A New Interpretation of Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus: In the Light and Darkness of Apollo

Yamagata, Naoko, ed. A New Interpretation of Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus: In the Light and Darkness of Apollo. By Shigenari Kawashima (2014). Edwin Mellen Press (2014). Translated from Japanese [日本語]

URL: https://mellenpress.com/book/New-Interpretation-of...

Abstract

This study proposes an earlier recognition than previously assumed of the whole truth by Jocasta in Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus. It argues that Jocasta learns of the truth about Oedipus’ identity and his parricide and incestuous marriage with her while listening to Oedipus’ tale of his past at 771-833, where he mentions the Delphic oracle given to him. It has generally been assumed that Jocasta only realises the truth during the exchange between Oedipus and the messenger from Corinth at 1037-44, but the reading proposed here enables us to make better sense of the subtle difference in Jocasta’s attitude to the oracle in her two speeches about it before and after hearing Oedipus’ tale (at 707-725 and 848-858).

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