Shows *
* Jocasta was the wife of Laios and mother, then wife, of Oedipus by whom she had Ismene, Antigone, Eteokles and Polyneikes. She lived in Thebes in the heroic period before the Trojan war. In Homer when Odysseus sees her in the Underworld she is called Epikaste, In Homer and Sophocles she kills herself when she realises she has married her son, but in Euripides' Phoinissai she is still alive at the time of the expedition of the Seven against Thebes. In this play she commits suicide with a sword over the bodies of her sons.




"What should a man fear, whose life is ruled by fate,
For whom there is clear foreknowledge of nothing?
It is best to live by chance, however you can.
Be not afraid of marriage with your mother;
Already many mortals in their dreams
Have shared a mother's bed. But he who counts
This dream as nothing, easiest bears his life."


Jocasta was a famed queen of Thebes. Jocasta had a long line of close relatives. She was the wife of Lauis, mother and later wife of Oedipus, mother of Antigone, Eteocles, Polynices, and Ismene, and daughter of Menocenes. Unfortunately, Jocasta was carrying Lauis' baby who was destined to kill his father. Hearing this Lauis sent Oedipus up to the mountains. Oedipus somehow managed to survive and came back to where he was born. Eventually, he accidentally killed his father and married his mother (Jocasta). When Jocasta realized this, she hung herself; thus becoming one more victim of the curse that rested upon the family of the Labdacids.
In Greek mythology, Jocasta, also Iocaste or Epikastę, was a daughter of Menocenes. She was the wife of Laius and, by him, mother (and wife) of Oedipus, and mother (by Oedipus) of Antigone, Eteocles, Polynices and Ismene. Her husband, King Laius of Thebes, consulted an oracle when she was pregnant with her first child, Oedipus. The oracle claimed he was destined to kill his father and marry his own mother. Laius had the baby left out in the woods to die. He was found by a shepherd and given to King Polybus and Queen Merope (or Periboea) of Corinth.

Later, Oedipus killed Laius, not knowing who he was, and married Jocasta, not knowing who she was. When this was discovered, Oedipus tore out his own eyes and Jocasta committed suicide by hanging.

In astronomy, Jocasta (Iocaste) the name of a small moon of the planet Jupiter.


Is Jocasta actually willing to live in incest with her son as long as the information isn't public? Since it was Jocasta, according to the herdsman in the next scene, who actually gave the baby to him and commanded him to abandon it on the mountainside, does Jocasta kill herself because she can't face Oedipus or because she can't face the public shame of their incest?

"Jocasta is aware that the truth may lead her family into ruins and begs Oedipus to 'give up now' [1160]. She says for him to 'Stop- in the name of god,/ if you love your own life, call off this search!/ My suffering is enough.' [1163] But Oedipus had the courage it took to find out even if it destroyed him, the truth about his birth. Jocasta tells Oedipus to 'have no fear. Many a man before you,/ in his dreams, has shared his mother's bed./ Take such things for shadows, nothing at all- /Live Oedipus,/ as if there is no tomorrow!' [1078].


"Jocasta begs Oedipus to stop, for she wants Oedipus to never find out the truth because it will reveal her part in the prophecy that SHE gave him to be killed so that he could not harm her and her husband. The shepherd tells Oedipus what he has feared and he is devastated: 'O- god-/ all come true, all burst to light! /O light - now let me look my last on you!/ I stand revealed at last -/ cursed in my birth, cursed in my marriage,/ cursed in the lives I cut down with these hands!' [1310] These were the feelings too that Jocasta had been burdened with, and her burden was too much to bear, as the soldier reported: 'Flinging herself across the bridal-bed, doors slamming behind her-/ once inside she wailed for Laius, dead so long ago,/ the life that rose up to destroy him, leaving/ its mother to mother living creatures/ with the very son she'd borne./ Oh how she wept, mourning the marriage-bed where she let loose that double brood- monsters-/husband by her husband, children by her child.' Oedipus was enraged by the knowledge he had learned and ran to Jocasta with a sword. And 'there we saw the woman hanging by the neck' [1395]. She could not bear the agony of looking at her son, her husband, Oedipus, in the eyes. He was so grief-stricken that he took the brooches, 'the long gold pins/ holding her robes- and lifting them high, looking straight up into the points, he digs them down the sockets of his eyes' [1405]. She could not look at him nor the townspeople with the dreadful life she was apart of, just as he could not look at her and their life together." bach3.mid *

News Alert:

Double Tragedy on the Royal Family

In a shocking twist today, Queen Iocaste is dead. She committed suicide shortly after a Corinthian messenger revealed that Oedipus was not King Polybus' son. King Polybus was the king of Corinth, having passed away recently. To intensify the enormity of the situation, King Oedipus, having realized that he is indeed Laios' son who was destined to kill his father and marry his mother, blinded himself today. He reportedly exclaimed: "No more, No more shall you look on the misery about me, The horrors of my own doing! Too long you have known the faces of those whom I should never have seen, too long been blind to those for whom I was searching! From this hour, go in darkness." According to a messenger who witnessed the entire thing, Oedipus used Iocaste's brooch to "struck at his eyes--not once, but many times; and the blood spattered his beard, bursting from his ruined sockets like red hail."

