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 is Creon's relationship to Oedipus?

2. Does Oedipus say he's ever met Laius?

3. Where does Creon say Laius was when he was killed?

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

5. What does Oedipus say the killers had to have?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why are the people of Thebes reluctant to think Oedipus guilty of a crime?

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

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

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

5. Explain the irony of Teiresias' blindness.

6. What reason does Oedipus give for coming himself to see the crowd of people who have gathered at the beginning of the play?

7. Describe how the townspeople view Oedipus.

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the characters' intentions in their actions and their responsibility for the bad consequences.

1) What is Oedipus' intention in fleeing Corinth? Does Oedipus have any control over the unintended consequences of his actions?

2) What was the shepherd's intention in saving Oedipus? Is Oedipus right or wrong in condemning him at the end of the play?

3) To what extent is each character responsible for the tragic happening? Does the level of responsibility have anything to do with the characters' intentions?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the qualities of a leader, as illustrated in OEDIPUS THE KING.

1) What qualities does Oedipus have that make him seem like a good leader? Why do the people of Thebes choose him as a leader?

2) What qualities does Oedipus have that make him not a good leader? How do these qualities affect Oedipus's leadership?

3) What kind of a leader does Creon seem to be? Compare Creon's leadership qualities with Oedipus's.

(see the answer keys)

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