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 does Pilkings believe Elesin's duty to be?

2. What are Jane and Pilkings wearing at the beginning of Act 1, Scene 2?

3. Whom does Elesin want by his side at his death?

4. At what type of school is Olunde studying?

5. In which country did the original story take place?

Short Essay Questions

1. Olunde is inspired by an English captain. Why?

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

3. How do the Yoruban people maintain their link to the king?

4. How are Pilkings and Elesin alike?

5. Why does Olunde return to the Yoruba people in Act 1, Scene 4?

6. What does seeing Elesin alive mean to Olunde?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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