“Oedipus the King”: Good Essay Questions

“Oedipus the King”: Good Essay Questions
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1. How would you describe Creon, using a few adjectives or phrases? (Consider especially his self-defense speech against Oedipus accusations.)

Creon is a self-focused individual employing responsibility as the main challenge to counter Oedipus accusations. According to him, Oedipus should understand that leadership brings with it other responsibilities which must be addressed effectively. In fact, he argues that the responsibilities are the major issues that affect the development of the king’s character and shape behavior of the King. The use of responsibility as a scapegoat for behavior development is evident in the argument presented by Creon.

2. What detail does Jocasta offer Oedipus about Laius’s death, a reason why Oedipus should “take no heed” of oracles? How did she and the slain king think they had outwitted fate?

In the prophecy, Oedipus was to become king by killing his father Laius, which happened on his way to visit the town. The tragic death of his father is outlined in the prophecy preceding the play. It outlines the issues that affect relationships in the play thereby enabling the reader to understand the role of incest in shaping the character of the main issues. Jocasta and the Slain king Laius thought by sending Creon away they could reverse prophecy even when killed by Creon, both parties could not recognize each other.

3. Who does Oedipus think his parents are? (Just give their names.)

Polybus and Merope

4. At what moment in the play do you think Oedipus starts to suspect the truth about him and what he has done? (Give the line, if possible, and the quote.)

When he analyzes his origin and understands that he was thrown away by his mother in order to avoid the prophecies indicated in the story. In close scrutiny of the surviving man, he illustrates reasons why Oedipus was not killed but given to another man. The link between biological mothers, Jocasta is revealed in line 1490 when Oedipus wife becomes suspicious that the prophecy had been fulfilled. The link with the wife leads to the conclusion that he killed his father because his wife is also his mother. The event leads to committing suicide by the mother. In line 1560 he states; “How miserable I am . . . such wretchedness . . . Where do I go? How can the wings of air. Sweep up my voice? Oh my destiny.” stating the challenge of truth.

5. According to Professor Johnston’s lecture, how is Oedipus defiance central to his heroic nature?

The defiance nature of Oedipus leads to creation of the heroic theme in the play. Oedipus marries his mother and gives birth of two boys and two girls namely Eteocles, Polynices, Antigone and Ismene. The tragedy of incest leads to blinding of Oedipus and leaving the city. The relationship between Antigone and Oedipus is complex in definition because of the complex nature of their relationships. Eteocles fights for Thebes while polyneices fights for the rebel (Sophocles 1118). In the battle the rebel group is defeated and the new king of Thebes orders that Polyneices should not be buried creating controversy between leads to death of Antigone for defying the rule or order of King Creon.

Works Cited
Sophocles. Antigone. New York: ReadHowYouWant.com, 2008.