Oedipus the King Test | Final 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 is the position of the chorus, as stated by the chorus leader, in the conflict between Oedipus and Creon?

2. What does Creon say his current position brings?

3. What does Oedipus do when the shepherd won't tell about giving away the infant?

4. Why does Jocasta come to pray to Apollo?

5. What does Creon accuse Oedipus of?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Jocasta's description of the place where Laius was killed mean to Oedipus?

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

3. What does Oedipus say, when he finally finds out the truth about his past and his present situation?

4. How did Polybus die?

5. How does Jocasta react to the messenger's news?

6. What main news does the messenger from Corinth bring?

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

8. Why does Jocasta try to stop Oedipus from trying to find out the truth of his birth?

9. What is the chorus' foremost concern?

10. What did the oracle at Delphi tell Oedipus about his parentage?

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 characters' intentions in their actions and their responsibility for the bad consequences.

1) What is Oedipus' intention in fleeing Corinth? Does Oedipus have any control over the unintended consequences of his actions?

2) What was the shepherd's intention in saving Oedipus? Is Oedipus right or wrong in condemning him at the end of the play?

3) To what extent is each character responsible for the tragic happening? Does the level of responsibility have anything to do with the characters' intentions?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss free will and predestination in OEDIPUS THE KING.

1) Is Oedipus predestined to his fate, or does he have free will? Are these two ideas completely incompatible?

2) Can Oedipus be held responsible for his actions, if his fate is predestined?

3) How does predestination affect the position of a ruler? Are all the joys and woes that befall the ruler's lands predestined? What is the role of the leader, if fate is predestined?

(see the answer keys)

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