Jocasta is Oedipus’ wife and mother in Sophocles’ Oedipus the King. She is a pivotal character in the play, as she is the one who eventually reveals to Oedipus that he has killed his father and married his mother. This revelation brings about Oedipus’ downfall, as he realizes the horrific truth of his actions.
Jocasta is a complex character who tries to protect her husband from the truth, but ultimately fails. She loves Oedipus and does not want him to suffer, but her efforts only make things worse in the end. Jocasta’s role in Oedipus the King is essential to the story and helps to create the tragedy that unfolds.
Jocasta is a major character in the play Oedipus The King by Sophocles. Her actions and thoughts are essential to the reader as well as the persons in the drama. There are several themes and important things that Jocasta is discussing in this passage. She claims at the start of her speech to Oedipus (977-984), “Since chance is against him, there is no need to be concerned; he cannot know what will happen in the future.”
Jocasta points out that many people have had similar fears to Oedipus’, but their prophecies never came true (985-988). Oedipus is still not convinced and Jocasta then tells him a story from her own life. Jocasta was also foretold that she would marry her own son, but it did not come to fruition because they found out before it could happen (989-993).
Oedipus is starting to become agitated at this point, so Jocasta tries to reason with him one last time. She asks Oedipus why he should worry about a prophecy when he does not even know if it is true (994-996). Oedipus finally agrees with Jocasta and they go off stage together.
Jocasta plays an important role in Oedipus The King because she is the only one who can reason with Oedipus. Everyone else tries to tell Oedipus what he should do, but Jocasta is the only one who can get through to him. She does this by appealing to his logic and using examples from her own life. Jocasta is an important character in the play because she is the only one who can help Oedipus see reason.
According to this logic, her discussion to marry Oedipus, even after the oracle predicted that she would marry her son who would kill her husband, was unavoidable. When she learns that Oedipus, her husband, is also her son, she is terrified [1060-1061]. If she truly believed that life should be lived without thinking,” she could have gone on living and not been so upset by the news. She goes as far as to commit suicide [1246-1252]
Oedipus, after putting out his own eyes, begs to be exiled. Oedipus is so distraught by what he has done that he wants to kill himself. Jocasta, on the other hand, does not want to live anymore and hangs herself. Oedipus’s reaction seems more in line with the traditional belief that one should live life unthinkingly, because he does not want to deal with the consequences of his actions.
Jocasta’s reaction, however, seems to contradict her earlier statement. It could be argued that she realizes that living life unthinkingly is not as fulfilling as she thought it was. Or, it could be argued that she is so horrified by the news that Oedipus is her son that she cannot live with the knowledge. Regardless of the reason, Jocasta’s suicide seems to be a direct contradiction to her earlier statement about living life unthinkingly.
Despite her hypocrisy, Jacostas words indicate a world without values — a place where individuals are not required to follow any rules. It is better to live lightly since one may do so unthinkingly, according to Jocasta’s painting of a society devoid of morals. One might argue that in this play, Sophocles asserts that fate is ultimately in control and that humans have little control over their fates. In this drama we see how man suffers for actions considered immoral by society. Man’s destiny still rests on his actions even though they may be deemed unjust.
Oedipus was not only cursed because of his incestuous marriage to Jocasta, but also because he murdered his father and married his mother. Oedipus’ actions were what led to his downfall, not the fates. Jocasta’s role in Oedipus The King is significant because she is a symbol of the fall of man. She represents the idea that man is not in control of his own destiny and that fate will always find a way to prevail.
If Oedipus had not slain Laius, the oracles would never have proclaimed what was to happen. Throughout the drama are examples of individuals who have been punished for pursuing wrongful deeds: because they have not avenged their father’s death, Thebans suffer from a plague; Oedipus suffers as a result of murdering his father and sleeping with his mother; and he punishes himself by blinding himself. He does so because he understands that the crimes he committed were truly abominable.
Jocasta, Oedipus’ mother and wife, also suffers. Jocasta’s role in Oedipus the king is to provide Oedipus with comfort as he is going through his difficult times. Jocasta also unknowingly provides Oedipus with information about his true parentage.
Jocasta does not know that Oedipus is her son because she was told by Polybus and Merope that they found Oedipus abandoned on a mountain side and took him in as their own. Oedipus only learns the truth about his parentage when he visits the Oracle of Delphi and is told that he will kill his father and marry his mother. Oedipus then sets out to find Laius in order to avoid the prophecy, but instead ends up fulfilling it.
Oedipus kills Laius and his men at a crossroads, not knowing that Laius is his father. Oedipus then goes to Thebes where he solves the riddle of the Sphinx and is rewarded with the hand of Jocasta. Oedipus and Jocasta have children together and live happily until Oedipus’ true parentage is revealed.
Jocasta’s role in Oedipus the king changes once she learns the truth about Oedipus’ parentage. She hangs herself out of shame and grief when she realizes that she has married her own son and bore him children. Oedipus is horrified when he learns what he has done and gouges his eyes out in punishment. Jocasta’s death marks the end of Oedipus’ happiness and descent into madness.
Jocasta’s role in Oedipus the king is one of tragedy. She unknowingly provides Oedipus with comfort and information that leads to his downfall. Jocasta is a victim of circumstance and her death is a result of the tragic events that unfold in Oedipus the king.
He is unable to live with himself after seeing the results of his own actions, Ismene and Antigone. Oedipus blinds himself so that he may not have to look upon the consequences of his terrible deed: his daughters [1272-1276]. Oedipus might only be physically blind at the end of the play, but from the start he is unable to see what his future holds for him. Jocasta implies in her speech that Oedipus, like other men, is blind when it comes to his destiny. Jocasta claims that since man does not control his own destiny, he can not influence events that will impact on it.
Oedipus, like all men, is “a poor creature full of ignorance” (Jocasta 1062). Oedipus is ignorant of his future because he does not know that he will kill his father and marry his mother. Oedipus is also ignorant of the fact that Jocasta is his mother. Oedipus only realizes that Jocasta is his mother when she hangs herself at the end of the play. Oedipus’ ignorance leads to his downfall.
Jocasta plays an important role in Oedipus the King because she is the one who reveals to Oedipus that he has killed his father and married his mother. Jocasta tries to convince Oedipus that he should not worry about the prophecy that he will kill his father and marry his mother. Jocasta tells Oedipus that prophecies are often misinterpreted and that they are not always accurate.
However, Oedipus is not convinced by Jocasta’s words. Oedipus is determined to find out the truth about the prophecy and he eventually learns that he has fulfilled it. Jocasta’s attempts to convince Oedipus that the prophecy is not true ultimately fail and she plays a key role in Oedipus’ downfall.