This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Jocasta As The Victim Of Oedipus The King

1045 words - 4 pages

Jocasta as the Victim of Oedipus the King

  The play Oedipus the King by Sophocles has often been described as the story of a “tragic hero.” This story is indeed tragic; however, Oedipus is not the only character stricken by tragedy. Equally stricken may be the character of Jocasta. She, as well as Oedipus, suffers many tragedies throughout the story. Shifting the story to a different perspective quite possibly may increase how we view it. The point is not to denounce Oedipus’ role as a tragic hero, but to denounce his role as the only tragic character.

First, defining the term “tragic hero” would be beneficial in determining Jocasta’s status. Tragedy is “a drama representing an important event generally having a fatal issue; a fatal and mournful event; a murderous or bloody deed” ("Tragedy"). The definition of hero is “the person who has the principle share in some exploit” ("Hero"). Stanley Garden’s internet page Tragic Hero defines tragic hero as the following: “In a tragic play, the tragic hero usually does some fearful deed which ultimately destroys him. The main character of a tragic play does a good deed which in turn makes him a hero. The hero reaches his prime and in the end a fearful deed which he had committed earlier, ultimately destroys this man once called hero.” Using these definitions we will see if we can prove Jocasta to be a tragic hero.

Oedipus’ mother and wife, Jocasta, went through her share of trials. When she was wife to Oedipus’ father, King Laius, Jocasta conceived a baby boy whom she was forced to give up to death. After receiving a prophecy that his son would kill him and take his throne, King Laius convinces Jocasta that their son is a great threat. He then orders that the baby boy be put to death. This marks the first of the many tragedies to come to Jocasta. The loss of a child ( or loved one) would impact almost anyone’s life. To have let the child she bore knowingly be put to death must have put a great stress on Jocasta. Marriage and pregnancy are already stressful situations. One might wonder if Jocasta had any support from her husband or others.

Years later, Jocasta has to endure the death of her husband, King Laius. He is murdered by a stranger. Not only does she have to cope with the loss of another loved one, but she wonders for a lengthy period of time who her husband’s murderer is and if he will ever be caught. This is the second of the tragedies Jocasta has to deal with. She is now a widow with no children.

Following this is her marriage to Oedipus, the new king of Thebes. One can only wonder how she must have felt. She may have felt like she has betrayed her dead husband. Or that she is forced to marry Oedipus because of the circumstances. We can not know the unwritten feelings of a fictional character, but I think if I were to put myself in that situation, I would have very mixed feelings, and my emotions would be hard to contain. I doubt Jocasta loves Oedipus,...

Find Another Essay On Jocasta as the Victim of Oedipus the King

The Death of Jocasta Essay

826 words - 3 pages false and relates the story of her own prophecy. She says, "Thus, Apollo never caused that child to kill his father, and it was not Laios' fate to die at the hands of his son, as he had feared. This is what prophets and prophecies are worth! Have no dread in them."(Oedipus Rex P.18) Jocasta does not think that what she did was wrong or that she worsened her fate until she realizes that Oedipus is her son. She cannot control the fate of the gods

Oedipus as Scapegoat in Oedipus the King

1515 words - 6 pages ! Sin in my blood" (Sophocles 27)! At this point, Oedipus suits the archetypal figure of the sacrificial scapegoat. The shepherd's admittance to the truths about Oedipus' infancy proves that Jocasta is his mother. Through taking his mother's hand in marriage Oedipus creates an inversion in the social hierarchy and engages in sexual intercourse with a woman that would usually be forbidden to him. Serving as the King of Thebes, Oedipus

Oedipus the King: The Hubris of Oedipus

2521 words - 10 pages predestined for Oedipus to kill his father and commit an incestuous relationship with his mother. Therefore Oedipus' parents King Laius and Queen Jocasta sent him away at birth to die from exposure. The abandoned baby is raised by King Polybus and Queen Merope as a Prince. Prince Oedipus of Corinth is told of the prophecy that Apollo has placed upon him. He ventures out to seek the truth from the Oracle of Delphi. The oracle confirms the prophecy. To

Oedipus the King: The Innocence of Oedipus

1457 words - 6 pages Sophocles' Oedipus Rex Is Innocent Because Oedipus knows nothing about the past of Thebes, he is not an assassin. Oedipus committed murder but unknowingly of who King Laius was. Oedipus' honor was his claim against the murder. Had it been the other way around and Oedipus had lost the battle, King Laius' alibi would have also been for reasons of honor: for reasons of royalty. Oedipus was royalty and knew it as well did King Laius. The main

Oedipus the King as a Tragedy

787 words - 3 pages father, Laius, and then sleeping with his mother, Jocasta. His father was just a tragic mistake. Oedipus thought that the person he killed was just a random person that was harassing him. Oedipus definitely has a tragic flaw; it is his quickness to take a position and stubborn adherence in spite of personal hazard. Oedipus makes decisions publicly for all to hear, making reconsideration difficult for a proud person such as himself. When Creon

