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. Why does Oedipus say his sorrow is greater than the townspeople?

3. What does Creon say about the god's call to avenge Laius' death now?

4. Who does the chorus leader say should reveal the murderer?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Why doesn't Oedipus listen to Teiresias?

2. Explain the irony of Teiresias' blindness.

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

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

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

6. How does Teiresias feel about having come to see Oedipus at the king's request?

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

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

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

10. What troubles have affected the people of Thebes?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss blindness in OEDIPUS THE KING.

1) Why is the character of Teiresias blind? Does his blindness increase his prophetic ability? Does his blindness have a metaphoric quality?

2) Discuss Oedipus's choice of blindness as a punishment. Why does Oedipus choose to be blind? Is Oedipus's blindness metaphoric?

3) What other metaphoric meanings does blindness have in the story? Use quotations from the play as examples.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the role of women in the play.

1) What is Jocasta's role as queen? How do the people seem to treat Jocasta?

2) Creon says that Jocasta and Oedipus rule as equals. Is this true? How does Oedipus treat Jocasta?

2) Why does Oedipus fear for his daughters more than his sons at the end of the play? What does this say about the treatment of men and women in the society?

(see the answer keys)

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