River God Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Wilbur Smith
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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. Contrary to Pharaoh's plans, why does Lostris set out to charm him?

2. What body parts are left inside a man when he is embalmed?

3. Who is bitterly saddened by what Taita displays over the harem wall?

4. Why did Tanus name his bow Lanata?

5. How do the soldiers respond when Tanus orders them to put on the dresses of slave girls?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are Taita's first descriptions of Lostris? How are his emotions different from what the reader might expect of a eunuch? How does it help explain his character?

2. What scheme does Taita dream up to help Tanus engage the Shrikes in battle for the first time? How is this scheme something that perhaps only Taita would think of?

3. In the days leading up to Lostris's wedding, Taita is not allowed to go near her. Even during the wedding ceremony, he stands at the back of the crowd and cannot see much. What is the literary significance of Taita's inability to see Lostris? How does this relate to Smith's silence about Tanus's reaction?

4. What power does Pharaoh's seal have? Why must a man acknowledge it, as Tanus does when Neter comes to arrest him? Is this seal a sign of power or of weakness?

5. What is the immediate effect as Tanus begins to rout the Shrikes? How does this change affect people's loyalty to Pharaoh? What do you think might be the long-term effects of this new loyalty?

6. Why does Lostris want to die on her wedding night? Does Taita respond properly to her demands for poison? Why?

7. What is the song that Tanus and his men sing during the thick of battle? What effect would this song have on the enemy?

8. How does Taita describe the hippo hunt? How does he see the animal in relation to divinity? What is the effect of the hippo hunt on Taita?

9. After Taita is whipped because he dares to petition for Lostris and Tanus's marriage, Lostris cares for his wounds. How does she reveal that she is still a child? What hope does the reader have that her marriage to Tanus will occur?

10. When Taita disguises himself as a priest so that he is not recognized in his native city Thebes, how is he treated? What does this say about the Egyptian people's attitude toward their religion? What does this say about the priests' ethics?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

When Taita dreams to explain Lostris's second and third pregnancies, the lords believe him. Is there belief rooted in superstition or religion? How is their belief affected by their conviction in the gods?

Essay Topic 2

What value do vows to the gods have? Consider Lostris's vow to the gods that she will properly bury Pharaoh. How does this vow drive her life? What are the consequences if such a vow is broken? What does this say about Egyptian religion?

Essay Topic 3

Taita notes the battle with the Hyksos as the end of an era (pg 313). What does he mean by this? Why does he think this is true? In the end, is he right?

(see the answer keys)

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