Perhaps the most enigmatic monsters at Hogwarts are the centaurs who live in the forbidden forest. They seem to be direct descendants of the centaurs which were believed to have lived on Mount Pelion in Thessaly, in central Greece. Rowling’s centaurs also preferred a woodland home, although they had a reputation for lascivious behaviour which the noble Firenze and his companions have avoided. Firenze himself, with his passion for astrology and education, owes something to the celebrated centaur, Chiron, who was teacher to Achilles, Theseus and other Greek heroes, and was also a renowned astrologer. There is a beautiful fresco, originally from Herculaneum, in the archaeological museum in Naples, which shows Chiron teaching Achilles to play the lyre. His back legs are curled behind him, almost like a dog, while his front legs support his weight and his hands pluck at the lyre strings. It’s a beautiful reminder that human beings have been thinking of mythical beasts for as long as we have been writing, painting and thinking.
Based on the text, what can be said about Firenze?
- In some ways, he was different from the other centaurs who lived in the forbidden forest.
- He owed money to the famous centaur, Chiron of ancient Greece.
- He was interested in astrology and education.
- He was a direct descendant of Chiron.
- He played a central role in Rowling’s Hogwarts world.
The correct options are Option 1 and Option 3. Option 1 is correct because the passage tells us – although they had a reputation for lascivious behaviour which the noble Firenze and his companions have avoided. Option 2 is wrong because the passage says – owes something to the celebrated centaur, Chiron, but this is not in the context of any money. This is a reminder why you should never solely depend on keyword matching. Option 3 is correct as the passage tells us – Firenze himself, with his passion for astrology and education. Option 4 is wrong because this is not specifically mentioned anywhere in the passage. They are thought of as direct descendants in general, not specifically of Chiron. Option 5 is wrong because there is no specific information about the importance of his role in Rowling’s Hogwarts world.
The multiple choice questions are essentially a test of your reading comprehension skills. You need to learn how to read for academic purposes. This is different from the general everyday reading that you do. In the exam you need to read for a specific purpose in mind. These reading techniques and other essential concepts are discussed in the lectures in our online PTE coaching program.