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 Creon say his current position brings?

2. Why does Jocasta come to pray to Apollo?

3. What does Creon say Oedipus should do to get proof of Creon's innocence?

4. What is the position of the chorus, as stated by the chorus leader, in the conflict between Oedipus and Creon?

5. What does Oedipus ask about Polybus' death?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What prophecy does Jocasta tell Oedipus about?

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

7. What is the chorus' foremost concern?

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

9. How does Jocasta feel about Polybus' death?

10. How did Polybus die?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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