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

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

4. Which character in the play would the author, Soyinka, most likely be comparable to?

5. What does Elesin claim his response will NOT be when death comes for him?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

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

4. How does Elesin become aware that it is time for his own death?

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

6. How is foreshadowing present in the opening scene of the play?

7. What is the significance of the term, "my mother", in African culture?

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

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

10. What is the difference in music and dance in both societies? How can it be seen in the play?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

What does anti-colonialism have to do with the driving forces of the play? How do Soyinka's own feelings of anti-colonialism come to the surface with his writing of "Death and the King's horseman"?

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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