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

1- How does Oedipus choose the spokesman from the group of supplicants?

2- What is your first impression of Oedipus? What characteristics of Oedipus are you aware of after he gives the opening speech?

3- What problem is afflicting Thebes at this time?

4- In case we didn’t already know it, what exposition does the Priest provide in in the scene?

5- Why have the Priest and many citizens gathered as supplicants, and how do they view Oedipus? How does this view contribute to Oedipus’s status as a classic tragic hero?

6- Why do the supplicants believe that Oedipus will be able to find a solution to the famine?

7- Why does Oedipus claim he suffers even more than the other citizens?

8- What action has Oedipus taken to find an answer to the city’s problem?

9- When Creon arrives from Delphi, what does Oedipus insist that he do? What does this indicate about Oedipus’s character?

10- Why do you suppose Creon wants to talk to Oedipus in private first?

11- What does Creon report from the Oracle?

12- What is Oedipus’s reaction to Creon’s information?

13- What happened to Laius, the former king? How did the city receive an account of the events?

14- What theory does Oedipus immediately develop about Laius’s death?

15- Why did the citizens of Thebes not investigate Laius’s murder at the time it occurred?

16- What does Oedipus promise to do? Why, according to Oedipus, must his resolution be strong?

17- Give details of how the chorus describes the city to the gods.

18- Reread Oedipus’s long speech beginning at line 217. What is his tone?

19- What does Oedipus order his citizens to do? In what ways does he give them incentive to cooperate?

20- About the killer, Oedipus states, “And I pray, if he should be known to me/and share in my hearth among my family,/that I suffer all that I called upon these.” Explain why this is an important moment in the play.

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