Oedipus and Antigone

What the does the priest say to Oedipus? The priest tells Oedipus about the plague that ravages Thebes. He begs Oedipus to resolve the crisis reminding him he solved the riddle of the Sphinx before. Finally the priest tells Oedipus that it is in his own self-interest to rid the city of the plague.
What qualities do we immediately see in Oedipus? Oedipus is a king who is compassionate, proud, efficient and intelligent. His decision to send Creon to Delphi demonstrates his forethought. His excessive pride, however, will lead him into trouble. He is hubristic, which is his tragic flaw, a flaw that leads him to his downfall.
What is the importance of irony in Oedipus the King? What ironies are introduced in the prologue? The priest asserts that Oedipus is blessed by the gods and wise in mortal ways. But the Greeks knew that the god’s curse of infamy and shame already looms over the king. They also recognized that wisdom would come to Oedipus only after he solved the mystery of his identity. Another irony is Oedipus’ reputation for being Thebes’ savior. As the unknown and unknowing killer of Laius, Oedipus is the very cause of the plague. Oedipus says he never met Laius, but in fact he not only met him but killed him.
What news does Creon bring from Delphi? The oracle told Creon that the death of Oedipus’ predecessor, King Laius, is the cause of the plague. Laius’ killer must be found and expelled from the kingdom to lift the plague from the city. Creon also explains that Laius was killed on a road by a band of highwaymen. The danger of the riddling Sphinx prevented a proper investigation of the murder.
What is the mood of the chorus upon its entrance? What appeals do they make? The chorus of Theban senators is fearful of the plague and suppliant toward any god who might relieve the city’s plight. The chorus appeals to the gods Apollo, Athena, Artemis, Ares and finally Bacchus/Dionyssius.
In what ways does Oedipus criticize his subjects? Oedipus implicitly scolds the chorus for failing to find Laius’ killer long ago. Did it take a plague and an oracle to spur Thebes to seek out the criminal? There is perhaps some justification in this criticism. Oedipus’ single-mindedness stands in immediate contrast to the hesitation of the Thebans.
What initial signs of rashness do we see in Oedipus? Oedipus shows signs of rashness making certain decisions concerning the killer. He invokes the curse on Laius’ murderer (which is also against himself) or anyone who is harbouring the criminal. When talking to Tiresias, Oedipus taunts the blind prophet when he tells him information that he doesn’t want to believe: that Oedipus is in fact the killer of the king. He makes the prophet give his statement twice. Oedipus mocks his craft and even his blindness.
What seems to be Tiresias’ philosophical attitude? He is pessimistic and fatalistic. He is a firm believer in destiny and in the god’s determining the fate of all beings.
What ironies arise in Scene 1? Oedipus discusses his ‘kinship’ with the late king Laius. Oedipus says that he will search for the killer of Laius as though he were searching for the killer of his own father.Also, there is an ironic undercurrent in the exchanges of Oedipus and Tiresias about blindness. Oedipus mocks Tiresias’ literal blindness. In turn Tiresias points out that Oedipus himself is blind even in his sightedness. And, in further paradox, when Oedipus is at last blinded, he will ‘see’ the horrible truth of his situation.
What false conclusions does Oedipus reach as a result of his quarrel with Tiresias? What effect will this conclusion have on Oedipus? He accuses Tiresias of working with Creon to try to take away his power. This shows how Oedipus makes faulty accusations
What role does the first senator play in the quarrel? They represent the audience. Theyre trying to ease the tempers of both men.
What issues are discussed in the first choral ode? They discuss the unknown killer. They also discuus their confusion with what Tiresias said to Oedipus. They’re being the mediator; trying to keep peace
What does Creon’s counterargument to Oedipus’ charges reveal about Creon’s character? Creon pointed out that he has an equal amount of power to Oedipus and Jocasta but without the work.
Contrast Oedipus’ and Creon’s approach to political power. What questions does Sophocles seem to raise by using this contrast? Oedipus’ approach is to conrtol the political power with confidenc. Creon bases his decisions on practicality and self-interest. Sophocles said someone who doesnt crave power should be the leader.
