Oedipus the King Short Essay - Answer Key

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Short Essay Questions Key

1. Describe what the people of Thebes have with them at the beginning of the play.

The people of Thebes are carrying laurel wreaths, wool, and incense in supplication to the gods.

2. What reason does Oedipus give for coming himself to see the crowd of people who have gathered at the beginning of the play?

Oedipus says that it would not be right of him to find out from a third party what the crowd's worries are.

3. What troubles have affected the people of Thebes?

Disease has infected the fruit blossoms and the cattle, and the women's babies are being stillborn.

4. Describe how the townspeople view Oedipus.

Oedipus is deeply respected in the town because he freed them from paying tribute to the Sphinx. They believe in Oedipus' intellect and ability to save them from trouble.

5. What is the attitude of the townspeople when they speak to Oedipus?

They are begging. The townspeople are desperate and willing to give any honor to Oedipus for his help in saving them.

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