Oedipus Reader's Log

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World Literature - Reader Response Log - Oedipus Rex

Section|Line(s) |Questions|Reader’s Commentary||
Prologue|1-150|1. Describe the dramatic purpose of the Prologue.|The prologue sets the atmosphere of Oedipus Rex, and gets the reader interested.|| |8|2. How does Oedipus characterize himself in line 8?|He sees himself as famous to all men.|| |25-30|3. Describe the conditions in Thebes as depicted by the Priest in lines 25-30.|There is disease infecting the fruit and cattle of their land, and women in labor are losing their children.|| |40-46|4. How do the suppliants view Oedipus in lines 31-34, 40, and 46?|They are thankful of him because he freed them from the tribute they were paying|| ||5. What is a Sphinx? What is the answer to the riddle, "What has one voice and four feet, two feet and three feet?" Who answers the riddle?|A winged monster of Thebes, having a woman's head and a lion's body. Man as an infant, he crawls on all fours; as an adult, he walks on two legs and; in old age, he uses a 'walking' stick. Oedipus answers the riddle.|| |41-4253|6. What request does the Priest make of Oedipus in lines 41-42 and 53?|They beg Oedipus for help, to help their state. “So now, you best of men, raise up our state.”|| |60-61|7. Define dramatic irony. Then, explain its function in lines 60-61. |Irony that is understood by the audience/readers but not by the characters in the story. The audience would have already known Oedipus’ fate when hearing those lines, while the priest/Oedipus had no idea of what really happened.|| |95-107|8. Review lines 95-107 once more. What does Apollo say must be done to rid Thebes of its pollution? |“Lord Phoebus clearly orders us to drive away the polluting stain this land has harboured” they have to find who killed Laius. || |114-123125|9. What were the circumstances surrounding Laius’s death (refer to lines 114-123)? Furthermore, what motive does Oedipus assign the murderer (lines 124-125)?|All of the messengers died that went with Laius except for one man. Oedipus says that the men are robbers.|| |137-141|10. Explain the irony present in Oedipus’s resolution (lines 137-141).|Oedipus is talking about what the killer might do; while unbeknownst to him he’s actually the killer.||

Section|Line(s) |Questions|Reader’s Commentary||
Parados|151-215|11. Discuss the Chorus’ reaction to Apollo’s advice to the city of Thebes (lines 154-157).|The chorus is frightened, and is asking what they have to do for Zeus. “What obligation will you demand from me, a thing unknown”.|| |170-182|12. Describe the conditions in the city as recounted by the Chorus (lines 170-182).|Everyone is unhappy, and many of the townspeople have died or are dying.|| First Episode|216-462|13. Why does Oedipus seek the counsel of Teiresias (lines 278-287)?|He can see into things like Lord Apollo. || 316-344|316-344|14. What is Teiresias reaction to Oedipus’s request (lines 316-344)?|He doesn’t want to tell Oedipus anything.|| 353-371|353-371|15. How does Oedipus view Teiresias? What ironies exist in their conversation? Refer to lines 353-371. |Oedipus views Teiresias as a liar, he thinks what he’s saying is wrong. Oedipus calls Teiresias blind, and eventually Oedipus will be blind.|| |385-389|16. In lines 385-389, Oedipus begins to harbor a suspicion about Creon. What is this suspicion? Why is this important?|He thinks Creon has betrayed him. However, Oedipus is wrong, and won’t see the important truth that is in front of him. || |390-398|17. What superior trait does Oedipus claim over Teiresias in lines 390-398?|Oedipus claims he has wit, while Teiresias only has “the birds”.|| |413-425|18. In lines 413-425, Teiresias reveals the truth to Oedipus about his lineage. What does Teiresias predict will be Oedipus’s fate? Refer to lines 417-423; 452-460.|Teiresias says that Oedipus will go blind, and that his cries will not be...
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