Oedipus English Literature

English
Tutor: None Selected Time limit: 1 Day

Characterize Oedipus based on his monologues and reaction to the truth and Jocasta's suicide. Use quotes as evidence. 

Apr 14th, 2015

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!
Click here to
Refer a Friend
...
Apr 14th, 2015
...
Apr 14th, 2015
Dec 7th, 2016
check_circle
Mark as Final Answer
check_circle
Unmark as Final Answer
check_circle
Final Answer

Secure Information

Content will be erased after question is completed.

check_circle
Final Answer