What decision does the first senator (Chorus) persuade Oedipus to make regarding Creon? The chorus convinces Oedipus to not kill Creon, but exile him if he’s guilty.
How does Jocasta attempt to refute Tiresias’ allegation? She told Oedipus about that Laius’ prophecy didn’t come true and that Laius wasn’t killed by one person as the prophecy stated. She thinks her baby died.
How does Jocasta’s attempt to soothe Oedipus backfire? Jocasata’s story jogs Oed. memory about killing a man on a road.
What does Oedipus tell of his own past to Jocasta? He tell Jo of how a drunk man told him he wasn’t his parents’ son, which makes him determined to know the truth. The oracle tells him of a curse that he would kill his father and marry his mother. He then killed a man on the road.
What do the speeches of Oed and Jo concerning their respective pasts contribute to the drama? The new info creates tension and suspense. They’re beginning to realize Oed. could’ve killed the king.
Whom does Oed ask to have brought to him at the end of scene II? Why does he issue this order? He was the herdsman brought to him who told Jo theking was killed. He knows how many people killed the king which could solve the mystery.
What philosophical questions arise in scene II? Can fate be avoided? Can humans influence the course of their lives? Fate vs. Free will?
What is the subject of the second choral ode? A warning against pride.
What is the dramatic effect of Jo’s prayer at the beginning of this scene? Jo’s prayer causes contrast because she shows that she still honors the gods even tho she attacked the oracles and prophecies. When a messenger announces Polybus is dead, she thinks her prayers were answered.
What ironies underlie the messenger’s appearance? The messenger announces that Polybus is dead and that corint want oed. to remain king. Jo is happy bc the prohecy wasn’t true, but she doesn’t know that Laius was Oed’s dad.
What comment does Jo make to the chorus and the messenger about fate? She says that we are all ruled by fate and that we can’t see the future. It’s best to live in the moment.
What does the name Oedipus mean? Swollen foot.
How is Oedipus’ character further developed in Scene III? He is very persistent. He shows courage and determination to fint the truth of himself. He wouldn’t stop thinking about the prophecy concerning his mom. He also thinks he will learn that he is from a poor family.
Why does Jo attempt to keep Oed. from questioning the shepherd? How does Oed. misconstrue her pleas to stop the investigations? She realizes that Oed is her and that the shepherd will confirm it. Oed. thinks she will find out that he is from a poor family and that she will be ashamed of him, which makes him angry
What is implied about self knowledge and its price in Oedipus the king? Sophocles says that the journey to self knowledge is difficult and that what is found might not be what one wants to find. It can be dangerous and can ruin your life.
What is the subject of the third choral ode? The chorus wonders about oed’ s background history and birth. They wonder if he’s born from nymphs and gods.
Why is the shepherd reluctant to speak? He is nervous to tell Oed the truth about his identity. He knows that his news could horrify him.
What facts does the shepherd bring to light? He tells oed about how he got oed as a baby and gave him to a messenger, who then gave him to Polybus and Merope.
What admirable trait is revealed about Oed’s character in the scene where he discovers the full truth about himself? He is courageous; he is determined to know the truth even thought it might be bad news.
How does sophocles generate a feeling of climactic action in scene IV? Oed.’s change in fortune creates climactic action. He falls from grace and his confidence peaks before his fall. The contrast between happiness and misery and good and ill fortune shows climactic ation.Dramatic realization of the killer
How does the chorus react in the fourth choral ode to oed’s turn of fortune? They are shocked and confused. They feel bad for him
How does the chorus expand on the theme of illusion and reality in Ode IV? They are blind to the truth and Oed’s happinees has been an illusion
What does Oed’s reaction to his downfall say about his courage? It shows his heroism in discovering his own mystery. He is horrified but still takes responsibility.
What odes oed ask of creon? What does creon decide? He begs him for exile. Creon decided to wait and hear what the priests and oracles had to say. He also askes him to take care of his girls.
What does Oed sense about his destiny? He wishes for death but he doesnt think his destiny will be complete.
What image of Creon is left by his final words to Oed? Creon is impacient and disgusted with oed at the end but if happy to be king.

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