Think Questions: Scene III, Ode III

(47) 1. Why does Jocasta pray to Apollo if she does not believe in prophecy? Notice the relative calm of the beginning of this scene. How is Sophocles setting up what will come moments later? 

(48-49) 2. What news does the messenger bring? Why does he call it "good news"? How does Jocasta respond? 

(50) 3. Describe Oedipus' reaction when he is told the news. Is his response appropriate? After all, Oedipus believes Polybos was his father. 

(51) 4. How does Jocasta comfort Oedipus when he says that he still fears fulfilling the second part of the prophecy- sleeping with his mother. Notice the disturbing irony of the moment. How are we meant to understand it? What is Sophocles doing to our notions of right and wrong?

(53) 5. How does the Messenger try to allay Oedipus' fears? Describe Perepeteia #3.

(54) 6. What piece of evidence confirms the truth in Jocasta's eyes? Is it fitting that she should learn the truth before Oedipus does? Why does she tell Oedipus to forget the search for the herdsman?

(56-57) 7. How does Oedipus understand Jocasta's disapproval of his search for the identity of his true parents? How does he interpret her actions and speech?

(57-58) 8. What does Oedipus mean when he calls himself a child of Luck?

(58-59) 9. What does the chorus celebrate in Ode III? How is it deeply ironic? Describe the effect of this joyous hymn occurring at this stage of the action. Is there any symbolic resonance to the idea of Oedipus' birth as divine?