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 simile does Jocasta use to describe the people of Thebes?

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

3. How does the messenger say Jocasta will feel about his news?

4. Who first sees the old shepherd approaching?

5. Where did Laius order his infant child to be put?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What prophecy does Jocasta tell Oedipus about?

4. When Oedipus is questioning Creon, why does he ask Creon how long it's been since Laius was killed?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Oedipus' temper and his tendency to anger.

1) What types of things cause Oedipus anger? What instigates Oedipus's anger with Teiresias? Creon? Laius?

2) How does Oedipus' temper affect his ability to lead Thebes? Does Oedipus get angry for his own sake or for the sake of Thebes?

3) What is the root of Oedipus' anger? Is Oedipus angry about the things he says he is, or is there a deeper reason for Oedipus' anger?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the role of women in the play.

1) What is Jocasta's role as queen? How do the people seem to treat Jocasta?

2) Creon says that Jocasta and Oedipus rule as equals. Is this true? How does Oedipus treat Jocasta?

2) Why does Oedipus fear for his daughters more than his sons at the end of the play? What does this say about the treatment of men and women in the society?

(see the answer keys)

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