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 does Oedipus seem to think Jocasta is afraid of learning about his birth?

2. Where did the old shepherd grow up?

3. What children did Polybus have before Oedipus?

4. What does Oedipus ask about Polybus' death?

5. Who does the chorus think can help end the conflict between Creon and Oedipus?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How did Polybus die?

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

4. What is the chorus' attitude toward Oedipus, in his conflict with Creon?

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

6. What prophecy does Jocasta tell Oedipus about?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There is a saying that "ignorance is bliss." Discuss knowledge versus ignorance in the context of the play.

1) Why is Oedipus driven to seek out the truth about himself? Why isn't he afraid of what he might find?

2) Why does Jocasta not want Oedipus to find out the truth, even when she has clearly realized it herself? Could there be any benefit to the characters in continuing to live in ignorance?

3) In the end of the play, if Oedipus could go back and undo his own knowledge, do you think he would? Use evidence from the play to support your position.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss love and family relationships in the play.

1) Discuss Oedipus' love for his children. Why does this love only come out at the end of the play?

2) Discuss Oedipus' love for Jocasta in this play. Is this love in any way caused by their biological relationship?

3) Discuss Oedipus' love for Thebes. Does Oedipus truly love Thebes? How does Oedipus treat his "children," as he calls them at the beginning of the play?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss denial in Oedipus.

1) When and how much does Jocasta know about Oedipus' background and crimes? Does Jocasta realize what is going on, at least on some level, and hide it from herself? What characteristics does she have that might make this plausible?

2) When and how much does Oedipus know about his own background and crimes? Is Oedipus in denial of his crimes at all?

3) Does the chorus seem to have any inkling of the truth? Is it possible that the people of the town could be in denial? Support your reasoning with evidence from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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