Thursday, September 13, 2012

Jocasta trying to save her own skin (but failing)

In the scene before Oedipus learns from the Messenger that his "father", Polybus, had died, Jocasta is urgently trying to get Oedipus to forget the prophecies. She says that Tiresias is just an old blind man and nothing more. Before I eve learned that she is Oedipus' mother, i had a feeling that she was hiding something because of the way she fervently tried to get him to forget about the prophecies. It seems as if she was trying to defend her son from the pain of knowing, but she had to know deep down that Oedipus would find out some way or another. She may have actually been trying to defend herself from Oedipus' rage and the public's opinion, for why would she knowingly marry her son?


Madeline Davis said...

As far as I picked up, I don't think Jocasta knew that Oedipus was her son. According to the shepherd, she wanted to have her baby killed to prevent the prophecy of her son killing his parents from coming true and as far as she knew, her son died as an infant. I think she honestly believed that her son was dead because she seemed so ashamed and disgusted with herself when she "mourns her marriage bed" after she realizes that she gave birth to her husband/slept with her son. This also explains her apparent shock and hysteria that leads to her suicide.

Laura N said...

I interpreted it the similarly to Madeline. When she married Oedipus, she didnt know it was him.

I think she at first was just trying to console him and herself. I think she put 2 and 2 together before Oedipus and was trying to delay the confirmation from the messenger so that they wouldn't have to face the horrible truth.

Laura N said...

Because she knew there was a prophecy out there that said the same thing Tieries ad Crion said, she might have caught on quicker