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. The characters in the play are _________________.

2. Which character acts as the voice of reason throughout the play?

3. What do the women of the market gain possession of in their fight with the British officers?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Iyaloja and what is her role?

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

3. How does Olunde react when he finally sees his father, alive?

4. What is the conflict with the bride Elesin chooses in the first scene of the play?

5. How does Elesin react to Olunde's death?

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

7. Does Soyinka believe that the British were responsible for the suicide of Elesin and his son? Why or why not?

8. Why do the British attempt to come between death and the king's horseman?

9. How does Elesin Oba represent the universe in the eyes of the Yoruban people?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Are Elesin's character traits problematic for the role he must play in the universe of the Yoruban people? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

How does self-sacrifice relate to this story? What can be inferred about the views on self-sacrifice between the two cultures?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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