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 gives Oedipus hope that he did not kill Laius?

2. Does the chorus leader recognize the approaching shepherd?

3. What nationality does Oedipus say the mother who raised him was?

4. What does Jocasta ask Oedipus to do regarding her brother?

5. Who does the messenger say gave Oedipus to Polybus?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Jocasta feel about Polybus' death?

2. What prophecy does Jocasta tell Oedipus about?

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

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

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

6. What is the chorus' foremost concern?

7. What does Oedipus say, when he finally finds out the truth about his past and his present situation?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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 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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