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 does Creon do initially when he hears Oedipus charged him with causing Teiresias to lie?

2. Why does Oedipus say he must remain afraid?

3. What does the messenger ask the chorus when he first arrives?

4. Who does the shepherd say gave him the infant child?

5. Who does Jocasta say told her about Laius' death?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the chorus' attitude toward Oedipus, in his conflict with Creon?

2. What is the shepherd's reaction to being questioned about the infant he gave away and being told that Oedipus is that infant?

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

4. How does Oedipus react to Creon's self defense?

5. What favor did Jocasta do for the person who told her about Laius' death?

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

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

8. After Jocasta exits, when Oedipus is intent on finding out his true identity, how does the chorus feel about Oedipus' search?

9. What is the chorus' foremost concern?

10. How did Polybus die?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

Discuss prophecy in OEDIPUS THE KING.

1) What is the reasons gods provide prophecies in OEDIPUS THE KING? If the characters know their futures, why aren't they better able to change them?

2) How do prophecies fulfill themselves in OEDIPUS THE KING? Are prophecies escapable?

3) How is the prophecy Laius receives different from the prophecy Oedipus receives? Why are these prophecies different?

(see the answer keys)

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