and find homework help for other Oedipus Rex questions at eNotes. and Jocasta have been happily married for twenty years and raised four children. Therefore, Jocasta and Oedipus' relationship in the play is one of extreme tension. Outline of the story of the family of Oedipus, in sequential order. Oedipus and Jocasta have four children: Eteocles and Polyneices, Antigone She curses Creon, goes into the Royal Marriage chamber, and hangs herself. Jocasta portrays the role of both mother and wife in the Greek tragedy, Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles. The relationships conveyed in the play are very controversial .
Thinking that the prophecy implies the murder of Polybos and marriage with Merope, Oedipus flees from Corinth and travels to Thebes, killing a man along the way. When he arrives in Thebes, he married the widowed Queen, Jocasta. When the play opens, the people of Thebes are distraught over the murder of their former King, Laios. Oedipus declares that he will find the man guilty of committing this crime and will bring him to justice. Through the enlightenment of prophets and witnesses, it is discovered that Oedipus is, in fact, the murderer he has been searching for, and the son of Jocasta and Laios.
Upon learning this news, Jocasta hangs herself the bedroom that she has shared with both her husband and her son.
One interpretation advanced by critics and readers is that Jocasta has been aware of the fact that Oedipus is her son from the beginning.
There are many points during the play where Oedipus talks of his past. He tells Jocasta of the prophecy that his parents received when he was a baby, which, needless to say is the same prophecy she and Laios received when Oedipus was born. Though completely obvious to the audience or the reader, Jocasta seems to be entirely oblivious to the unmistakable similarities between the two situations.
This could be a disguise for the truth that she is fully aware of, and that she wants to pretend does not exist. This is also true in contemporary society, as sexual dreams suggest a feeling of love and intimacy that is not necessarily sexual.
Jocasta also discourages his search for the truth about his past, especially in lines of Oedipus the King.
This is the climax of the play, when the truth begins to be revealed. In the story by Christine MorganJocasta is portrayed in the first person, talking to her son, Oedipus. The narration is supposed to take place right after Jocasta died, when she is looking back on her life.
She reveals that she has known all along that Oedipus is her son, and that she has not been ashamed of it. She claims that her first husband, Laios, never loved her, and treated her as a possession instead of a lover. The only thing able to give her happiness is her baby.
Jocasta - Wikipedia
Jocasta says that she knows from the moment she sees him as a man that Oedipus is her son. It makes her finally happy again to feel loved and needed, both maternally and sexually. Though it is disturbing, it brings to life the logic behind the theory that Jocasta is aware of the truth throughout the story. However, a more widely accepted interpretation is that Jocasta realizes the truth as it is uncovered during the play. She has had no ulterior motive in marrying her son.
It is probable that she may have been putting the pieces together throughout the play, but does not want to jump to any conclusions until she is sure of the circumstances. This shows her love and pity for Oedipus, and her maternal and perhaps wifely instinct to protect him from pain.
She and Laios obviously must have had an abundance of faith to be willing to murder their son because of the word of a prophet. She then supports her statement by telling Oedipus that the prophecy she was given about her son growing to kill his father and marry his mother never came to happen.
Later in the play, though, Jocasta gives an offering of incense and a branch to the gods, asking them to protect Oedipus and her. This proves that she does in fact possess faith in the gods. Oedipus, when he hears this news, feels much relieved, because he believed that Polybus was the father whom the oracle had destined him to murder, and he momentarily believes himself to have escaped fate.
He tells this all to the present company, including the messenger, but the messenger knows that it is not true. He is the man who found Oedipus as a baby in the pass of Cithaeron and gave him to King Polybus to raise. He reveals, furthermore that the servant who is being brought to the city as they speak is the very same man who took Oedipus up into the mountains as a baby.
Jocasta realizes now all that has happened. She begs Oedipus not to pursue the matter further. He refuses, and she withdraws into the palace as the servant is arriving.
