Terms in this set (72)
what is significant about the fact that the first line of the play is a question?
sets the tone
how does Oedipus choose the spokesman of the group of supplicants?
chooses oldest one
what problem is affecting Thebes?
a strange plague- affecting crops/ herds and children
what is the house of Cadmus?
the city of Thebes
how does the priest say the supplicants view Oedipus? how does this begin to establish Oedipus as an Aristotelian tragic hero?
not as a new divinity but the first of men and first in visitations of the gods. this holds true with aristotles view that a tragic hero had to be god, demigod, or hero
what exposition does the priest provide in this scene?
o is hero who freed city from bondage
why do the supplicants believe that Oedipus will be able to find a solution to the famine?
bc Oedipus had no human help solving the rhyddle of the spynx so he had divine help. supplicants hope he can contact his divine help
why does oedipus claim he suffers even more than the supplicants?
he suffers for himself and each of his subjects
what impression do we get from Oedipus based on his language?
he is a good king but prideful
what action has Oedipus taken to find an answer to the city's problem?
sent creon to oracle
what is Oedipus and creons relationship?
brothers in law
what is foreshadowed by Oedipus' promise to the priest?
probability that he will have to do something unpleasant
why does the priest suspect creon brings good news?
creon is wearing a crown made for a laurel, the tree of Apollo, and believes he would not do so if he brought bad news
when creon arrives from Delphi, what does Oedipus insist that he do? what does this indicate about his character?
o wants everyone to hear, shows he loves his subjects but he should be more careful
what does creon report from the oracle?
murderer of Luis wasn't found and punished so it is causing the plague.. killer must be exiled or murdere to end the plague
what is Oedipus' reaction to creons information?
immediately asks questions about the circumstances of Luis murder, presumably in order to find the murderers and purge the city
what theory does oedipus immediately develop about Laius' death?
immediately thinks it was a plot to kill the king
why did the citizens of Thebes not investigate Laius murder at the time it occurred?
too preoccupied with spynx
what does Oedipus promise to do? why, according to Oedipus, must his resolution be strong?
promises to avenge the murder of laius. he feels it is his duty as king to save his people and also believes that the person who killed Laius may do the same to him
whose voices does the chorus represent?
voice of the commoners
how does the chorus describe the city to the gods
their crops are not growing, children are stillborn, people are dying. the dead are laying on the ground and their are few left to mourn them
what does ares represent to the chorus? what various things do they wish for him?
represents the plague, they wish he will be struck w/ lighting and that he is blown out of the city all the way to the oceans
why does oedipus insist that he will seek out and avenge Laius' murderer?
as laius and Jocasta had no children, Oedipus will take on the case of revenge "as if" Laius were his own father
In this speech, Oedipus refers to Laius' descendants as "ill fated", but to his own good fortune in obtaining Laius' throne as driven by "chance". Explain the difference between these two concepts, and why Oedipus might choose to characterize these events in different ways
ill fated seems to refer to predetermined destiny. chance shows he thought it was just an occurrence. sees his life as free will but everyone Else's as fate
Why is it significant that it was Creon whom Oedipus sent to the Oracle and now it is Creon whom Oedipus has sent to get Tiresias?
Oedipus uses Creon as a tool
Explain what Tiresias means by his first statement to Oedipus, "How terrible to know when it does not help the knower"
terrible for him to know the truth when it wont help Oedipus but instead have a devastating effect on the king
Why does Tiresias at first seem to refuse to help Oedipus?
hes trying to protect Oedipus
What terrible thing does Oedipus accuse Tiresias of doing?
plotting to murder him
Goaded into anger by Oedipus, what does Tiresias finally tell him?
he informs Oedipus he(O) is the murderer
The truth revealed to Oedipus, what does Tiresias predict for him?
Tiresias predicts that as Oedipus has several times called Tiresias blind, he himself will soon be called blind
What is Oedipus' reaction to Tiresias revelations? Of what does he accuse Tiresias?
he is furious and accuses him of envy
How does Oedipus try to discredit Tiresias?
he said if Tiresias was so gifted a seer why didn't he solve the riddle of the spinx
How does the Chorus serve as the ''conscience" of the play?
Chorus interrupts Oedipus and Tiresias argument to remind Oedipus that he should be working to satisfy the Oracles command to avenge Laius death not wasting time in a dispute
In what ways is Oedipus blind according to Tiresias?
Hes blind to the truth
What prophecy for Oedipus does he reiterate?
Predicts Oedipus will be physically blind as well referring to how he will gauge his eyes out before he is exiled from Thebes
What does Tiresias mean when he predicts, "this very day will sire you and destroy you?"
