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 was Oedipus' response to the information he got from the oracle at Delphi, when he asked about his parentage?

2. What possible explanation does the chorus leader give for Oedipus' charge against Creon?

3. What does Creon say can validate a man who is true?

4. Who does the messenger say gave him the infant Oedipus?

5. Does the shepherd identify the messenger as someone he's met?

Short Essay Questions

1. What caused the scar on Oedipus' ankles?

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

3. What is the chorus' foremost concern?

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

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

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

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

8. What is Jocasta's response, when Oedipus wants to find and question the shepherd that the messenger said gave him the infant Oedipus?

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

10. What prophecy does Jocasta tell Oedipus about?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Oedipus as a tragic hero.

1) What are the qualities of a tragic hero, and how does Oedipus embody those qualities? Are there any ways in which Oedipus is not a tragic hero?

2) What is Oedipus' tragic flaw? How does it contribute to his downfall?

3) The chorus comments on how far Oedipus has fallen in the end of the play. Why is it important for a tragic hero to be a mighty person who falls to a low position? How does Oedipus fulfill this aspect of the tragic hero?

Essay Topic 2

Examine the nature and consequences of defying the gods in OEDIPUS THE KING.

1) How does Oedipus defy the gods? How do Laius and Jocasta defy the gods? What does the punishment seem to be for this defiance?

2) Why does Creon insist on consulting with the gods before banishing Oedipus? If the gods insist on this type of close compliance to their prophets, is there any need for a ruler as intermediary? Where is Creon's power as king, if he must defer to the gods?

3) How would the characters be best able to please the gods? What would have been the results of their actions?

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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