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 chide Oedipus and Creon for?

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

3. What does Oedipus do when the messenger questions him about the prophecy that drove Oedipus away from his parents?

4. What is Jocasta's answer, when Oedipus asks how tall and old Laius was?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What prophecy does Jocasta tell Oedipus about?

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

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

4. How did Polybus die?

5. What did the oracle at Delphi tell Oedipus about his parentage?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the function of the chorus in the play.

1) Who does the chorus represent? What is their attitude toward Oedipus and the events that unfold?

2) How is the chorus similar to the play's audience? How is the chorus different form the audience?

3) Is the chorus always "right"? Do they reflect the attitude of the author?

(see the answer keys)

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