Oedipus the King, Lines 1 – 525 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What is the condition of the people of Thebes when the play opens?

2. What is Creon’s relationship to Oedipus?

3. What is the meaning of the long prayer by the Chorus?

4. How does Oedipus respond to the long prayer by the Chorus?

5. What curse does Oedipus call down on the murderer of Laius?

6. What does Oedipus ask Tiresias to do when the seer arrives?

7. How does Tiresias first respond?

8. Why does Tiresias respond the way he does?

9. How does Oedipus change in his dealings with Tiresias?

10 What is the meaning of what Tiresias reveals?

Answers
1. When the play opens, the people of Thebes are sick, weak and dying. Their crops are blighted and there is a plague on the land.

2. Creon is the brother of Jocasta, the widowed queen of Thebes who married Oedipus. Along with being the brother-in-law of Oedipus, Creon is his uncle, because Oedipus is Jocasta’s son.

3. The long prayer by the Chorus invokes several of the gods worshipped by the ancient Greeks and asks them to help Thebes in their specialized ways. The prayer shows the devotion of the Chorus to a religion that was being challenged in rationalist intellectual circles.

4. In his response to the long prayer by the Chorus, Oedipus reveals himself as one who believes he is beyond the power of...

(The entire section is 410 words.)