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

2. What argument does Oedipus offer that Teiresias is not really a prophet?

3. Who does the priest say has gathered?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Oedipus wish on the murderer?

3. Why doesn't Oedipus listen to Teiresias?

4. Describe how the townspeople view Oedipus.

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

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

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

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

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

10. What troubles have affected the people of Thebes?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Oedipus's justification of choosing blindness and exile as his punishment.

1) Why does Oedipus feel the need to punish himself for his "crimes'?

2) Why does Oedipus choose the particular punishment of blindness? Why does Oedipus want to be exiled from Thebes?

3) Will Oedipus's punishment fit his crime? Is Oedipus's punishment a fair one? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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