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

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

3. What is Creon wearing on his head as he approaches the town?

4. What does the chorus leader rebuke both Oedipus and Teiresias for?

5. What course of action does the chorus leader suggest Oedipus should take?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Explain the irony of Teiresias' blindness.

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

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

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

6. What does Oedipus wish on the murderer?

7. What troubles have affected the people of Thebes?

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

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

10. Why doesn't Oedipus listen to Teiresias?

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 justice in the play.

1) What acts in the play call for retribution by the gods? Why are these acts singled out? What makes an act call for justice?

2) Are the gods in the play just or unjust? Does Oedipus truly deserve punishment?

3) How does a ruler mete out justice? Is Oedipus a just ruler? What qualities in a ruler promote justice? Use examples from the play.

Essay Topic 3

What is the natural order in Oedipus, and how does Oedipus upset it?

1) What causes the plague on Thebes? Is Apollo sending a plague as punishment, or is the plague a natural reaction to a disruption in the natural order?

2) What is the hierarchy of power in the play? What place to gods, rulers, men, women, and slaves have in this hierarchy?

3) What makes Oedipus's crime severe enough to upset the natural order?

(see the answer keys)

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