Oedipus The King Jocasta and Suicide

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About this sample


Words: 503 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

Words: 503|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

Oedipus, the mythical Greek king, is known for his tragic fate and the devastating consequences that befall him and those around him. One of the most intriguing aspects of the play "Oedipus the King" is the character of Jocasta, Oedipus' mother and wife. Jocasta's role in the story is complex, and her ultimate fate is a subject of much debate. This essay will explore the question, "Why did Jocasta kill herself?" by analyzing the various factors that may have contributed to her tragic decision. Through a careful examination of the text and consideration of different interpretations, we can gain a deeper understanding of Jocasta's character and the motivations behind her ultimate demise.

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One possible explanation for Jocasta's suicide is her overwhelming guilt and shame. Throughout the play, Jocasta realizes the horrifying truth that she is married to her own son and has borne him children. This realization is a devastating blow to her sense of morality and her self-image as a virtuous woman. According to Freudian psychoanalysis, such a shocking revelation could lead to intense feelings of guilt and a desire to escape the consequences of one's actions through self-destruction. This interpretation suggests that Jocasta's suicide was a desperate attempt to escape the shame and guilt that consumed her.

Furthermore, Jocasta's suicide can be seen as an act of self-sacrifice. In ancient Greek society, suicide was sometimes viewed as an honorable way to avoid further suffering or to atone for one's sins. By taking her own life, Jocasta may have believed that she was sparing herself and her family from further pain and disgrace. This interpretation suggests that Jocasta's suicide was a selfless act, driven by her desire to protect those she loved.

However, another perspective on Jocasta's suicide is that it was an act of despair and hopelessness. In the face of the tragic events unfolding around her, Jocasta may have felt utterly powerless and unable to cope with the overwhelming emotions and circumstances. This interpretation suggests that Jocasta's suicide was a manifestation of her despair and a surrender to the inevitability of her tragic fate.

Regardless of the specific reasons for Jocasta's suicide, it is clear that her death has significant implications for the overall themes of the play. Jocasta's suicide serves as a powerful symbol of the destructive consequences of ignorance and the pursuit of knowledge. Oedipus, too, is ultimately driven to self-inflicted blindness as a result of his desperate attempts to uncover the truth. Jocasta's suicide underscores the tragic nature of human existence and the inescapability of fate.

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In conclusion, Jocasta's suicide in "Oedipus the King" is a complex and multi-faceted event. While the exact reasons for her decision may never be fully known, there are several plausible explanations that shed light on her tragic fate. Whether driven by guilt, self-sacrifice, or despair, Jocasta's suicide serves as a poignant reminder of the devastating consequences of ignorance and the inescapability of fate. By examining Jocasta's character and motivations, we can gain a deeper understanding of the themes and messages conveyed in this timeless Greek tragedy.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Oedipus The King Jocasta And Suicide. (2024, Jun 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 22, 2024, from
“Oedipus The King Jocasta And Suicide.” GradesFixer, 14 Jun. 2024,
Oedipus The King Jocasta And Suicide. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Jul. 2024].
Oedipus The King Jocasta And Suicide [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 14 [cited 2024 Jul 22]. Available from:
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