Oedipus The King Essay

845 words - 3 pages

Jocasta Timeline and SummaryJocasta walks in on Creon and Oedipus arguing and tells them to cut it out.Jocasta assures Oedipus that prophecies are consistently false and cites the example that her first husband, Laius, was prophesized to be killed by his own son, but that his son was killed as a baby.Oedipus and Jocasta are somewhat relieved to find out from a messenger that Oedipus's father has just died of natural causes, which means Oedipus couldn't have killed him.Oedipus, however, is still worried about the sleeping with his mother part of the prophecy. Jocasta tells Oedipus he's better off not thinking and worrying about it.The messenger informs Oedipus and Jocasta that the King of Corinth and his wife were not Oedipus's real parents. Oedipus was discovered with his feet pierced and tied by a shepherd who then gave him to the messenger.Although she has no lines here, Jocasta presumably gets really nervous at this part.Oedipus learns that the shepherd who originally found him is still living. He summons him. Realizing that she is Oedipus's mother as well as lover, Jocasta suggests that Oedipus drop the issue before he discovers more than he bargained for.Jocasta makes reference to seeing Oedipus for the last time and runs off in total grief. Oedipus assumes she's ashamed of his low birth and vows to set things right.Jocasta hangs herself.Jocasta - Character AnalysisJocasta is the Queen of Thebes, but it's just not as glamorous as it sounds. By all accounts, it seems like her first marriage with King Laius was a happy one. That is, until he received the prophecy that he was destined to be murdered by his own son. This, of course, is what caused Jocasta and Laius to pierce and bind their one and only child's ankles and send him off to a mountainside to die. Sometimes Jocasta is criticized for her distrust of prophecies. It's an understandable prejudice, though. Jocasta doesn't know that the prophecy Laius received came true - she believes her son to be dead and her husband to have been murdered by a band of thieves. This seemingly disproves the prophecy that said Laius would die by his son's hand. As far as Jocasta knows, she abandoned her baby boy to exposure, starvation, and wild beasts for nothing. She has very good reason to be more than a little skeptical of prophets.

It's important to note that though Jocasta is critical of prophecy, she isn't necessarily sacrilegious. In fact, within the play we see her praying to the god Apollo, making...

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