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 the chorus think it's time for the murderer to flee?

2. What does Teiresias say Oedipus doesn't know?

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

4. What does Creon say about Laius' companions when he was killed?

5. What does Teiresias say about the murderer's eyesight?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Oedipus wish on the murderer?

2. Why does Oedipus offer a deal to the murderer and set rules for the people of Thebes?

3. What troubles have affected the people of Thebes?

4. Explain the irony of Teiresias' blindness.

5. Why doesn't Oedipus listen to Teiresias?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Discuss love and family relationships in the play.

1) Discuss Oedipus' love for his children. Why does this love only come out at the end of the play?

2) Discuss Oedipus' love for Jocasta in this play. Is this love in any way caused by their biological relationship?

3) Discuss Oedipus' love for Thebes. Does Oedipus truly love Thebes? How does Oedipus treat his "children," as he calls them at the beginning of the play?

(see the answer keys)

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