Q.16. What aspect of Jocasta’s character is revealed through her attempt to prevent Oedipus from making further investigation?

Ans. When Jocasta comes to realize, from the Corinthian shepherd’s account of how he got the baby Oedipus from another shepherd, a Theban shepherd, and when Oedipus asks Jocasta if that was the shepherd he has sent for, she turns white with terror, and begins to evade the question by talking in ambiguous terms. She says, “Forget what he has told you … I It makes no difference”. When Oedipus insists on pursuing this trail to the end, she says, “No! In God’s name — if you want to live, this quest must not go on.”
Through these words and behaviour of Jocasta, an important aspect of her character is revealed. It is quite a feminine aspect of her character. It is usually found that a woman, when she faces a situation in which something dangerous or too disturbing for the tranquility and peace of life might come up if full exploration is made, she prefers not to stir up the thing, and wants to remain in blissful ignorance. A woman usually does not have the courage to face the situation and accept the truth. Jocasta’s words and attitude in this particular situation are consistent with that feministic tendency. When she realizes that truth — and her realisation happens a little earlier than that of Oedipus
— that Oedipus is her son but she has lived with him as husband and wife, she does not want Oedipus to dig up the truth, because such truth Will violently shake up her tranquil life so far. So her caution to Oedipus comes as her last words to him, “0 never live to learn the truth.”
In her attempt to dissuade Oedipus from further investigation at this point of the story, Jocasta betrays an important aspect of her feminine nature

 

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