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 other nationality has also done an adaptation of this play by medium of film, as explained in the author's note?

2. The praise-singer warns Elesin about being spoiled by what, at the beginning of Act 1, Scene 1?

3. What drives the action in the Yoruban world?

4. Which literary medium does Soyinka's work fall under?

5. The British had several Yoruban religious practices ______________.

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Which agenda seems the most important to Pilkings in Act 1, Scene 2?

3. What is Elesin doing when Amusa comes to arrest him?

4. In Act 1, Scene 1 the praise-singer talks to Elesin about how the Yoruban people have not betrayed their culture, even in the midst of the British occupation. What does the praise-singer claim is the only way the Yoruban people will fail?

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

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

7. Why is it ironic that Jane cares so much about Elesin's death?

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

9. Explain the scene of the "Not-I" dance.

10. How does Elesin kill himself?

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

Pilkings and Elesin are similar in many more ways than are directly visible to either of them. Explain the similarities that lie between Elesin and Pilkings and postulate as to why Soyinka would have chosen to add that particular element to the story.

Essay Topic 3

What does morality have to do with the decision making process of Pilkings? Explain your reasoning using in-text citations.

(see the answer keys)

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