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 chorus leader rebuke both Oedipus and Teiresias for?

2. What deal does Oedipus offer the murderer if he gives himself in?

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

4. Before he leaves, what does Oedipus say will happen?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Oedipus react to Creon's self defense?

2. What did the oracle at Delphi tell Oedipus about his parentage?

3. What does the old shepherd say was his motive in giving the infant to the messenger, when they were both shepherds together?

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

5. Why does Jocasta try to stop Oedipus from trying to find out the truth of his birth?

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

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

8. What main news does the messenger from Corinth bring?

9. What troubles have affected the people of Thebes?

10. What prophecy does Jocasta tell Oedipus about?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the timeline of Oedipus' story.

1) Why does Oedipus' story begin years after Oedipus killed his father?

2) How does the audience gain information about Oedipus's past?

3) What is the importance of the past events in Oedipus' life: the prophecy given to him, leaving his parents, meeting the stranger on the road, and defeating the Sphinx? Are any of the events in the play comparable in importance to the past events in Oedipus' life?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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