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. How does Creon's face look as he approaches?

2. What does Oedipus accuse Creon of?

3. What does Teiresias say about his own wisdom, after Oedipus questions him about Laius' murderer?

4. Where are the townspeople who are not gathered to speak with Oedipus?

5. Who does Teiresias say he serves?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What rumor does the chorus leader remind Oedipus of?

5. Describe how the townspeople view Oedipus.

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

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

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

9. What does Oedipus wish for any townspeople who don't obey his orders?

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

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

Discuss the timeline of Oedipus' story.

1) Why does Oedipus' story begin years after Oedipus killed his father?

2) How does the audience gain information about Oedipus's past?

3) What is the importance of the past events in Oedipus' life: the prophecy given to him, leaving his parents, meeting the stranger on the road, and defeating the Sphinx? Are any of the events in the play comparable in importance to the past events in Oedipus' life?

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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