Oedipus the King Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Does Oedipus say he's ever met Laius?

2. Why does Oedipus say he's not punishing Teiresias?

3. Why does the priest say they've come to Oedipus?

4. What does Teiresias say makes him strong?

5. What does the chorus leader rebuke both Oedipus and Teiresias for?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Oedipus wish for any townspeople who don't obey his orders?

2. What does Oedipus promise to do when Creon returns?

3. Why doesn't Creon immediately tell Oedipus his news?

4. Why does Oedipus offer a deal to the murderer and set rules for the people of Thebes?

5. What does Oedipus wish on the murderer?

6. Describe Oedipus's attitude toward Creon when Creon returns.

7. What troubles have affected the people of Thebes?

8. Why is Oedipus concerned about Creon at the beginning of the play?

9. Explain the irony of Teiresias' blindness.

10. Why doesn't Oedipus listen to Teiresias?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss denial in Oedipus.

1) When and how much does Jocasta know about Oedipus' background and crimes? Does Jocasta realize what is going on, at least on some level, and hide it from herself? What characteristics does she have that might make this plausible?

2) When and how much does Oedipus know about his own background and crimes? Is Oedipus in denial of his crimes at all?

3) Does the chorus seem to have any inkling of the truth? Is it possible that the people of the town could be in denial? Support your reasoning with evidence from the text.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss love and family relationships in the play.

1) Discuss Oedipus' love for his children. Why does this love only come out at the end of the play?

2) Discuss Oedipus' love for Jocasta in this play. Is this love in any way caused by their biological relationship?

3) Discuss Oedipus' love for Thebes. Does Oedipus truly love Thebes? How does Oedipus treat his "children," as he calls them at the beginning of the play?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss dramatic irony in OEDIPUS THE KING.

1) How does the fact that the audience knows the story of Oedipus affect the way the writer tells the story? How could the story be told differently, if the audience were unfamiliar with it?

2) How does dramatic irony affect the audience's perception of Oedipus? Is the audience more or less sympathetic toward Oedipus? Why or why not? How does the audience perceive Oedipus' quarrels with Teiresias and Creon?

3) How does dramatic irony affect the audience's perception of Jocasta?

(see the answer keys)

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