In society, the sense of family is one of the core values in life. One of the most common relationships in a family is that of the parent and child. Throughout history, playwrights have composed pieces containing the impressionable relationship of a parent and a child. Sophocles and Deborah Salem Smith effectively use the strained relationships of Oedipus and Jocasta, and Helen Warren and Clementine to develop their plays Oedipus Rex and Love Alone. While both plays contain parent and child relationships, the type of relationship proves to be radically different.
In Oedipus Rex, Jocasta serves as the Queen of Thebes and Oedipus is an abandoned son of Jocasta and current king of Thebes. In ...view middle of the document...
On the contrary, Jocasta thought that she relieved herself from the dreaded prophecy, by essentially “killing” him.
In contrast, after the death of Susan, Helen takes over as the motherly figure in Clementine’s life. Helen’s personality is best described as “happy go lucky” and sweet. Helen’s personality could not combat with the overbearing personality of Clementine. Due to the fact, that Clementine was already the age of a young woman, and Helen was not her biological mother, Clementine often did not treat Helen with the respect that a child should give to her parent. Oftentimes in Love Alone, Clementine would direct foul language toward Helen without a sign of regret or wrongdoing. When Helen did take a stand for herself, she was found hysterically crying or screaming due to anger.
Oftentimes in a parent and child relationship there is a rebellion during some period of time. Deborah Salem Smith shows a classic form of rebellion in Love Alone between Clementine and Helen. Following the death of Susan, Clementine and Helen were not given an explanation. Due to suspicions, Clementine desires the autopsy of her mother to determine for herself what exactly caused the death of mother in such a routine surgery. Helen did not agree with filing for a case to obtain an autopsy. She did not believe that the doctors committed malpractice and sought the situation be put to rest. The contrast in opinions leads to a verbal altercation between the two characters over the matter of whether or not to file for a lawyer to obtain an autopsy and to sue for malpractice. Despite the advice and order of Helen to drop the case, Clementine calls a lawyer to look into the case of mother.
Oedipus’s form of rebellion in Oedipus Rex was his persistent will to seek the truth. Jocasta quickly learns of the truth that Oedipus has killed his own father and committed incest with her. As the realization that the prophecy, told to her many years ago, has come true, Jocasta makes it her mission to protect her son from discovering the truth for himself. Jocasta demands Oedipus to resist from seeking the truth anymore but Oedipus’s self pride and determination fuels his thirst to find out where he really came from and who his biological parents are. In both cases, the parents were right in their plea for their child to stop in the search of further knowledge. Although the parents were precise, Oedipus and Clementine choose to rebel against their parents’ wishes.
In many plays the playwright chooses a character to be his and her voice or favors a character more than the other. In the case of Oedipus Rex, it seems that Sophocles does not favor either Jocasta or Oedipus. At the end of the play, both Oedipus and Jocasta face their horrific fates. After Jocasta learns that Oedipus has deciphered the truth about his committed incest and murder of his own father, she could not cope with the shame and embarrassment. Upon Oedipus leaving, Jocasta committed suicide by hanging...