The Story of Oedipus
The old man arrives, and it is clear at once that he knows everything. At the behest of Oedipus, he tells it all. Overwhelmed with the knowledge of all his crimes, Oedipus rushes into the palace where he finds his mother-wife, dead by her own hand. Ripping a brooch from her dress, Oedipus blinds himself with it. Bleeding from the eyes, he begs his uncle and brother-in-law Creon, who has just arrived on the scene, to exile him forever from Thebes.
Creon agrees to this request.
The Story of Oedipus
Oedipus begs to hold his two daughters Antigone and Ismene with his hands one more time to have their eyes fill of tears and Creon out of pity sends the girls in to see Oedipus one more time.
He finally finds refuge at the holy wilderness right outside Athens, where it is said that Theseus took care of Oedipus and his daughter, Antigone. Creon eventually catches up to Oedipus. He asks Oedipus to come back from Colonus to bless his son, Eteocles.Oedipus Marries Jocasta
Angry that his son did not love him enough to take care of him, he curses both Eteocles and his brother, condemning them both to kill each other in battle. Oedipus dies a peaceful death; his grave is said to be sacred to the gods. Sophocles' Antigone[ edit ] The blind Oedipus led by his daughter Antigone In Sophocles' Antigonewhen Oedipus stepped down as king of Thebes, he gave the kingdom to his two sons, Eteocles and Polynicesboth of whom agreed to alternate the throne every year.
However, they showed no concern for their father, who cursed them for their negligence.
After the first year, Eteocles refused to step down and Polynices attacked Thebes with his supporters as portrayed in the Seven Against Thebes by Aeschylus and the Phoenician Women by Euripides. The two brothers killed each other in battle. King Creonwho ascended to the throne of Thebes, decreed that Polynices was not to be buried.
AntigonePolynices' sister, defied the order, but was caught. Creon decreed that she was to be put into a stone box in the ground, this in spite of her betrothal to his son Haemon.
Antigone's sister, Ismenethen declared she had aided Antigone and wanted the same fate, but Creon eventually declined executing her. The gods, through the blind prophet Tiresiasexpressed their disapproval of Creon's decision, which convinced him to rescind his order, and he went to bury Polynices himself.
However, Antigone had already hanged herself in her tomb, rather than suffering the slow death of being buried alive. When Creon's wife, Eurydicewas informed of the death of Haemon, she too took her own life. Generally, the play weaves together the plots of the Seven Against Thebes and Antigone.
The play differs from the other tales in two major respects. First, it describes in detail why Laius and Oedipus had a feud: Laius ordered Oedipus out of the road so his chariot could pass, but proud Oedipus refused to move. Jocasta commits suicide over the two men's dead bodies, and Antigone follows Oedipus into exile.
In ChrysippusEuripides develops backstory on the curse: Laius' sin was to have kidnapped Chrysippus, Pelops ' son, in order to violate him, and this caused the gods' revenge on all his family. Laius was the tutor of Chrysippus, and raping his student was a severe violation of his position as both guest and tutor in the house of the royal family hosting him at the time.
Extant vases show a fury hovering over the lecherous Laius as he abducts the rape victim. Euripides wrote also an Oedipusof which only a few fragments survive.
At some point in the action of the play, a character engaged in a lengthy and detailed description of the Sphinx and her riddle — preserved in five fragments from OxyrhynchusP.
The most striking lines, however, state that in this play Oedipus was blinded by Laius' attendants, and that this happened before his identity as Laius' son had been discovered, therefore marking important differences with the Sophoclean treatment of the myth, which is now regarded as the 'standard' version.
Some echoes of the Euripidean Oedipus have been traced also in a scene of Seneca's Oedipus see belowin which Oedipus himself describes to Jocasta his adventure with the Sphinx.
These include Achaeus of EretriaNichomachus and the elder Xenocles. What is that which has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed? Oedipus in post-Classical literature[ edit ] Oedipus was a figure who was also used in the Latin literature of ancient Rome.