Jocasta The Queen

Jocasta’s roll in the play is dependent on Oedipus. She changes her views and her opinions based on his reactions to her statements. It is interesting to see her cast in such a traditional female roll of support to the husband and king but to juxtapose that with her roll as skeptic. While Oedipus questions the gods’ power and believes himself to be invincible, Jocasta is the real non-believer. She goes from convincing Oedipus of his innocence by saying “Apollo was clear—it was Laios’ fate to be killer by my son, /but my poor child died before his father died” (p.62-63). By stating this she is discrediting Apollo and his prediction of Oedipus’s life. She later states “fortune rules out lives./Luck is everything. Things happen. The future is darkness” (p. 66). The key element here is that fortune rules our lives no the gods. By making the only woman in the play also represent the growing influence of atheism. Attributing this to the only female character gives Jocasta a certain power that is unexpected given the fact that she is proven wrong seeing as Apollo correctly prophesized Oedipus’s fate. However, this doesn’t take away Jocasta’s power because she represents the growing school of thought. She is not meant to be the focus of the play and yet she represents a new way of seeing the world that Oedipus and many others are blind to.

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