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 about the fact that Laius' death wasn't looked into before?

2. What does Oedipus say he's been doing in his sorrow?

3. Who does the priest ask to come as the people's savior?

4. What is Oedipus' attitude toward Teiresias when he first speaks to the prophet?

5. How has Teiresias' pronouncement made the chorus feel?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What does the priest appeal to in asking Oedipus to save the city?

4. Describe the message that Creon brings from the oracle.

5. What does Oedipus wish on the murderer?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss free will and predestination in OEDIPUS THE KING.

1) Is Oedipus predestined to his fate, or does he have free will? Are these two ideas completely incompatible?

2) Can Oedipus be held responsible for his actions, if his fate is predestined?

3) How does predestination affect the position of a ruler? Are all the joys and woes that befall the ruler's lands predestined? What is the role of the leader, if fate is predestined?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the function of the chorus in the play.

1) Who does the chorus represent? What is their attitude toward Oedipus and the events that unfold?

2) How is the chorus similar to the play's audience? How is the chorus different form the audience?

3) Is the chorus always "right"? Do they reflect the attitude of the author?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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