CLAS1P97 EXAMPLE EXAM QUESTIONS
Q: In Pindar’s “Olympian Ode” what is Tantalus’ punishment?
A: Eternal deprivation of nourishment; he stands in a pool of water just below a fruit tree. When
he tries to drink the water recedes; when he grasps for fruit it moves out of reach.
Q: Who is Hippodameia?
A: The wife of Pelops; gifted by her father Oenomaus to the winner of a chariot race.
Q: How does Pelops make sure to win the chariot race?
A: He bribes Oenomaus’ charioteer, Myrtilus, into helping him replace a linchpin from
Oenomaus’ chariot with a wax pin, with the promise of having a night with Hippodameia
Q: What gifts of the gods does Perseus receive?
A: A shield from Athena; guidance and a sickle from Hermes; he steals the other necessities he
Q: Why was Pasiphae made to fall in love with a bull?
A: Due to her husband Minos’ betrayal of Poseidon. Minos was meant to sacrifice the bull given
to him by the sea god, but decided to keep it instead. Poseidon cursed Pasiphae as revenge.
Q: How did Ariadne betray Minos?
A: By helping Theseus get in and out of the Labyrinth; she gave him a ball of thread as a guide.
Q: Who is Theseus’ divine father?
Q: What are the signs left for his son by Aegeus?
A: A sword and sandals under a stone.
Q: Why does Theseus go to the Underworld?
A: He goes with his friend Pirithious who wanted to kidnap the queen, Penelope.
Q: Who kills Theseus?
A: King Lycomedes pushes him off a cliff. Q: How does Oedipus accidentally kill his father?
A: At a crossroads on his way to Thebes, a chariot ran over his foot and he killed the driver. He’d
heard an oracle that he would kill his father and marry his mother and assumed it was his divine
parents; he was trying to escape the oracle when he killed his real father.
Q: What monster did Oedipus kill to become kind of Thebes?
A: A Sphinx.
Q: Who is threatening to kill Heracles’ family at the beginning of Euripides’ “Heracles”?
A: Lycus, who also wants to overthrow the throne.
Q: In “Heracles” the labours are completed before the murder of his family. In the play, why is
Heracles doing these labours?
A: To avenge his mortal father Amphytrion; he is trying to win back the country his father was
banished from when he killed Electryon.
Q: Who tells Heracles that the murder of his family will be forgiven?
Q: Who gave Deianeira the “love potion”?
A: The centaur Nessus, who originally tried to rape her.
Q: Why is the ball of wool important in “The Women of Trachis”?
A: It is an indicator to Deianeira that the “potion” is actually a poison.
Q: Whose arrival at Tra