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

2. What does the old shepherd fear will happen to him if he tells the truth?

3. Does the messenger identify the shepherd as the man he mentioned earlier?

4. What does Oedipus say that he still fears, after hearing the news of Polybus' death?

5. Where does the messenger want Oedipus to go?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Examine the nature and consequences of defying the gods in OEDIPUS THE KING.

1) How does Oedipus defy the gods? How do Laius and Jocasta defy the gods? What does the punishment seem to be for this defiance?

2) Why does Creon insist on consulting with the gods before banishing Oedipus? If the gods insist on this type of close compliance to their prophets, is there any need for a ruler as intermediary? Where is Creon's power as king, if he must defer to the gods?

3) How would the characters be best able to please the gods? What would have been the results of their actions?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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