The Conference of the Birds Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Sufi texts#Farid ad-Din Attar
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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. According to the hoopoe, with whom did the pigeon share a goal?

2. Whom did the Shiekh Sam'an see at dawn when he smelled the "musk-diffusing breeze"?

3. On what mountain peak did the Simorgh live?

4. What is the real reason that the nightingale said he could not go on the journey to find the Simorgh?

5. The gravedigger said ________ watched him dig graves?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was the hoopoe's response to the partridge's excuse for not wanting to go on the quest for the Simorgh?

2. Why did the birds decide that they needed a king?

3. What reason did the nightingale give for not wanting to go on the journey to find the Simorgh?

4. What happened between Nimrod and the mosquitoes?

5. What happened after the hoopoe was chosen as their leader?

6. What problem did the hoopoe have with the hawk?

7. What did the birds ask the hoopoe about regarding the Way?

8. Why did the hoopoe compare the finch to Moses?

9. Describe the parrot's plumage.

10. How did the hoopoe define a lover while he was advising the birds?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the history of Farid Ud-Din Attar. Address several of the following: Who was he? Why was he important? What were his typical writings about? What was the relevance of the book The Conference of the Birds? What did Attar prove in writing the text? What did the text cost him? Who was Attar influenced by? Why was Attar influenced by Sufism?

Essay Topic 2

Given that the book was written in Persia during the twelfth century, how successful is it in relating to current issues that people face today? Does Attar's book pass the test of time? Why/Why not? Is the book as relevant today as it was during the twelfth century? What did you find to be lost in translation?

Essay Topic 3

Attar's writing also used hyperbolic language. The problem with Attar's use of the hyperbole is that it is meant to be used to indicate depth. Find three examples of hyperboles from the text and discuss the meaning that Attar meant in regard to using it.

(see the answer keys)

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