Three Questions by Leo Tolstoy Summary
“Three Questions” is a short story written by Leo Tolstoy, a Russian author and philosopher. The story is about a king who wants to know the answers to three important questions: When is the best time to do things? Who are the most important people to do things for? What is the most important thing to do?
The king goes to a wise hermit for advice and the hermit tells him that the answers to the king’s questions will only be revealed to him through actions and experience. The king is disappointed and leaves the hermit’s hut.
On his way home, the king comes across a soldier who is dying of wounds. The soldier begs the king to help him, and the king realizes that the most important time to do things is now, that the most important people to do things for are those in need, and that the most important thing to do is to help others.
The king returns home and begins to put these lessons into practice, becoming a just and compassionate ruler who helps his people.
Three Questions by Leo Tolstoy Questions Answers
Q1: What were the three questions that occured to the king? What did he do get the answers to his questions?
Ans: The three questions which occurred to the king are-
- What is the right time for every action?
- Who are the right people to listen to and whom to avoid?
- What is the most important occupation?
He thought that he would never fail once he knew the answer to the question. Throughout his kingdom, the king announced a reward for those who could answer the question.
Q2: What answers did the wise man give to his first question?
Ans: As the answer to the first question, som esaid the king must prepare a timetable, and follow it strictly. Some also said that it was impossible to decide in advance the right time for doing something. The king should avoid foolish pleasures and always do whatever is important yet some others said that the king needed a council of wise man who would help him to act at the proper time. This was because one man alone would find it impossible to decide correctly, without the help of others, the right time for every action.
Q3: How did the wise man answer his second question?
Ans: in answer to the second question, some wise men said that the councilors were the most importrant people the king needed. Others said that the priests were important, while some said the doctors were important, while some said the warriors were the most necessary.
Q4: What answer did the king get for his third question?
Ans: To the third question, as to what was the most important occupation, some replied that the most important thing in the world was science. Others said it was skill in warfare and others, again, that it was religious worship.
Q5: Why did he decide to consult a hermit?
Ans: The king was not satisfied with the answer that he got from the people so he gave no reward to anyone. Finally, he decided to consult a hermit to find the right answers to his question.
Q6: Why did the king want the answers to his three questions?
Ans: The king wanted the answers to his three questions as he felt that if he knew the answers then he would never fail in anything.
Q7: According to the various learned men, who were the most important people?
Ans: According to various learned man, the most important people were councilors, priests and warriors.
Q8: While the king was with the hermit, who came running towards them? Describe the condition.
Ans: While the king was with the hermit, a bearded man came running out of the woods. When he reached the king, he fell to the ground, moaning feebly. Unfastening the man’s clothing, it was found that there was alarge wound in his stomach.
Q9: How did the king help the stranger? What surprising confession did the stranger make?
Ans: With the help of hermit, the king unfastened the man’s clothing, washed and bandaged the wound till the blood stopped flowing. Then they carried the wounded man inside the hut and laid him on the bed. The stranger confessed that he was King;s enemy who had promised to take revenge as the king had executed his brother and seized his property. As he was aware that the king had gone alone to see the hermit, so he had resolved to kill the King on his way back.
Q10: Explain these lines with reference to context.
(a) Now rest awhile and let me work a bit.
Ans: This line has been spoken by the hermit to the King who had come to meet him. After the King had dug two beds, he stopped and asked his questions to the hermit.
(b) I do not know you and have nothing to forgive you for.
Ans: This line has been spoken by the King to the stranger when the stranger asked the king for his forgiveness.
(c) If you had not pitied my weakness yesterday and had not dug those beds for me, but had gone your way, that man would have attacked you.
Ans: The line has been spoken by the hermit to the king as a reply to one of his questions.
Q11: Do you think the three questions of the king were important! Why?
Ans: Yes, the three questions of the king were important as the correct answers to those questions would never let anyone fail in life. The person with answers to these questions will have a life full of success, prosperity, name and fame.
Q12: The change of heart in the bearded stranger illustrates a simple truth. What is it?
Ans: The simple truth illustrated by the change of heart in the bearded stranger is that unconditional good deeds always reward the person with good results. The man who came to kill him had become the most trustworthy person for the king.
Q13: According to the story, which way of answering questions is more effective: telling someone the right answer or guiding people to arrive at the answer themselves?
Ans: Guiding people to arrive at the answers themselves is the ight approach.