Oedipus the King Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Jocasta question the chorus about, after Creon leaves?

2. Where did the messenger find the infant Oedipus?

3. What is Oedipus' initial reaction when Creon asks to explain himself?

4. What does Oedipus ask, when Jocasta tells Oedipus the messenger's news?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Oedipus's justification of choosing blindness and exile as his punishment.

1) Why does Oedipus feel the need to punish himself for his "crimes'?

2) Why does Oedipus choose the particular punishment of blindness? Why does Oedipus want to be exiled from Thebes?

3) Will Oedipus's punishment fit his crime? Is Oedipus's punishment a fair one? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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