Explain how death is presented in the novel.
This is a key theme during Shadowkissed and is signified by Dimitri's turning into Strigoi towards the end of the book. However, death is constantly around Rose in all forms, especially in the form of the Strigoi. She is constantly reminded of death by the fact that Strigoi must be killed. Indeed, the use of Strigoi is a metaphor for the idea that death is a constant presence and is a part of life. The battle at the end of the book is significant of the role that death will play in Rose's life as a Guardian. Her inability to cope with Dimitri's death greatly contrasts with her initial easy acceptance of death as an inevitable process and a part of life.
Explain how good and evil and presented in the novel.
There is a struggle between these two ideologies and this is physically represented by the battle between the Damphir's and Strigoi towards the end of the book. As a Damphir who is shadow-kissed, Rose is often unsure of which side she belongs to and this uncertainty is made obvious when she violently attacks Jesse and threatens to kill him. The evil part of her soul is growing the more she tries to ease the depression off of Lissa.
Explain how duty is presented in the novel.
There is a conflict for the first time in Rose's attitude towards duty. Having been taught that the 'Moroi always come first' since an early age, Rose has a duty-bound complex towards all Moroi. However, her desire to protect the Moroi comes into question when she attacks Jesse, thereby questioning her intentions to be a Guardian. Moreover, her sense of duty comes to a breaking point when she leaves Lissa and tells her that she as to go after Dimitri for herself and not for Lissa.
Comment on the idea of corruption in the novel.
Lissa is a physical representation of innocence, with her loving, kind and caring personality. However, her soul is beginning to become corrupted when she attacks Jesse with her magical powers in retaliation. Her violent act taints her soul and is symbolic of the fracturing of her soul.
Comment on the portrayal of insanity in the novel.
Rose is a physical manifestations of madness, a side-effect of Spirit. Lissa's sudden outbursts are eased off by Rose who takes away the depressive thoughts and fuels them into her own body. This overuse of Spirit in her body drives her to the edge and causes her to attack Jesse in violent manner. Dimitri is the only person able to ease the madness in Rose.
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