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. What does Nat fight as the days go by?

2. What is the first play the Company of Boys rehearses?

3. What does Mistress Fawcett say about Shakespeare when he is working upstairs?

4. Who does Arby kick out of the company?

5. Why does Nat go to bed early?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are some of the things that seem different to Nat when he wakes?

2. What amazes Nat about London when he is on his way to the Globe?

3. How does Nat make things good between himself and Roper?

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

5. How does Nat increase his acting skills, in particular playing the character of Puck?

6. Why does Arby kick one of the boys out of the company?

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

8. How does Nat feel about being in the late 16th century and how does Roper make it even worse?

9. What happens with Nat in Chapter 3?

10. How does Nat respond when Shakespeare calls the group a family and what does Shakespeare do?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. Compare/contrast Arby and Richard Burbage. How are they alike? How are they different? Are they both protagonists? Antagonists? Or? Are they likable characters? How critical are they to the plot of King of Shadows? Who do you like the most of the two? Why? Do you think they each are critical to the success of King of Shadows?

2. Compare/contrast Nat of 1999 at the beginning of the story with the Nat of 1999 at the end of the story. How are they alike? How are they different? Are they both protagonists? Antagonists? Or? Are they likable characters? How critical are they to the plot of "King of Shadows"? Who do you like the most of the two? Why? Do you think they each are critical to the success of King of Shadows?

3. Compare/contrast Shakespeare and Nat's (of 1999) father. How are they alike? How are they different? Are they both protagonists? Antagonists? Or? Are they likable characters? How critical are they to the plot of "King of Shadows"? Who do you like the most of the two? Why? Do you think they each are critical to the success of "King of Shadows"?

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 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?

(see the answer keys)

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