The Pillars of the Earth 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 do the older women bring to the marketplace when they go to watch the hanging?

2. Who does the prisoner look at while he stands on the gallows?

3. What reaction do the old women have toward the prisoner?

4. What action does the person take who screamed at the prisoner's death?

5. What does William Hamleigh do when he finds Aliena in the earl's castle?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Tom discover when he has a change of heart and goes back to Agnes' grave to get the baby?

2. What is the deal that Archdeacon Waleran makes with Philip after the death of Prior James, the Prior of Kingsbridge?

3. Describe the plan Philip devises to get more work done on the cathedral before the visit from Bishop Henry.

4. Summarize the actions of the townspeople before the hanging takes place.

5. What does the condemned man do as the noose is placed around his neck?

6. Of what is the crime that the condemned man has been found guilty?

7. Describe the condemned man's appearance.

8. How do Aliena and Richard escape from the castle?

9. What is the secret compromise that Philip proposes to the Hamleighs about the forests and quarry in Shiring and how does this affect his relationship with Waleran?

10. How does Tom first meet Ellen and her son, Jack?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

1) Summarize the events that led up to Philip's raising Jonathan in the monastery?

2) How do these events relate to the plot of the story?

3) How do the events affect the characters in the novel? Cite examples from the novel to support the answer.

Essay Topic 2

1) Evaluate the elements of cause and effect in this story using examples from the novel.

2) Choose three events and characters from the story which cause their lives to undergo a change.

3) How do the characters react to the events and their effects?

4) How do they change emotionally, financially, and spiritually because of these events?

Essay Topic 3

1) Compare the hanging of Jack Shareburg in the beginning of the novel to the hanging of William Hamleigh at the end.

2) Compare the reaction of the two prisoners, and the reaction of the spectators while awaiting the hanging.

3) What do the hangings reveal about the character of Jack and William?

(see the answer keys)

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