Saturday, December 26, 2009

Introduction to Drama Preliminary Exam 2009-2010

Regarding Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Answer the following comprehension questions as articulately and accurately as you can.


1. Summarize the back story before the play really begins. What actually happens in the play itself? What period of time is covered? How important is setting to this play? In what specific ways?

2. How, exactly, does the chorus function in this play? What is the significance of the chorus being made up of Theban citizens? Which opinions of the chorus are most important to the effects of the play?

3. Characterize Teiresias. How much does the play itself actually tell us about Teiresias? What function does he perform in the plot? In the play’s structure?

4. In what specific ways is the plot of Oedipus Rex tragic?

Choose one of the following writing suggestions and develop it into a three to five page essay.


1. In an essay of about three pages, compare Oedipus at the beginning of the play with Oedipus at the end. Explain the differences in terms of tragic form.

2. Try to recount the events of the play from the point of view of Iokaste. In what sense is the play a tragedy for her? Write a three-page persuasive essay in which you argue that the play is Iokaste’s story.

3. What are the more significant and distinctive elements in the character of Oedipus? In what sense is he responsible for his tragic fate? In what sense is he a victim? How heroic is he? Write a three-page essay appraising Oedipus’s character and assessing his responsibility for the things that befall him.

To be submitted on January 14, 2010. All papers must be written on short bond paper using Times New Roman 12 point font, single space with an empty space between paragraphs.