As for the queen, she hanged herself when she found out that she had unknowingly married her son and had four children with him. The same messenger who witnessed Oedipus piercing his eyes also saw what happened to Iocaste. He told us: "When she had left us, in passionate silence, passing through the court, she ran to her apartment in the house, her hair clutched by the fingers both hands. She closed the doors behind her then, by that bed where long ago the fatal son was conceived--That son who should bring about his father's death--We heard her call upon Laios, dead so many years, and heard her wail for the double fruit of her marriage, a husband by her husband, children by her child."

This tragic turn of events devastated all of Thebes, from the fields of fruitless farms to the lonely streets of the capital city. Many can only shake their heads in disbelief that their troubles was caused by their own king, who had committed the horrible sin of killing his father and marrying his mother. Many feel that Thebes has had suffered enough with the famine and unborn babies. Why have the gods continued to plague Thebes with misfortune? However, nobody knows what will happen now.



... is King Oedipus' mother and wife of king Laius of Thebes. Laius had left his baby boy to die on a mountain, after an oracle had told him he would be killed by his son. The baby was rescued by a shepherd who named him Oiedipus and gave him king Polybus of Corinth.
A grown man, Oedipus was told by an oracle that he would kill his father, and thus left Corinth to spare Polybus. He then met a man whom he thought was a bandit, and killed him, not knowing tha man was his biological father Laius.
He then went to Thebes, where he killed a monster and got Queen Jocasta as a prize whom he married.
The couple had two sons: Eteocles and Polynices, and two daughters: Antigone and Ismene. Jocasta took her own life when she found out who Oedipus really was.
Motivations: "Jocasta is willing to live in incest as long as the facts remain private. She doesn't take her own life until Oedipus realizes the truth. She kills herself for fear of what he would think of her." Mike Weaver (1998) agreed: "Jocasta was trying to get Oedipus to stop looking into the death of Laius because she knew the truth. She would have lived the rest of her life married to her son and not told a sole. She killed herself because she did not want to face everyone because of the deranged person she was."


"Jocasta's issue is not one of shame but of power. She knows before the play starts that Oedipus is her son; the undertones of her words illustrate this, as well as the words themselves. Check out lines 975 to 985. Jocasta, Creon, and Oedipus are in a three way power struggle... Jocasta, by marrying her son, remains queen, which is a position of power, as opposed to the dead king's wife, which is a position of little power. Using this argument, the reason Jocasta commits suicide is not because she is ashamed; in contrast to Creon's passion throughout the play, Jocasta is coldly calculating... because of who she is, shame is not an option. Instead, her suicide is a result of the inevitable loss of power brought on by Oedipus's discovery. Also, he would've killed her anyhow, and she had to know this. It isn't about shame at all... it's about personal power."

More on Jocasta’s (Iokaste) Public vs. Private Shame: I believe that Jocasta was willing to live in an incestuous relationship with her son as long as the general public didn’t find out. It is debatable as to why she would marry someone half her age when she is aware of the prophecy. I suppose that it is possible that, at one time, she believed her son to be dead; possibly at the time of their marriage. It is clear, though, that she became aware of the terrible situation prior to the events of the play. I do believe, however, that Oedipus had no idea that he was laying down with his biological mother. After learning about his “father’s” death, Jocasta tries to reassure him that the prophecy is nonsense because Polybus died of natural causes and not at the hands of Oedipus. In scene 3, line 63, Oedipus replies, “And yet—must I not fear my mother’s bed?” This statement proves that he believes he has escaped the prophecy by fleeing Corinthe. He probably believed that marrying the murdered king’s wife was the right and proper thing to do, given the situation.

Jocasta, on the other hand, had no such logical excuse. As stated earlier, the possibility certainly exists that, at the time of their marriage, she was oblivious to the true identity of Oedipus. It shouldn’t have taken her long, however, to see the scarring and swelling on his ankles. She obviously chose to say nothing and continue the incestuous relationship with him. The reason for this, however amoral and repugnant, could simply be that living with Oedipus in this way was her only option in being with her son again. While that may partially be so, I also believe that she wanted to continue holding her rank as queen. Along with the power of being queen, comes a certain level of pride and selfishness, which brings me to my next point. I believe her suicide was a direct result of her inability to face the people Thebes once her monumental indiscretions are realized. In scene 3, lines 66-69, she says, ”Have no more fear of sleeping with your mother/How many men, in dreams, have lain with their mothers!/No reasonable man is troubled by these things.” I believe that, not only is she trying to console herself, but also trying to make Oedipus believe that he is being unreasonable for his persistence towards the truth. When her efforts to halt his inquiries are failing, she says in line 139, “For God’s love, let us have no more questioning!” She does not want him to find out the truth about his past because she knows that it would then be made public. Beseeching him one last time, she says in line 144, “Listen to me, I beg you: do not do this thing!” Oedipus, disregarding her pleas, says in line 145, “I will not listen; the truth must be known.” Jocasta, coming to the grave comprehension that she is left with no further options says, in line 148, “You are fatally wrong! May you never learn who you are!” The reference to him being “fatally wrong”, foreshadows her suicide.

