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 tell Jocasta, when she begs him to tell her what's troubling him?

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

3. Who accused Oedipus of not being his father's real son?

4. What does Oedipus ask about Polybus' death?

5. Who does Jocasta send for after hearing the messenger's news?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the first thing Oedipus tells Jocasta, when he tells her about the argument between himself and Creon?

2. How did Polybus die?

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

4. What prophecy does Jocasta tell Oedipus about?

5. What favor did Jocasta do for the person who told her about Laius' death?

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

7. What is the chorus' foremost concern?

8. What does Oedipus say, when he finally finds out the truth about his past and his present situation?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In OEDIPUS THE KING, much of the action takes place offstage or in different times, and is retold by the characters and messengers. Discuss how this affects the play.

1) How is hearing about Jocasta's suicide from the second messenger a different experience than seeing it?

2) How is hearing Oeidpus retell the story of meeting Laius on the road different from seeing it?

3) How effective is it for Oedipus to come on stage with his eyes gouged out at the end of the play? Is it more affecting since most of the violence of the play takes place offstage?

4) What other effects does the action taking place offstage have on the play?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Oedipus as a tragic hero.

1) What are the qualities of a tragic hero, and how does Oedipus embody those qualities? Are there any ways in which Oedipus is not a tragic hero?

2) What is Oedipus' tragic flaw? How does it contribute to his downfall?

3) The chorus comments on how far Oedipus has fallen in the end of the play. Why is it important for a tragic hero to be a mighty person who falls to a low position? How does Oedipus fulfill this aspect of the tragic hero?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss free will and predestination in OEDIPUS THE KING.

1) Is Oedipus predestined to his fate, or does he have free will? Are these two ideas completely incompatible?

2) Can Oedipus be held responsible for his actions, if his fate is predestined?

3) How does predestination affect the position of a ruler? Are all the joys and woes that befall the ruler's lands predestined? What is the role of the leader, if fate is predestined?

(see the answer keys)

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