Topics for Further Study

  • Speare’s The Bronze Bow is a novel of historical fiction, which means that the author takes real characters from history and puts words in their mouths and assumes their motivations. Is this fair?
  • Research other powerful women from the Bible. Some examples include, but are not limited to, the following: Sarah, Rachel, Esther, Ruth, Deborah, and the Queen of Sheba. How did these women make contributions to society? Examine their political impact and ability to enact social change.
  • Is Speare’s depiction of indentured slavery accurately portrayed? What did a slave endure? How often did they live to see the terms of their bond end? Where does Speare portray this aspect of Jewish life well? Where does she fall short?
  • Define the term zealotry as used in the novel and now. What current figures might be considered “zealots”? For what causes do these zealots fight? Examine their social, political, and economic motivations both historically and in the present day. Consider whether Rosh or Simon meets the definition of a true zealot.
  • Compare and contrast the roles of the women in Speare’s novel and modern women in Israel. How have their roles changed? Has anything remained the same?