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. According to Creon, who does a witness say killed Laius?

2. Why does Oedipus say his sorrow is greater than the townspeople?

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

4. What does the priest point out about Oedipus overcoming the Sphinx?

5. What does Oedipus ask Teiresias to do, after Teiresias says Oedipus is the murderer?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Oedipus react to Creon's self defense?

3. Explain the irony of Teiresias' blindness.

4. What does Oedipus say about isolated thought?

5. How does Creon seem to react to Oedipus leveling charges against him?

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

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

8. What does Oedipus ask Creon to do for his children?

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

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

There is a saying that "ignorance is bliss." Discuss knowledge versus ignorance in the context of the play.

1) Why is Oedipus driven to seek out the truth about himself? Why isn't he afraid of what he might find?

2) Why does Jocasta not want Oedipus to find out the truth, even when she has clearly realized it herself? Could there be any benefit to the characters in continuing to live in ignorance?

3) In the end of the play, if Oedipus could go back and undo his own knowledge, do you think he would? Use evidence from the play to support your position.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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