The Prince and the Pauper By Mark Twain Study Help Essay Questions

1. Compare and contrast the characters of Tom Canty and Edward Tudor.

2. In what ways do the episodes of traveling with the vagabonds, helping the peasant woman with housework, being held captive by the mad hermit, and sitting in jail with Miles Hendon contribute to the education of Edward Tudor?

3. Why does Twain incorporate passages that are quoted from historical texts into the various chapters of The Prince and the Pauper?

4. What means does Tom Canty use to learn how he must act in his role as King?

5. Why does Tom Canty adapt to his role as king more quickly than Edward Tudor adapts to his role as pauper?

6. What does Edward Tudor learn from his travels among his subjects?

7. What practical results does this education produce in the laws of the country and in his treatment of his subjects?

8. Discuss whether or not Tom Canty would have made a good king for England if Edward had not returned.

9. Discuss the advantages that Tom Canty and Edward Tudor see in the life of the other boy before they trade places. Also discuss the differences between their initial ideas and the realities they encounter after exchanging roles.

10. Why is Tom Canty so willing to help Edward regain his throne?

11. What role does Miles Hendon play in this novel?

12. What are the differences between the way in which the common people view Henry VIII and the way in which Edward views him?

13. What details of the novel contribute toward the effort to make the exchange of roles between the prince and the pauper plausible?

14. Discuss the theme of clothes determining the way a person is treated.

15. Discuss the ways in which ceremonial rituals are satirized by Twain, as well as the ways in which they have a positive function.

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About whom did a crowd chant, "Be gracious to us, O sweet king! / "Trample not upon thy beseeching worms, O noble majesty!" / "Pity thy slaves, and comfort them with a royal kick!"




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