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 Oedipus say he has to fear from Laius' murderer?

2. Who does the priest say has gathered?

3. Before Teiresias leaves, what does he say about the murderer's nationality?

4. What does Oedipus say about the fact that Laius' death wasn't looked into before?

5. What does Oedipus wish for himself, if he unknowingly hosted the murderer at his home?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why doesn't Oedipus listen to Teiresias?

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

4. What rumor does the chorus leader remind Oedipus of?

5. Explain the irony of Teiresias' blindness.

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

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

8. Describe how the townspeople view Oedipus.

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Oedipus' temper and his tendency to anger.

1) What types of things cause Oedipus anger? What instigates Oedipus's anger with Teiresias? Creon? Laius?

2) How does Oedipus' temper affect his ability to lead Thebes? Does Oedipus get angry for his own sake or for the sake of Thebes?

3) What is the root of Oedipus' anger? Is Oedipus angry about the things he says he is, or is there a deeper reason for Oedipus' anger?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the characters' intentions in their actions and their responsibility for the bad consequences.

1) What is Oedipus' intention in fleeing Corinth? Does Oedipus have any control over the unintended consequences of his actions?

2) What was the shepherd's intention in saving Oedipus? Is Oedipus right or wrong in condemning him at the end of the play?

3) To what extent is each character responsible for the tragic happening? Does the level of responsibility have anything to do with the characters' intentions?

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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