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. When is the Company of Boys allowed to rehearse at the theater?

2. Who does Richard Burbage resemble in Nat's mind?

3. How many members are in the Company of Boys?

4. What does Nat say as to how his father died?

5. In what theater will the Company perform?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Arby point out to Nat in the first reading of one play?

3. What is the Company of Boys doing in 1999 at the opening of the book?

4. Where does Nat wake in the beginning of Chapter 4?

5. What does Nat learn about the Globe Theater of 1599?

6. What happens to make Nat feel uncomfortable with his fellow actors?

7. What does Arby forbid the boys to do and how does Nat react to Arby's guidance?

8. What does Nat recite for his speaking class and who congratulates him after the recitation?

9. What is happening to the Nat that is transported to 1999?

10. What happens to Nat at the beginning of the first day of rehearsals on the stage at Globe?

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

There are a number of interesting questions raised by "King of Shadows". Questions that Cooper might want readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the Cooper's agenda (for example Nat's father's suicide). Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Cooper's probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

4. Research the life of Cooper and see if/where her life may have influenced her writing.

Essay Topic 3

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"?

(see the answer keys)

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