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. Which character is portrayed as understanding throughout the play?

2. In what style is the dialogue of the play written?

3. What drives the action in the Yoruban world?

4. .The praise-singer could also be seen as _______________.

5. What are Jane and Pilkings wearing at the beginning of Act 1, Scene 2?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Soyinka claim (in the author's note) that the play is not a clash between two cultures (Yoruban and British)?

2. How are Pilkings and Elesin alike?

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

4. How does Olunde react when he sees Jane in the ancestral mask?

5. Iyaloja enters Elesin's cell. Whom does she blame for Elesin's failure, and why?

6. Why does Pilkings believe that Elesin is upset while he is locked in the cellar in Act 1, Scene 5?

7. How does Elesin react to Olunde's death?

8. What is the background story of Wole Soyinka?

9. Describe Elesin's reaction when Jane attempts to plead with him in the last scene of the play.

10. What is the "real" theme of the play, as stated by Soyinka in the author's note?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

What significance does the Marketplace hold for the story? What significance does the Marketplace hold for Elesin Oba in particular? Explain.

Essay Topic 3

Olunde and Soyinka have many similarities. Compare Soyinka, the author, with Olunde and his character within the book.

(see the answer keys)

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