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. Who does Jocasta say Laius had with him, as an escort?

2. Why does Jocasta come to pray to Apollo?

3. In the encounter between Oedipus and the stranger in the carriage, what was the initial violent act?

4. What does Oedipus ask about Polybus' death?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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 main news does the messenger from Corinth bring?

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

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

7. How does Creon seem to react to Oedipus leveling charges against him?

8. What caused the scar on Oedipus' ankles?

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

10. What prophecy does Jocasta tell Oedipus about?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the timeline of Oedipus' story.

1) Why does Oedipus' story begin years after Oedipus killed his father?

2) How does the audience gain information about Oedipus's past?

3) What is the importance of the past events in Oedipus' life: the prophecy given to him, leaving his parents, meeting the stranger on the road, and defeating the Sphinx? Are any of the events in the play comparable in importance to the past events in Oedipus' life?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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