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. Where does Jocasta say that Laius was murdered?

3. What does Creon accuse Oedipus of?

4. What does Jocasta advise Oedipus about his fears?

5. Where did the old shepherd grow up?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Jocasta feel about Polybus' death?

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

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

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

6. What caused the scar on Oedipus' ankles?

7. What is the first thing Oedipus tells Jocasta, when he tells her about the argument between himself and Creon?

8. What is Oedipus's attitude toward his wife?

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

10. What is the chorus' foremost concern?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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 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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