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 the priest call pestilence?

2. What does the chorus say about Oedipus' possible motive for killing Laius?

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

4. What does Oedipus first say to Creon as he approaches?

5. What does Oedipus ask Teiresias to do, after Teiresias says Oedipus is the murderer?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Why doesn't Oedipus listen to Teiresias?

4. What does Oedipus wish on the murderer?

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

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

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

8. Describe how the townspeople view Oedipus.

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

10. Why are the people of Thebes reluctant to think Oedipus guilty of a crime?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Oedipus's justification of choosing blindness and exile as his punishment.

1) Why does Oedipus feel the need to punish himself for his "crimes'?

2) Why does Oedipus choose the particular punishment of blindness? Why does Oedipus want to be exiled from Thebes?

3) Will Oedipus's punishment fit his crime? Is Oedipus's punishment a fair one? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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