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

2. How does Teiresias respond when Oedipus says the prophet speaks in riddles?

3. What does Teiresias say about the murderer's financial condition?

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

5. At the end of the scene, what does Oedipus ask the people to stand up and take?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. What troubles have affected the people of Thebes?

8. Explain the irony of Teiresias' blindness.

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

10. What does Oedipus wish on the murderer?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Oedipus' temper and his tendency to anger.

1) What types of things cause Oedipus anger? What instigates Oedipus's anger with Teiresias? Creon? Laius?

2) How does Oedipus' temper affect his ability to lead Thebes? Does Oedipus get angry for his own sake or for the sake of Thebes?

3) What is the root of Oedipus' anger? Is Oedipus angry about the things he says he is, or is there a deeper reason for Oedipus' anger?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss free will and predestination in OEDIPUS THE KING.

1) Is Oedipus predestined to his fate, or does he have free will? Are these two ideas completely incompatible?

2) Can Oedipus be held responsible for his actions, if his fate is predestined?

3) How does predestination affect the position of a ruler? Are all the joys and woes that befall the ruler's lands predestined? What is the role of the leader, if fate is predestined?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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