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 Jocasta ask Oedipus to do regarding her brother?

2. When Jocasta begs him to stop his investigation and runs off, how does Oedipus say he feels about potentially discovering something bad about his natural parents?

3. Who is with the approaching shepherd?

4. What possible explanation does the chorus leader give for Oedipus' charge against Creon?

5. Where did the messenger find the infant Oedipus?

Short Essay Questions

1. What caused the scar on Oedipus' ankles?

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

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

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

5. What is the chorus' foremost concern?

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

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

8. How did Polybus die?

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. What is the chorus' attitude toward Oedipus, in his conflict with Creon?

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 love and family relationships in the play.

1) Discuss Oedipus' love for his children. Why does this love only come out at the end of the play?

2) Discuss Oedipus' love for Jocasta in this play. Is this love in any way caused by their biological relationship?

3) Discuss Oedipus' love for Thebes. Does Oedipus truly love Thebes? How does Oedipus treat his "children," as he calls them at the beginning of the play?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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