Jocastas Role in Oedipus

Jocasta is an integral part of the play, Oedipus The King, by Sophocles. Her actions and thoughts are important to the reader as well as the characters within the play. In this passage there are several themes and significant items that she is addressing. Jocasta is trying to help relieve Oedipus of his fears that come from the oracles. Jocasta states at the beginning of her speech to Oedipus (977-984), that since chance is against him there is no need to worry; he can not know what will occur in the future. Jocasta, on the other hand, does not follow her own advice, and decides to kill herself instead of living with the guilt of sleeping with Oedipus. She continues to say that because of fate man should live life without thinking of the consequences of his actions. It seems as though Jocasta advocates a world without morals. It is almost as though Jocasta does not see anything wrong with a man sleeping with his mother. Jocasta is being hypocritical when she says that person should not think about his actions because he can not avoid taking them [971]. According to this logic, her discussion to marry Oedipus, even after the oracle stated that she will marry her son who will kill her husband, was inevitable. When she finally becomes aware that Oedipus, her husband, is also her son she is horrified [1060-1061]. If she really believed that a person should live life unthinkingly,” then she would have been able to continue on with her life, and not to have been so distraught by the news. However, she goes so far as to kill herself [1246-1252]. While Jacostas speech point to her hypocrisy, it also points to a world without morals – a world where man should do whatever he wants and does not have to worry about his actions. Best to live lightly, as one can, unthinkingly,” Jocasta says, painting a portrait of a society without morals. One might say that Sophocles here argues that fate is responsible for everything and…

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