to the story? What does Soyinka hope to do by including such similarities? Explain your reasoning.

Essay Topic 3

Each culture [British and Yoruban] holds varying views on death and death's meaning. How does each culture's view of death differ? Why might these differences cause conflict or confrontation between the two cultures?

(see the answer keys)

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