Ideas for Reports and Papers

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

1. See Laurence Olivier's film version of Richard III (1955) or read Shakespeare's Henry VI, "Part III" and Richard III and compare the characterization of Richard of Gloucester with Stevenson's.

2. Compare John Amend-All and his band of forest outlaws to Robin Hood.

3. Was Richard of Gloucester, later Richard III, the villain that Shakespeare and, to some extent, Stevenson portray? For a contrasting view, read and report on Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time (1951), the portion of Thomas B. Costain's The Last Plantagenets (1962) that deals with Richard HI, or Paul Kendall's biography, Richard III (1955).

4. What moral lesson does Dick learn from his experiences in warfare and combat? How has his recklessness ruined the sailor whose boat he stole? Can Dick ever make amends?

5. The characters in The Black Arrow are not all black and white. Sir Oliver and Bennet Hatch are followers of Sir Daniel Brackley, who has betrayed Dick. Do they have any lingering loyalty to Dick and any reluctance to see him murdered? Dick's initial antagonist, Lord Foxham, becomes his friend and ally, and his protector and patron, Richard of Gloucester, has sinister tendencies. Dick himself is not without flaws. Discuss the ambiguities and complexities of Stevenson's characterizations.

6. Read a history of England during the Wars of the Roses and report on the political background of the novel. How did the Wars of the Roses end?

7. Is The Black Arrowjust an escapist adventure story, or does it have some moral value? If so, what is it?

8. View the Walt Disney film version of The Black Arrow and compare it to the book.

9. Compare Richard Shelton to Steven-son's other adolescent heroes: Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island and David Balfour in Kidnapped. To what extent, and in what ways, do the outlaws resemble Long John Silver and Alan Breck Stewart?

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Topics for Discussion