oedipus lines 912- end

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Online text of Oedipus Rex. (your worksheet questions correspond to this text)

1- Explain what Jocasta means when she says, “Now we are all afraid, seeing him/so shaken, who is pilot of our ship.”

2- Why is Jocasta pleased at the news of Polybus’s death?

3- How does Oedipus react to the news of Polybus’ death? What does he fear?

4- Why is Oedipus excited by the messenger’s information? Who does he insist on questioning?

5- What is Jocasta’s reaction to this new information from the messenger? Why does she react in this way?

6- How does the new information come into conflict with Jocasta’s previously expressed beliefs? Remember what she said about soothsayers?

7- What does Oedipus mean when he declares himself “Fortune’s favorite child? Why is this an example of dramatic irony?

8- How is the shepherd identified when he arrives?

9- How does the shepherd react when the messenger identifies Oedipus as the child they exchanged?

10- The shepherd urges Oedipus not to inquire further about the truth. Who else has urged the same of Oedipus earlier in the play?

11- How did the shepherd receive the child and why?

12- Why did the shepherd not do as he was told?

13- Explain the various reasons why the shepherd is experiencing so much despair.

14- During the dialogue between Oedipus and the shepherd, what happens to their lines as they get closer and closer to the revelation of the truth?

15- What is the tone of the chorus now?

16- How do you feel about Oedipus? Do you see him as a victim of a cruel fate or as a man who was at least partly to blame for his own sorrow?

17- Without changing scenes, how do we learn of all the action that occurred in the castle?

18- What do you think Oedipus was trying to do when he found Jocasta?

19- What does the servant report Oedipus says to explain the terrible deed he performs?

20- According to the servant, what does Oedipus lack that prevents him from exiling himself?

21- In response to the chorus, what god does Oedipus say is involved with his sorrows? Where did this god’s influence end?

22- Why does Oedipus wish the shepherd dead?

23- Why does Creon want Oedipus taken into the house?

24- Why must Oedipus seek Creon’s permission to go into exile? Why does Creon not grant it immediately?

25- Besides exile, what else does Oedipus ask of Creon?

26- Why is Oedipus concerned about his daughters’ futures and not his sons?

27- When Oedipus protests Creon’s request that he let go of his daughters, how does Creon respond? Explain how the relationship between Creon and Oedipus has been altered in the course of the play.

28- How does Creon treat Oedipus in this final section?

29- According to the chorus when is the only appropriate time to call a man “blessed”?

30- In what way is Oedipus heroic?


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