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 do the women of the market claim took Olunde away?

2. What is the name of Soyinka's novel as stated in the author's note?

3. Which dance do Jane and Pilkings dance to in the second scene of the play?

4. The author states that this story illustrates a ____________________ between two cultures.

5. What do the women of the market threaten to remove from Amusa if he refuses to leave?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Explain and identify the background of Soyinka's story.

3. Why does Amusa refuse to speak directly to Pilkings during their encounter in Act 1, Scene 2?

4. Explain the differences in the actual incident in Nigeria and the story that Soyinka sets, in "Death and the King's Horseman".

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

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

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

8. What does Joseph say when questioned about Elesin's death?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How does the idea of cultural relativism play an important role in understanding and interpreting the play?

Essay Topic 2

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

Essay Topic 3

Fear plays a large part in the motivation of the actions of several people within the play. How does fear motivate the actions of characters within the play? Which characters are motivated by fear?

(see the answer keys)

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