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. Why does the messenger tell Oedipus he is not Polybus' son?

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

3. What does the chorus leader say he does not know about Oedipus'scharges against Creon?

4. What does Oedipus do when the messenger questions him about the prophecy that drove Oedipus away from his parents?

5. What does Oedipus do when the shepherd won't tell about giving away the infant?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Discuss the function of the chorus in the play.

1) Who does the chorus represent? What is their attitude toward Oedipus and the events that unfold?

2) How is the chorus similar to the play's audience? How is the chorus different form the audience?

3) Is the chorus always "right"? Do they reflect the attitude of the author?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss justice in the play.

1) What acts in the play call for retribution by the gods? Why are these acts singled out? What makes an act call for justice?

2) Are the gods in the play just or unjust? Does Oedipus truly deserve punishment?

3) How does a ruler mete out justice? Is Oedipus a just ruler? What qualities in a ruler promote justice? Use examples from the play.

(see the answer keys)

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