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Essay on Jocasta in Oedipus the King

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The Role of Jocasta in Oedipus the King



"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him."  (James 1:12)  Such is the proclamation in the Holy Bible, and so was the proclamation in ancient Greece. Since the founding of religion, the gods have sought to test those with power. Jocasta was sent by Apollo to do just that: to test Oedipus' - the king of Thebes - faith and conviction.

Throughout the play, Jocasta tested the beliefs of those around her by feigning disbelief in the gods herself. Though she put up this false front, she did keep her faith. At the beginning of the scene wherein a messenger relayed word of Polybus' death and Oedipus' ascension to the throne of Corinth, we see Jocasta praying - not the act of a disbeliever at all! Again, in the same Episode, Jocasta carries garlands and incense to the altar and tries to appeal to Apollo to purify the city of Thebes.

 

While her faith remains strong, her task from the gods is to test the faiths of...


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