Classical Cultures

Self-Quiz: Oedipus the King

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1. At the beginning of the play, what step has Oedipus already taken to deal with the plague?

praying to all the Theban gods
sending Creon to the oracle at Delphi
cleansing the city with incense and sacrifice
pronouncing sentence of banishment on the person(s) rsponsible

2. Creon brings from Apollo's oracle the information that the plague has been caused by

the failure of the Thebans to sacrifice to the gods
divine anger over Oedipus' incestuous marriage
the military aggressiveness of Thebes
the unpunished killing of King Laius

3. The prophet Teiresias, when asked by Oedipus to help rescue the city,

agrees to cooperate and help as much as he can
immediately casts the blame on Oedipus himself
swears a great oath that he himself is innocent
is very reluctant to cooperate

4. As a result of his conversation with Teiresias, Oedipus concludes that

all the gods and goddesses are hostile to Thebes
Creon is plotting, with Teiresias' help, to overthrow him
he has killed his father and married his mother
Apollo wants to destroy him

5. Creon tries to prove his innocence to Oedipus by arguing that

he respects Oedipus far too much to do such a thing
the gods always punish wrongdoers
he has all the benefits of kingship without any of the responsibilities
his love for his sister Jocasta is very strong

6. Jocasta tries to assure Oedipus that he is not guilty of Laius' death by stating that

Laius was killed by robbers at a place where three roads meet
Laius died a natural death
no one can avoid fate
Laius deserved to die for his arrogance

7. Oedipus' reaction to Jocasta's speech is

relief that he himself is innocent
sorrow that Jocasta is so upset at Laius' death
horror at the thought that he himself may be Laius' killer
great concern for the city of Thebes

8. After Jocasta re-emerges from the palace and prays to Apollo for deliverance, a messenger from Corinth arrives. What news does he bring?

Laius was killed by Oedipus
Polybus is dead
Corinth has declared war on Thebes
Oedipus must go into exile

9. Questioned by Oedipus, the messenger also reveals that

Polybus and Merope are not Oedipus' real mother and father
Jocasta is Oedipus' mother
Oedipus killed Laius
Laius is Oedipus' father

10. The herdsman summoned by Oedipus already knows that

Polybus and Merope are not Oedipus' real mother and father
Jocasta is Oedipus' mother
Oedipus killed Laius
Laius is Oedipus' father

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This quiz courtesy of Professor Hardy Hansen