Gates of Fire Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Steven Pressfield
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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. In the first chapter, about how many Persians are said to have been slain in just three days of battle with the Spartans?

2. What is Hermion's nickname?

3. How are Spartan boys punished?

4. What is the purpose of the speech Leonidas gives after this battle?

5. There is a battle on the plain west of Antirhion. Who do the Spartans fight there?

Short Essay Questions

1. How do Alexandros and Xeones get across the Gulf of Corinth when following the army?

2. Describe the relationship between Alexandros and Xeones.

3. What is the outcome of the battle?

4. What kind of force arrives at Thermopylae to meet the Persians?

5. Why does Polynikes seem to think that Spartans are better than any other men?

6. Where has Xeones seen Xerxes before he is brought into his tent?

7. Describe the Spartan games.

8. What is the story behind Dienekes and Arete?

9. How does Xeones describe the Spartan view on war?

10. Describe what the Persians do to the body of the Spartan king, Leonidas.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There exists between all soldiers of honor and bravery, a certain respect and admiration. What examples of this are given in the book? Compare these to examples of honor and/or bravery in other literary works. Answer the question, "What is the opposite of fear?"

Essay Topic 2

After seeing what losses he takes fighting the Spartans, Xerxes almost leaves Greece and abandons his campaign. How is he persuaded to remain? What emotion drives him to stay? Is Xerxes in control of his own emotions here? Explain your answer.

Essay Topic 3

What causes Leonidas to offer freedom to the helots, and allow anyone who does not want to stand and die the opportunity to leave? Why do he and his men remain to fight the Persians, knowing that they will die? What are some reasons that so many of them leave? Does leaving the field of battle, knowing that they can not win and will die, make all of the men who leave cowards? Explain your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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