He comes to see her pride and belief in her own self-importance in line 150 by saying, “Let us leave this woman to brag of her royal name.” She states that miserable is the only word that she has for him. She knows that he will not only be miserable when he finds out who he really is, but also when he learns of her death. Oedipus further mentions Jocasta’s proud nature in lines 158-159, “The Queen, like a woman, is perhaps ashamed/To think of my low origin.” Who would know one’s personality better than their spouse?

In the end, I believe that Jocasta was willing to live in incest with Oedipus so long as the truth remained a secret kept from him and the people of Thebes. Her attempts to subdue his wish for the whole story, no matter how ugly, were simply brushed aside. She could no longer bear her own private pain, much less the pain and judgment of an entire city, should her misguided relationship go public. She put herself before those most important in her life. It is said that suicide is a selfish act and what more could one expect from such a self-serving woman?

**** she has gone crazy!..



"What should a man fear, whose life is ruled by fate,
For whom there is clear foreknowledge of nothing?
It is best to live by chance, however you can.
Be not afraid of marriage with your mother;
Already many mortals in their dreams
Have shared a mother's bed. But he who counts
This dream as nothing, easiest bears his life." ... Jocasta does seem to be a person more buffeted by events than in control of them. This is a role that women often fall into because of their nurturing nature.

NB "So if she did know, why did she do it? If she didn't, she would shame her son both privately and publicly if she did not allow him to marry her and cited the prophecy. She would then be accusing him of killing the king, and his own father. Not to mention that she may have hated Laius for trying to kill Oedipus. So in a sense her own personal shame would be superceded by the fact that her son was ok and living life as a king."

"I believe that Jocasta held so much shame that she killed herself. She had been lying for too long about too many things. One lie that she lived in that comes to me in a strong way is the lie regarding the prophecy. She told Oedipus not to trust the prophecies, but yet she trusted or feared the prophecy to such a degree that it caused her to give away her own son!! How can she live in such a lie as big as that? She talks against the very thing that drove her to be rid of her son. I feel that Jocasta is a terrible liar and it was the shame from her life of dishonesty that drove her to kill herself."

Next: sphinx
Jocasta Jocasta was a Mycenaean and would have worn clothes from that culture. The Mycenaean dress was similar to the Minoan whe the women wore a vest that revealed the breasts, a girdle and a flounced skirt. For the play Oedipus Rex Jocated is usually cast in a chiton because that was the dress current at the time the play was written. The people of classical Greece had no idea what the Mycenaean ladies wore.
* ...She was beautiful, as were most of the ancient Greek women. She could have been as young as 38 when Oedipus was 26. But Oedipus would have died at 36, two years younger than Jocasta. ... her first husband put a lot of pressere on her to be a Lesbian? * The etymology of Jocasta is that the name means lighthearted and comes from Italian. * Jocasta committed suicide because she became extremely unhappy. Even today people who are extremely unhappy sometimes choose suidide as a way of ending their misery. The ancient Greeks had a fairly strong prohibition against suidide because they thought the afterlife was one of dreary shades. But the suicidal person was not considered crazy or sinful. Today we consider suicidal persons as crazy and try to treat them for a mental illness. In some cases the suicidal person in ancient Greece was likened to a hero fighting against overwhelming odds. In this case the person was seen to have some heroic qualities. Jocasta cetainly does qualify for some type of sympathy of this sort because she was dealing with a very difficult situation. But had she chosen to live she might have received more sympathy. Question: what type of pin did oedipus removed from her cloth to pinch his eyes?
Answer: It was either a fibula or a brooch. Both these work similar to a safety pin does today. ... Jocasta got a really bad deal from her first husband. She liked Oedipus because she thought he could give her a normal life with her children. When she found out she was his mother she knew her life was destroyed.
Theatre w/Anatoly
... The myths about Jocasta reveal a very difficult situation and a very interesting life. But at the time covered by the Oedipus play she was trying to be ordinary. Perhaps this is her fault as a character. Perhaps you could write a play in which she was portrayed in a more interesting manner.

Oedipus05 Oedipus05

There is a general consensus, particularly in psychology, that boys inevitably reject their mothers... ?

Once boys have been separated from their mothers they are then conditioned to de-humanise and depersonalise women. But the process has a backlash effect on men.

[ Must boys reject their mothers to become men? Charlie Kreiner ]

scenes for directing/acting classes

list --


Jocasta Rising [ ? ]