Jocasta Essay

Topics: Irony, Oedipus, Greek mythology Pages: 2 (651 words) Published: January 31, 2014
Prompt:
In Oedipus Rex, Sophocles explores the titular characters encounter with fate. The poet Ruth Eisenburg does the same in her poem Jocasta, but from the point of view of that works titular character. In a well organized essay, analyze how Eisenburg utilizes devices such as imagery, figurative language, puns, and dramatic irony to convey Jocasta's personal encounter with fate.

Fate cannot always be escaped. No matter how hard one tries to change what the Gods have already set in stone, there is no way around it. In Ruth Eisenburg's poem, Jocasta, she conveys the struggle of the character trying to escape her fate through a series of literary devices. Told from a completely different perspective, Eisenburg's poem makes it clear that Oedipus is not the only character struggling to escape fate. "When she learned the king's power, Jocasta lost delight in being queen." Jocasta knows Laius is not the best person around. Because of Laius' actions, the gods are punishing their family. Laius was a tutor for Chrysippus, but one night Laius kidnapped and raped him. Jocasta tries to do all she can in her power to avoid this fate completely. She uses a series of images to portray her struggle with fate and how she deals with it. She tells us how she sees Laius drunken and crying over what he has done to Chrysippus. "Life is a toad. All day and all night the Sphinx. We cannot escape her song." In her attempt to work around the gods plan, Eisenburg gives us the image of " the gods laugh[ing] and turn[ing] away to drink. [Jocasta] sit[s] raveling knots. The knots become rope." Not only is this imagery, but it is ironic. Toward the end of the poem, she is tying knots as well. The gods laugh only knowing that she is tying the knots that she uses to make the noose that she settles around her neck. "Those who cannot shape their lives are better dead", so Jocasta thought. Little did she know, that even if she takes her own life, Oedipus' fate will...
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