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. Where does Creon say the murderer of Lauis is?

2. Who does Oedipus say he's seeking vengeance for?

3. Who does the priest say has gathered?

4. What does Oedipus first say to Creon as he approaches?

5. Who does Teiresias accuse as the murderer?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. What troubles have affected the people of Thebes?

7. Describe Oedipus's attitude toward Creon when Creon returns.

8. Describe how the townspeople view Oedipus.

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

10. Why doesn't Oedipus listen to Teiresias?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss justice in the play.

1) What acts in the play call for retribution by the gods? Why are these acts singled out? What makes an act call for justice?

2) Are the gods in the play just or unjust? Does Oedipus truly deserve punishment?

3) How does a ruler mete out justice? Is Oedipus a just ruler? What qualities in a ruler promote justice? Use examples from the play.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

In OEDIPUS THE KING, much of the action takes place offstage or in different times, and is retold by the characters and messengers. Discuss how this affects the play.

1) How is hearing about Jocasta's suicide from the second messenger a different experience than seeing it?

2) How is hearing Oeidpus retell the story of meeting Laius on the road different from seeing it?

3) How effective is it for Oedipus to come on stage with his eyes gouged out at the end of the play? Is it more affecting since most of the violence of the play takes place offstage?

4) What other effects does the action taking place offstage have on the play?

(see the answer keys)

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