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 made Oedipus angry, when he encountered the stranger's carriage on the road?

2. How does Oedipus react to the chorus' pleas?

3. Why does Jocasta come to pray to Apollo?

4. What sentence does Oedipus want to give to Creon for his crime?

5. What gives Oedipus hope that he did not kill Laius?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is the chorus' foremost concern?

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

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

5. What prophecy does Jocasta tell Oedipus about?

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

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

8. What does the old shepherd say was his motive in giving the infant to the messenger, when they were both shepherds together?

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

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 the nature of power and leadership in the play.

1) What qualities make a good leader in the play? Who would make a better leader, Oedipus or Creon?

2) What are the benefits and drawbacks of power in the play? How do Oedipus and Creon view power?

3) How does Jocasta affect Oedipus's leadership in the play?

4) What role do the gods play in leadership? Compare the power of the gods to the power of men.

Essay Topic 2

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?

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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