The Enchanted Shirt - Adapted from ‘The Enchanted
Shirt’ by John Hay
About the passage
A. Read to understand
1. Match the statements in column A with those in column B.
The king showed no signs of illness.
had proclaimed the king was ‘as healthy as a fattened yearling’ and ‘as fit
as a fiddle’. c
The king sat up screaming from his sleep.
had prescribed the king should sleep three nights in a happy man’s shirt. d
Dr Truly had displeased the king.
the happy man’s shirt was tattered and filthy. e
Dr Sharp was indeed sharp and a crook.
slept soundly and snored, had bright eyes, a clear skin, and a hearty
The search for the happy man ended.
had seen a dream in which three doctors had given up hope of his recovery. b
2. Answer these questions.
What were the diagnoses provided by the ‘three rogue physicians’?
Ans. The diagnoses provided by the
‘three rogue physicians’
were cholera, tuberculosis and rare disease called outofmentalfocus.
What was the task that the king assigned to Ralph?
Ans. The king asked Ralph to get best physicians in the kingdom.
What did Dr Sharp claim to be? What all did he do prior to reaching his
Ans. Dr Sharp claimed that he has
specialization in curing strange incurable diseases. Prior to reaching his
diagnosis, he examined the king’s royal eyes and tongue.
Why was the vagabond amused?
Ans. The vagabond was amused because
courtiers offered him a thousand gold coins in lieu of his tattered and filthy
B. Read to infer
Who were the ‘rogue physicians’ that the
king asked for? Why did he also call them ‘monsters’?
Ans. The ‘rogue physicians’
were the three doctors whom the king had seen in his dream. King called them
monsters because all the three doctors diagnosed the king with one or other
Why did Jim stutter while telling the truth
about the king’s health?
Ans. Jim stuttered while
telling the truth about the king’s health because of fear of being punished.
The king did cartwheels on the bed. What
does this tell us about the state of his health?
Ans. This tells us that king
was absolutely fine and was not suffering from any disease.
The king says, ‘I don’t want to look a fool
for imagining things.’ What is ironical about this statement? (A statement is
ironical when it has a meaning that is opposite of what is said.)
Ans. The statement is
ironical as on one hand king was saying that he don’t want to look a fool for
imagining things and on other hand he himself imagining that he is ill.
you think Dr Truly and Dr Sharp were appropriately named? Give reasons.
Ans. Yes, they are named appropriately
because Dr Truly diagnosed the king honestly and had announced that king was
healthy whereas Dr Sharp was indeed sharp and a crook and had prescribed the
king should sleep three nights in a happy man’s shirt.
Do you think the king was really sick? What
was his ‘strange incurable disease’? Give reasons.
Ans. No, king was not really
sick. The ‘strange incurable disease’ was his phobia. Phobia is a sickness in
which the suffering person has an extreme fear of something.
Our dreams reflect our inner state of mind.
Discuss this statement in the light of what the king dreamed of in the play.
Ans. Our dreams reflect our
thoughts. King had a fear of being diagnosed with incurable disease. That is
why he had seen a dream in which three doctors had given up hope of his
3. What are the things money can buy? How
are they important for happiness?
Ans. Money can buy us lots of
things but cannot buy happiness.
4. What are the things that money cannot
Ans. Money cannot buy the things such as respect, friendship, health,
love, wisdom, loyalty, character, gratitude, self-esteem, confidence etc.