The following exam oriented questions and answers are based on the play The Bishop’s Candlesticks.
This lesson is designed for students of class 9 CBSE.
English Communicative Drama 2 | The Bishop’s Candlesticks
Short answer type questions
1. ‘I was a man once and I am a beast now. ‘ What circumstances turned the man into a beast in ‘The Bishop’s Candlesticks’?
The protagonist was a jobless man who had stolen food for his ailing wife. The authorities put him in jail for this minor offense and he suffered inhuman treatment in the prison. He was given no food or medical attention. He was beaten like a beast. He underwent corporal punishment and had vermin all over his body. These atrocities that they inflicted on him ultimately turned him into a beast.
2. In spite of being siblings, the Bishop and Persome have different characters. Elaborate
The Bishop and Persome are siblings in real life but their characters are totally different. The Bishop is kind and compassionate. Persome is somewhat selfish. She does not like it when the Bishop works for the welfare of others. She once rebuked Marie for telling the Bishop that her mother was ill because she thought that they were lying so that the Bishop might visit them. Bishop sold his salt cellars for helping Mere Gringoire but Persome does not like her. She wants the Bishop to hand over the convict who had stolen his candlesticks to the police but he saves the man and manages to reform him.
3. Why did the Bishop sell his salt-cellars?
The Bishop sold his salt-cellars to help Mere Gringoire who didn’t have enough money to pay her house rent. The Bailiff had threatened to oust her from the house if she didn’t pay the rent. The Bishop was a kind hearted man and always helped people who were in distress. When he realized that Gringoire was going through a lot of financial hardships he sold his salt-cellars to give her money.
4. How does the Bishop reform the convict?
The Bishop showed the convict that human values like love, compassion and mercy still exist in the world. The convict had received inhuman treatment in the prison and that had turned him into a beast. He broke into the Bishop’s house one night but the Bishop treated him with love and compassion. In spite of that the convict stole the Bishop’s candlesticks and escaped. However, he was caught and when the police brought him to the Bishop’s house, the Bishop told them that the convict was his friend and that he himself had given him the candlesticks. This act of selfless love and compassion touched the convict’s heart and reformed him for good.
Long answer type questions
1. What do you think are the situations that can be termed as the turning points in the life of the convict?
There were mainly three turning points in the life of the convict. The first one was when he stole food for his ailing wife. He was jobless and could not afford to buy food for his wife. This forced him to steal bread. Unfortunately, this minor offence landed him in prison and he received inhuman treatment there. The cruelties that the jail authorities inflicted on him turned him into a beast. The second turning point was his meeting with the Bishop. Although the Bishop treated him with love and kindness, the convict was not moved. He stole the Bishop’s candlesticks and escaped from there. The third turning point was when the police took him to the Bishop’s house. The Bishop knew that the convict would again be put in prison and to save him, the Bishop told the police that the convict was his friend and that he himself had given him the candlesticks. This act of kindness moved the convict to tears and transformed him into a good human being.
2. Prepare a character sketch of Persome
In the play Persome is portrayed as a cruel and selfish woman. She is exactly the opposite of Bishop. While he is kind and compassionate, she can only think of her own interests. Yes, she loves her brother and shows great concern for his wellbeing. She is worried that others may take advantage of the Bishop because he is a simple hearted man. She once rebuked Marie for telling the Bishop that her mother was ill because she thought that they were lying so that the Bishop might visit them. She didn’t like it when the Bishop sold his salt –cellars to help Mere Gringoire. She showed her cruelty to the convict as well. She wanted the Bishop to hand him over to the police when they realized that he had stolen their candlesticks. All of these acts clearly prove that Persome was a narrow-minded woman with little care or concern for others. However, she is highly protective of her brother and that is the only positive quality we can find in her.