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. Of which community does Fergus rule as king?

2. Why is Medb convinced the Ulster men will be easily defeated?

3. Who forces Aife to bear a son?

4. What is used for hobbling animals?

5. What is the one thing the woman who is talking in bed lacks?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is unusual about Fedlimid's pregnant wife?

3. What is a warp spasm and how does it benefit Cuchulainn when he fights the neighborhood boys as a toddler?

4. How do the scholars learn the tale of the Tain in its entirety?

5. Why were the men of Ulster defenseless against a group of invading marauders? Why wasn't Cuchulainn affected?

6. Who makes up Medb and Ailill's great army?

7. How did Cuchulainn get his name?

8. Describe the discussion between Ailill and Medb and what does it result in?

9. Name three creatures that become involved in the epic battle between the two pig-keepers.

10. What does the owner of the prized possession think about the exchange offer and what is the ultimate result of it?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There are four points-of-view in which literature is written: first-person, third-person objective, third-person limited, and omniscient. Which point-of-view is used in this book? Is this the most effective point-of-view for this story? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the qualifications of Thomas Kinsella as a translator. What makes him an authority on the translation of The Tain.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the protagonist in The Tain. Discuss the antagonist. Is there ever a time in the novel when it seems like they have reversed roles? Use the definition for the terms in your response.

(see the answer keys)

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