King of Shadows 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 intends to give Nat private rehearsal time?

2. What is one of the plays being rehearsed?

3. Why does Mrs. Fischer become worried?

4. How does Gil Warmun carry himself on stage?

5. Who does Arby kick out of the company?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Nat notice about Eric Sawyer and Gil Warmun as the two other boys are acting?

2. What happens to the Nat who is now in 1999?

3. How does Nat react to the bear pit?

4. Where does Nat move in Chapter 10 and who shows him around?

5. Who arrives at Shakespeare's home and forces his way upstairs to talk about what?

6. How does Roper conspire to make Nat look bad?

7. Why does Shakespeare step in between Nat and Roper and what is the consequence of his doing so?

8. How is Nat different from the other apprentices and to what do the apprentices attribute the differences?

9. What is the purpose of the games and what does Nat think of some of the games?

10. How do Arby and Gill have a small confrontation and what is the result?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

King of Shadows ends on a somewhat positive note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why? not?

2. What are at least three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of "King of Shadows" and if it fulfills some or all of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why "King of Shadows" is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

4. Would you have wished the ending to be different? Why or why not? Would that have changed what the author wished to convey with the book?

Essay Topic 2

King of Shadows belongs to the literary genre of historical fiction. Discuss the following:

1. Thoroughly define the term genre and offer examples of it from your own reading experience. Why do you think it is useful to categorize fiction into genres? What could be a disadvantage of doing so?

2. What do you think is the main motivation for a person to read an historical fiction novel? Is entertainment a good enough reason? Are there any other reasons to read this genre? What? Explain fully.

3. In "academe," historical fiction novels are often thought of as less literary than some other genres and for that reason are sometimes "snubbed" in the study of literature. Why do you think this is so? Do you agree with this "snobbery"?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the following:

1. Thoroughly discuss the character of Nat. What are his strengths? Weaknesses? How does he evolve over the course of the story? Is he likable at the beginning of the story? At the end of the book? Do you think he is a protagonist or antagonist? Why

2. Thoroughly discuss the character Shakespeare. What are his strengths? Weaknesses? How does he evolve over the course of the story? (or does he?) Is he likable at the beginning of the story? At the end of the book? Is he trustworthy? Wise? Would you want him as a friend? As an enemy? Is he portrayed in King of Shadows like you might imagine he was in real life? Why or why not.

3. Thoroughly discuss two other characters of your choosing. What are their strengths? Weaknesses? How do they evolve over the course of the story? (or do they?) Are they likable at the beginning of the story? At the end of the book? Are they trustworthy? Wise? Would you want them as friends? Are they likely to be enemies?

(see the answer keys)

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