Oedipus as a Tragic Hero in Sophocles’ Oedipus the King

1473 words - 6 pages suffering” (DiYanni). The combination of the tragic hero’s character traits and the storyline he or she follows make the tragedy an actual tragedy rather than a depressing story with a sad ending. In Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, Oedipus embodies the traits that a tragic hero should have, including being greater than the average man and possessing an ultimately benevolent character, while also following the plot line that a tragic hero must by coming to

The Admonitions of King Oedipus

1889 words - 8 pages occurred in these time periods. They have been explained and talked about as works of gods, fate, and bad omens however; those anomalies are explained further by scientific discoveries and analytical digging though the texts. The play King Oedipus, written by Sophocles, has various situations explained in those times as a curse on the land by some bad deed or unexplained death. There is also a very intricate link between how fate and religious views

tragoed Oedipus the King (Oedipus Rex) as Ideal Tragic Hero

1267 words - 5 pages Oedipus Rex as the Ideal Tragic Hero If we give ourselves up to a full sympathy with the hero, there is no question that the Oedipus Rex fulfills the function of a tragedy, and arouses fear and pity in the highest degree. But the modern reader, coming to the classic drama not entirely for the purpose of enjoyment, will not always surrender himself to the emotional effect. He is apt to worry about Greek fatalism and the justice of the

Oedipus as King of Thebes

1162 words - 5 pages Another example of the consequence of pride and how man is tied to it, even as it spells out his own destruction can be cited in the story of Oedipus the king by Sophocles. Set in the city of Thebes, the story of Oedipus depicts Oedipus as a ruler who is a tyrant lacking any respect for those around him especially the prophet Tiresias. The issue of pride in Oedipus is illustrated when he refuses to heed to plight of Tiresias, who warns him about

The Unavoidable Fate Of Oedipus The King

1094 words - 4 pages more troublesome.Some, even before his birth, knew the unfortunate destiny of Oedipus and his family, but despite knowing this and taking extreme actions to evade it, fate as always won out in the end. Oedipus' life began rather harshly for an innocent baby. His parents, King Laius and Queen Jocasta, learning from an oracle that their son would someday kill his father and marry his mother, attempt to change this decree by binding Oedipus' ankles

The Pride of Sophocles' Oedipus The King

1461 words - 6 pages his punishment.   Oedipus' pride is an innate characteristic. Even before his glory and power as King of Thebes he allowed his conceit to cloud his judgement and rule his actions. Unknowingly, Oedipus fulfills Apollo's oracle when he encounters a band of men at a crossroad. The driver offends Oedipus as he brushes by, inciting Oedipus' anger. Although the contact is just a slight intrusion, Oedipus, outraged that someone would have the

Similar Essays

Oedipus The King: A Victim Of Fate

1391 words - 6 pages Oedipus the King would not have been successful throughout centuries as a tragic play, if Oedipus were clearly responsible for his own tragedy. The play's ongoing success was do to Oedipus' innocence which immediately makes one think he can not be fully responsible and to blame. I do not believe Sophocles would have wrote the story, or I do not think people would have ever read it or studied it had it simply been a story of a criminal's

The Protagonist As Victim In Oedipus The King And Hamlet

798 words - 3 pages The Protagonist as Victim in Oedipus the King and Hamlet       In Sophocle's Oedipus the King and William Shakespeare's Hamlet, the unruly forces surrounding the protagonists are the source for their downfall. Fate, women, and divine intervention are the foundation for the protagonists' demise. The protagonists are powerless against these elements, and for that reason, are not responsible for their finish. The uncontrollable

Sophocles' 'oedipus The King' Was Oedipus A Victim Of Hubris Or A Victim Of The Gods?

1209 words - 5 pages The fate of Oedipus was bitter indeed. By the end of 'Oedipus the King', he and his fate are seen as "Luckless" (Ln 1195) and objects to "envy not at all" (Ln 1196). But what was it that caused this man to sleep with his mother and slay his father? What was it that Oedipus fell victim to? Was it the hubris that seemed to so permeate his character? Was he a puppet held in the cruel grip of the gods? It would seem that perhaps it was neither of

Destiny, Fate, Free Will And Free Choice In Oedipus The King Victim Of Fate

3576 words - 14 pages The Victim of Fate in Oedipus Rex The question has been raised as to whether Oedipus was a victim of fate or of his own actions.  This essay will show that Oedipus was a victim of fate, but he was no puppet because he freely and actively sought his doom, although he was warned many times of the inevitable repercussions of his actions. When first considering this topic, I speculated that maybe it was the destiny of Oedipus to suffer