Think Questions: Scene IV, Ode IV

(59)1. Why has Sophocles chosen a shepherd, the lowest of the low in Theban society, to play this essential role?

(60-61) 2. How is this man the essential witness? What two pieces of information does he hold?

(60-61) 3. Why does the shepherd lie? Is he worried about his own life?

(62-63) 4. What do you think of Oedipus' willingness to torture the old man in order to force the truth from him?

(64) 5. What terrible irony is revealed when the shepherd reveals why he chose to save the baby? What force set this whole tragedy in motion? How is that irony central to Sophocles' intentions?

(64) 6. What is Oedipus' immediate response to the truth?

(65-66) 7. What is the general idea of Ode IV? What is its tone?

(65-66) 8. Do you agree with the chorus' assessment of the action and Oedipus' fate?