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. What does Teiresias answer when Oedipus asks the identity of his father?

2. Who does the priest say has gathered?

3. Who does Teiresias accuse as the murderer?

4. What does Oedipus call the people of Thebes?

5. Where does Creon say the murderer of Lauis is?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How does Oedipus' attitude toward Teiresias change during their first discussion?

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

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

7. How does Oedipus respond to the townspeople's pleas for help?

8. What does Oedipus accuse Teiresias of, that finally forces the prophet's tongue?

9. What is Teiresias referring to when he says Oedipus and his children will be "equals"?

10. What reason does Teiresias give for coming to see Oedipus?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the nature of power and leadership in the play.

1) What qualities make a good leader in the play? Who would make a better leader, Oedipus or Creon?

2) What are the benefits and drawbacks of power in the play? How do Oedipus and Creon view power?

3) How does Jocasta affect Oedipus's leadership in the play?

4) What role do the gods play in leadership? Compare the power of the gods to the power of men.

Essay Topic 2

In OEDIPUS THE KING, much of the action takes place offstage or in different times, and is retold by the characters and messengers. Discuss how this affects the play.

1) How is hearing about Jocasta's suicide from the second messenger a different experience than seeing it?

2) How is hearing Oeidpus retell the story of meeting Laius on the road different from seeing it?

3) How effective is it for Oedipus to come on stage with his eyes gouged out at the end of the play? Is it more affecting since most of the violence of the play takes place offstage?

4) What other effects does the action taking place offstage have on the play?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss prophecy in OEDIPUS THE KING.

1) What is the reasons gods provide prophecies in OEDIPUS THE KING? If the characters know their futures, why aren't they better able to change them?

2) How do prophecies fulfill themselves in OEDIPUS THE KING? Are prophecies escapable?

3) How is the prophecy Laius receives different from the prophecy Oedipus receives? Why are these prophecies different?

(see the answer keys)

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