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 reason does Teiresias give for not answering Oedipus' questions?

2. Why does Oedipus say he's not punishing Teiresias?

3. How does Creon's face look as he approaches?

4. Who does Oedipus say he's seeking vengeance for?

5. What does the chorus leader tell Oedipus about the murderer?

Short Essay Questions

1. What favor did Jocasta do for the person who told her about Laius' death?

2. Describe what the servants saw when Oedipus broke down his bedroom door.

3. Describe what the people of Thebes have with them at the beginning of the play.

4. What reason does Teiresias give for coming to see Oedipus?

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

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

7. Why doesn't Oedipus listen to Teiresias?

8. What is Jocasta's response, when Oedipus wants to find and question the shepherd that the messenger said gave him the infant Oedipus?

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

10. When Oedipus is questioning Creon, why does he ask Creon how long it's been since Laius was killed?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Examine the nature and consequences of defying the gods in OEDIPUS THE KING.

1) How does Oedipus defy the gods? How do Laius and Jocasta defy the gods? What does the punishment seem to be for this defiance?

2) Why does Creon insist on consulting with the gods before banishing Oedipus? If the gods insist on this type of close compliance to their prophets, is there any need for a ruler as intermediary? Where is Creon's power as king, if he must defer to the gods?

3) How would the characters be best able to please the gods? What would have been the results of their actions?

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

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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