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. In Act 1, Scene 1, Elesin and the praise-singer have a discussion where Elesin compares him to a jealous _______.

2. Where do the women of the market claim that the "official business" is happening?

3. Whom does Elesin want by his side at his death?

4. In Yoruban culture, which character must lead the king throughout the afterlife?

5. Elesin refers to the market place as his home of _____________.

Short Essay Questions

1. How is the scene with Amusa in the market a sign that the British assimilation has failed?

2. Where does Elesin choose to make his transition? Why does he choose this place?

3. Is Elesin's death useful to the Yoruban people by the end of the story? Why or why not?

4. Whom does Elesin initially blame for his failure to transition? Why?

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

6. What does Olunde tell Pilkings about stopping the death of his father, Elesin?

7. Olunde is inspired by an English captain. Why?

8. What does seeing Elesin alive mean to Olunde?

9. What is it that moves Pilkings out to stop Elesin's death ritual?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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

Essay Topic 2

Soyinka clearly had many purposes for introducing this play to the world. This can especially be seen within the author's note. Given the author's note, what do you believe were Soyinka's intentions for introducing this story to Western society?

Essay Topic 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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