Oedipus is going to learn who he really is and this knowledge will destroy him
Why does Tiresias say that Oedipus, of all people, should understand his riddles?
Oedipus is known as a great riddle solver bc he figured out the riddle of the Spinx
What arguments does Creon use to defend himself?
Creon has 1/3 of the power, equal to his sister and Oedipus. no man would choose this power but to live in fear if he murdered Oedipus
Why would the Chorus assert that no one i better able to end the feud between oedipus and creon than jocasta?
she is oedipus' wife and creons' sister
Why does Jocasta believe Oedipus and Creon should be ashamed of themselves?
their having a private quarrel in public
What does Creon say that persuades Jocasta to urge Oedipus to believe him?
he takes an oath
At this point, what appears to be oedipus' hamartia?
in his anger he wont listen to men of honor
For whose sake does Oedipus finally free Creon?
What is unusual about Jocastas initial reation when oedipus reveals the accusation against him?
she is not surprised or indignant. She simply wants to know whether Creon accused Oedipus on his own knowledge or someone else's report
What is Jocastas opinion of soothsayers? On what does she base this opinion?
doesnt have faith in them bc Oracle said that Laius would be killed by his own sown
What is significant about Jocasta's account of Lauis' prophecy and death?
she mentions the crossroads
After questioning Jocasta about the details of Laius death, what does Oedipus suspect? Why is this a significant moment in the play?
he suspects he might be guilty, instead of senying he starts to believe
What happened to the servant who survived the attack on Laius?
hes sent to the country to be a shepherd
What does Oedipus relate about his past to explain his fears?
The god at delphi told him he would murder his father, marry his mother and have children with her. He fled Corinth but before he arrived at thebes he killedmen where the highways came together
Why does Oedipus kill the men at the crossroads?
he was angry because they pushed him off the road
What character trait does Oedipus' killing of Laius reinforce? What will probably prove to be this traits dramatic significance?
hes easily angered, this will be his tragic downfall
How will Oedipus determine whether he was the man who killed Laius?
send for the one survivor
What acts of hubris do Oedipus and Jocasta commit?
they mock the signs by which their profits make their predictions
What concerns does the chorus have about the current state of religious belief?
failed to honor gods, losing faith, ignoring propheeces
Why is jocasta pleased at the news of Polybus' death?
If Oedipus father is dead, and O did not kill him, then the prophecy was false and seers are discredited
What info does the messenger give Oedipus to put an end to his dread of the Oracle? How does this man know the truth?
he wasnt the natural son of polybus and merope. A shepherd found O and gave him to the messenger who gave baby O to polybus
Why is oedipus excited by the messengers info? Whom does he insist on questioning?
excited about finding out his true parentage. he insist on questioning the shepherd who found him
How does the messengers info change the central question in the play?
now the question is who is Os parents
What does Jocasta fear Oedipus will learn if he continues to seek the truth of his parentage?
he is son of Laius and he did kill his father
To heighten the suspense and create a distraction before the final climax, the greek playwrights often include brief songs. What false hope is the chorus creating?
Oedipus' origin was actually glorius and he may be son of a god
Why is the shepherd so reluctant to identify Oedipus as the child he gave to the messenger?
to admit that Oedipus was the child would be to admit he did not follow Laius' instructions
What is the climax of this play?
O realizes he is the son of Jocasta and Laius
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?
very short and brief
What is the contrast between Antistrophe1 and Strophe 2?
glory and strength of Oedipus contrasted to his terrible fate
Explain the Chorus' statement, 'All seein time discovered you unwilling." why is this statement central to the play/
even though he tried to escape his fate it still finds him
What does the servant report is Oedipus' explanation for his self mutilation?
he repeatedly shouts "his eyes should not see any more of the evil coming from him"
Oedipus believes the gods hate him more than any other man. Dpes anything justify their hatred? Why do you think Oedipus has been choes to live out such a terrible fate?
there is little that justifies the gods hatred of O. He was simply cursed from birth bc of his fathers misdeed
Why must Oedipus seek Creon's permission to go into exile? Why does Creon not grant it immediately?
Creon rules jointly with jocasta and he was the only one left to exile him but he believed O should speak to gods through Oracle first
Besides exile what else does Oedipus ask of creon?
wants jocasta to have proper burial and wants creon to shelter his daughters
Why is oedipus concerned about is daughters futures and not his sons?
his sons are me but his daughters are polluted because of their lineage
How does Creon treat Oedipus in this final section?
shows his authority but says he will protect his daughters
According to the chorus when is the only appropiate time to call a man "blessed"?
the time of his death
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