The Oedipus Plays

by: Sophocles

Jocasta Quotes

Quotes Jocasta Quotes
Apollo brought neither thing to pass. My baby no more murdered his father than Laius suffered—his wildest fear—death at his own son’s hands.

Jocasta speaks to Oedipus, her husband/son in Oedipus the King as Oedipus begins to question his own history. At this point, Jocasta is convinced that her version of the facts is true. However, she will soon learn that she is sorely mistaken: Her baby was spared and adopted by others, and he indeed killed his own father, Laius, at the crossroads. Jocasta’s dismissal of Apollo’s prophesy is her own form of hubris.

. . . my son, poor defenseless thing, he never had a chance to kill his father. They destroyed him first. So much for prophesy. It’s neither here nor there.

In Oedipus the King, Jocasta tries to convince her husband/son Oedipus to not even bother summoning the shepherd who witnessed the death of Laius. It could be that she has some premonition that the “truth” could be unravelling and thus ruin her life, or perhaps she truly believes that the prophesies are false, which would be blasphemy to the Greeks. Either way, it’s clear that Jocasta would rather keep her life as it is than know the truth.

You’re doomed—may you never fathom who you are!

This is Jocasta’s penultimate line in Oedipus the King, spoken just before she exits the stage. Jocasta’s words reveal that she has put the pieces together and understands what actually happened in the past. Her proclamation that she wishes Oedipus to remain “in the dark” reveals her love for him and serves as a chilling distillation of the entire play’s events.