Table of Contents | Oedipus the King Message Board | Oedipus at Colonus Message Board | Antigone Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version
ANSWERS TO MULTIPLE CHOICE QUIZ
11. First show how Sophocles tells the Oedipus legend, beginning in the middle and withholding important facts until crucial moments in the play. Discuss how certain characters help to build suspense: Teiresias, Iocaste, the shepherd, and the messengers. Finally, select one scene to analyze more closely. Choose a moment when Oedipus receives a clue that his birth prophecy may indeed have come true; discuss what he knows and does not know at this point, and the dramatic irony felt by the audience.
12. Review the speeches of Teiresias and Oedipus; they will yield useful references for answering this question. You can discuss the imagery of sight in relation to the action of the plays, showing how the imagery changes as the plays progress, and pointing out how references to sight often come before major decisions are made by the characters. You can also discuss how the imagery relates to the characters. Compare how various characters define "blindness" and "vision," and explain how this helps you understand who they are. Finally, you can discuss how this imagery relates to the themes of the plays.
13. First define what a tragic hero is (see the Other Elements section of this guide). Then discuss how each of these two men fits that definition. Look especially at their speeches in Scene II and in the Exodus of Oedipus the King. Discuss how each is changed during the course of the play, and define what each one's tragic flaw might be.
In your final paragraph compare the two characters. Which is the better ruler for Thebes? Which is wiser? What are their relative strengths and weaknesses?
14. First discuss the structural use of the messengers to bring on news and heighten dramatic tension. (It may be useful to discuss here the problems created by the dramatic unities; refer to the Other Elements section.) How did this assist Sophocles in weaving together the present and past of the Oedipus legend? Discuss why Sophocles had to break Greek theatrical custom by using two messengers; compare them and the messages they bring. Next discuss how they function as dramatic figures; are their long monologues effective, and, if so, why? Finally, discuss how they relate to themes of the plays, especially to the themes of fate and the reversal of Oedipus' fortune.
15. First briefly define the moral statement that is being made by this passage. What does it mean to the characters? To the audience? Then go back through the play to show earlier statements of this same theme, especially by the Chorus.
Discuss how this statement relates to the events you have seen in the play. End your answer with a detailed discussion of this speech, focusing on such phrases as "Mankind's frailty," "presume on his good fortune," and "memory without pain." What are the meanings of this speech for Oedipus, and what are its meanings for you?Table of Contents | Oedipus the King Message Board | Oedipus at Colonus Message Board | Antigone Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version