What type of character is Jocasta in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex?
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The character of Jocasta in Oedipus Rex by Sophocles is actually one of the more interesting psychological studies in Greek tragedy. She is the mother of Oedipus, who unknowingly marries her own son and has children by him, as part of the working out of a curse on the house of Thebes. Her character is grounded in the role of the Greek woman in maintaining the integrity of household and family. She is torn between love for Oedipus as a child, loyalty to family, and loyalty to Thebes, which, in a system of kingship, is a sort of extended family for her. She also is torn between love of Laius, whom Oedipus killed, and that of Oedipus as son and husband. Thus as the plot begins to unfold, she is increasingly torn between believing and trying to deny the horrible truth. Eventually, the situation becomes unbearable ad she commits suicide.
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