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. Who do the Pilkings speak to for more insight to Amusa's report in Act 1, Scene 2?

2. The praise singer can be seen as a symbol of ________________.

3. What is proof of the new bride's virginity?

4. According to Soyinka, what first needs to exist before there can be a clash between two cultures?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What will happen to the king if Elesin fails to make the transition?

6. Why does Olunde decide to take his father's place as the messenger and end his life?

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

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

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

10. How are the Pilkings' associated with Elesin and his family?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How might the meaning of the story change, had the author only stated that the British involvement was crucial to the plot?

Essay Topic 2

The theme of duty is important for the action of the text. Explain Elesin's duty and why failure of that duty would cause the Yoruban universe to spin out of control. Be sure to use in-text citations to support your claims.

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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