The Tain Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

China Miéville and Thomas Kinsella
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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 is frightened by Cuchulainn's tree-chopping?

2. How many marauders attacked Ulster when Cuchulainn had to save it?

3. How many charioteers does Cuchulainn stop with one fallen tree?

4. What is strange about Fedelm?

5. Who acts as a midwife, delivering a child at the inn?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are the names of the two pig-keepers in the story and what unusual power do both have?

2. What three tasks does Emer require her suitor to complete?

3. Who is Setanta?

4. What happens when Cuchulainn realizes he has killed his son?

5. Why do the two pig-keepers in the story begin to compete with each other?

6. Why does Macha curse the men of Ulster?

7. What vow does Cuchulainn make to himself and how is it related to the names of the fords and plains of the story?

8. Who is Fedelm? What is unique about her and what message does she share with Medb?

9. Why does Cuchulainn spare Orlam's charioteer, then kill him later?

10. Discuss "woman's thinking" as the great army nears Ulster.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is the significance of Fergus to the story? How might the novel have differed if he had not been introduced?

Essay Topic 2

Name and define the five types of conflict. Which conflict prevailed in this novel? Select a different type of conflict and explain how this story would have differed under that particular type of conflict.

Essay Topic 3

Irony is the contrast between what is expected and what actually happens. There are three types of irony: verbal, situational, and dramatic. Identify and discuss two examples of irony in the book. Which type of irony is it? What is expected and what actually occurs with your examples?

(see the answer keys)

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