Queen Jocasta is one
of Greek mythology’s most ill=fated characters. First, she and her husband
learn that their child is destined to kill his father and marry his mother. So,
they leave the child out in the wilderness to die. Little does Jocasta know,
the child is saved by a kindly herdsman. Baby Oedipus is adopted by a King and
Queen from another city state.
Oedipus grows up and
learns of a prophecy wherein he commits patricide and incest. He quickly leaves
town to avoid that terrible fate. While traveling to Thebes, he is almost run
over by the chariot of an arrogant king (Oedipus’ biological father). They fight
and Oedipus slays the king. (For some reason, no one ever finds out that
Oedipus does this).
Oedipus saves Thebes
from a monstrous Sphinx and becomes the new king. He weds the older but still
beautiful Queen Jocasta. That’s right, he marries his mother! That’s the great
thing about Greek Mythology. It’s the original Jerry Springer Show... except
with more monsters.
Jocasta does not believe in the divine prophecy and tells Oedipus not to trust in the words of the oracle. She is less inclined to believe in the prophecy, first because she says that whatever happens is not the fulfillment of fate, but occurs by chance through a series of events that are unforeseen.
Second, Jocasta has the most to lose by the revelation of the prophecy, she does not want to delve into understanding it, she prefers to ignore it, leave it alone. She is married to Oedipus, has four children with him, he is the king, she does not want the life to be disturbed, disrupted or ended. She is suspicious of the prophecy, and fears it enough to appeal to Apollo, making a sacrifice to him, praying that the prophecy is not true.
"She assures Oedipus that the oracle proclaiming Laius's murder by his own son was false, since Laius was killed by highwaymen, and his son had been left "to die on a lonely mountainside." Rather than placating Oedipus, her words haunt him, he recalls "a shadowy memory,'' and asks her to give details about Laius's death."
When Jocasta realizes what the truth is, she begs Oedipus to look no further,
"May you never learn who you are!" In her final speech she calls Oedipus "miserable and says she will have no other name for him."
he of course must find out the truth for himself, when all is revealed, it is more than she can bear, and she commits suicide.
Apr 14th, 2015
Did you know? You can earn $20 for every friend you invite to Studypool!