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 ask Creon about Teiresias?

2. Who asks the old shepherd whether he gave an infant baby to the messenger years ago?

3. What was Oedipus' response to the information he got from the oracle at Delphi, when he asked about his parentage?

4. What does Oedipus ask, when Jocasta tells Oedipus the messenger's news?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What caused the scar on Oedipus' ankles?

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

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 main news does the messenger from Corinth bring?

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

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

9. What is the shepherd's reaction to being questioned about the infant he gave away and being told that Oedipus is that infant?

10. How does Jocasta feel about Polybus' death?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Oedipus's justification of choosing blindness and exile as his punishment.

1) Why does Oedipus feel the need to punish himself for his "crimes'?

2) Why does Oedipus choose the particular punishment of blindness? Why does Oedipus want to be exiled from Thebes?

3) Will Oedipus's punishment fit his crime? Is Oedipus's punishment a fair one? Why or why not?

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 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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