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 does Creon say stopped the city from looking into the king's death?

2. What is Creon wearing on his head as he approaches the town?

3. What does the chorus leader rebuke both Oedipus and Teiresias for?

4. What reason does Teiresias give for not answering Oedipus' questions?

5. What is Oedipus' attitude toward Teiresias when he first speaks to the prophet?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Oedipus's attitude toward his wife?

2. What did Oedipus do when he found Jocasta?

3. Why does Oedipus ask to live in Cithaeron?

4. Describe how the townspeople view Oedipus.

5. Describe what the people of Thebes have with them at the beginning of the play.

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

7. Why does Oedipus question how his father could love him?

8. When Oedipus is questioning Creon, why does he ask Creon how long it's been since Laius was killed?

9. What does Oedipus say when he hears Creon is approaching?

10. What does Oedipus say about the sight of his children?

Essay 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 dramatic irony in OEDIPUS THE KING.

1) How does the fact that the audience knows the story of Oedipus affect the way the writer tells the story? How could the story be told differently, if the audience were unfamiliar with it?

2) How does dramatic irony affect the audience's perception of Oedipus? Is the audience more or less sympathetic toward Oedipus? Why or why not? How does the audience perceive Oedipus' quarrels with Teiresias and Creon?

3) How does dramatic irony affect the audience's perception of Jocasta?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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