Tag Archives: Oedipus

Oedipus – In the beginning…

17 Sep

Develop a response to 1 of the following questions:


1. What is the dramatic purpose of the prologue? (Why are these first 150 lines so crucial to the play?)

The first episode (lines 245 – 526)

1. There is a great deal of irony in Oedipus’ words to the citizens (lines 245 – 337). Make a list of all of the examples you can find, and explain what the irony is in the case of each.

2. Up to the point at which Teiresias enters, do you think that Oedipus has been a good king and leader of Thebes? Answer fully (making points both for and against, if you wish), and explain why any attributes of Oedipus do or do not make him a good king / leader. Compare this to our notes on character for Oedipus.

3. What do you think of the way in which Oedipus treats Teiresias in the lines in which Teiresias appears? Can you see think of any reasons for why he might behave as he does?

4. List all of the quotes (including line numbers) in the section in which Teiresias takes part which refer to sight or blindness in some way.  Explain the significance and symbolism of sight and blindness within the context of the play.

The Chorus

Read the ode all the way through a couple of times.

The Chorus played a crucial part in ancient Greek drama. What functions do you think a Chorus fulfils in an ancient Greek play?

Start with the following resources:



Prepare notes on your question. Next lesson you will share your thoughts with your peers in order to fully develop a written response.