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 does Arby say has a Southern accent?

2. Why does Nat not allow himself to cry?

3. Why does Robert doubt Nat's ability?

4. What play is Shakespeare thinking of writing?

5. Who is Sam Gilbourne?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Nat react to the bear pit?

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

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

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

5. What happens with Nat in Chapter 3?

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

7. Where do the apprentices go after classes?

8. How were the boys chosen for the Company of Boys?

9. What does Roper suggest the boys do and what does Nat feel he must go?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the world of academia, historical fiction is often considered an inferior form of the novel compared to "classic" literature. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think historical fiction might be considered second-rate compared to the classics?

2. Do you think historical fiction has the same elements as the classics? Why or why not?

3. What are the purposes do you think for people reading "the classics"? What are the purposes for people reading historical fiction? Is one purpose better than another? Explain your response.

4. Would you read historical fiction even outside an educational setting? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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