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Many people experience the Jocasta Complex in reference to the proverbial "mama's boy".


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So is the doting mother unconsciously incestuous, potentially anguished, or anguishing, and dangerous….

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Oedipus separating from Jocasta. By Alexandre Cabanel, 19th century. In Greek mythology, Oedipus slept with his mother unwittingly: fate was to blame. Literature tends to portray him as a tragi-romantic figure, undergoing an extreme and self-destructive rite of passage into manhood. But Laios gets drunk, fathering Oedipus in his cups.

The cause is worse: remeeting jocasta

Laios or is it Jocasta? In adulthood, Oedipus himself receives a prophecy from the Oracle: that he is fated to kill his father and marry his mother. Believing his parents to be Polybus and his Queen, he flees from Corinth to avoid disaster. On the road he meets King Laios and, in dispute over a right of way, kills him.

Power dreamers: the jocasta complex

Arriving in Thebes, he discovers that the city is being terrorised by the Sphinx. He resolves the conflict, whereupon the city elects him King; Jocasta, his mother, is given to him in marriage as a reward. She bears him four children. The consequences of the prophecy unroll. The city becomes plague-ridden, whereupon Oedipus discovers his patricide and incest. Jocasta independently discovers the truth. In one version of the tale, she hangs herself; in another, she stabs herself after her sons fight each other in a quarrel for the throne.

Is this normal behaviour from a mother?(51f) i (20f) am not sure and am considering leaving my boyfriend over it (21m)

According to some s, Oedipus gouges his eyes out; according to others, goes into exile with his daughter Antigone. Some critics argue that in the play, Jocasta knows Oedipus as her son from the outset.

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After all, on various occasions, Oedipus relates his past: he tells Jocasta of the Delphic prophecy his parents received, and yet she fails to recognise it as identical to the one that she and Laios heard when he was born. Many men have slept with their mothers in their dreams…. See your dreams for what they are — nothing, nothing at all. No Oedipus! No more questions. Sophocles shows Jocasta a distinct moral ambivalence. Her justification is that her first husband, Laios, never loved her, and treated her as an object. The only source of happiness for her has been her boy baby, which is why Laios, from jealousy, left his son to die.

Seeing her son again makes her finally feel loved and needed. We follow the tragic Queen as, entranced by a foreign prince, she falls in love, oblivious, with her own son. Entirely innocently, she devises a way to seduce him, begetting the ill-starred Oedipus.

To highlight this, the drama moves between ancient Thebes and conflict-ridden modern Cape Town.

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Jocasta appears in the play asa young bride and then as the adult Queen. In thisas a young man Laios has seduced a boy, triggering the curse. The audience is made to see this as another example of the exploitation of women by men. When the young Jocasta gives birth, she does so prominently, at the front of the stage, demonstrating her pride in life-giving as opposed to the male activity of slaughter.

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When Jocasta knows the truth and prepares to hang herself, Antigone dissuades her, arguing that she can elevate herself into a saviour of women if she will only reject her sense of shame and guilt. Oedipus callously blames his mother, but in her desire to save her daughter from tragedy, Jocasta gradually strengthens, and even stops him from blinding himself, insisting that this is the story of motherhood: the womb, not the phallus.

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Thank you to all the creative women who have, over recent years, further and further reclaimed Jocasta from her deadly complex. Thank you especially to Elise K. You are commenting using your WordPress.

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