NOTE: This page was created by students last year. Add to it if you wish! Mainly, I include it as an example, though.

There are many passages in the text, where she denounces the gods and the prophecies they make, but I think that she may believe in the gods. Any opinions? (David Topf)

She only denounces them because she doesn't want Oedipus to find out that she is his mother.
She still believes in them, because she knows it is true, but she would rather tell Oedipus they are
wrong, than having to admit to him that she is his mother.
-Fabian the sexy (voted My Cosmo magazine sexiest man in the world 2007)

As usual, Fabian brings up an intriguing point...Jocasta is merely posturing, dismissing the power of the gods to persuade Oedipus. I would suggest (to anyone wanting to earn some juicy discussion points here) that you consider Jocasta's words at the moment of understanding. Where does she finally understand the prophecy has come true? What does she say that helps you come to a clear answer to David's query?
I always understood that she thought they were worthless because the prophecy never came true about her son? Am i wrong in this? She even comes out and says one time to Oedie that the oracles are useless because they made a prophecy that never happened, which actually turns out to happen as her and Oedie right?
Dan Federico

TO answer Mr Neal's and Topf's question I have come up with a few quotes that seem to support the idea that Jocasta is really just trying to persuade Oedipus and in reality beleives in the Gods:

First of all in the quote "What should man fear" in page 215 line's 1070-1078 she says "Not a man on earth can see a day ahead,.." she never says a God. It is true that she says "chance rules our lives" in the same lines, but can a decision made by the gods that something is going to happen be chance as well?
Later in the one of the last lines she utters "Stop - in the name of god,
if you love your own life, call off this search!
My suffering is enough" lines 1163-1165
she mentions god, could she be a monotheist and therefore not beleive in the gods??????
but she also admits that this search will end his life and make her suffer more, so she acknowledges the prophecy.

THE LINE that gives us a clear anwer is line 1172-1173,

"YOu're doomed-
may you never fathom who you are!"
By saying "you're doomed" she is telling Oedipus that she knows the prophecy is correct and that his life the way he knows it is dommed. We know that as much as she wishes that the gods and fate never existed, they do, and that she herself has not been able to escape "My suffering is enough" line 1165

I hope I get my juicy discussion points,

To my mind, Jocasta does believe in Greek gods and even the prophecies. An evidence for that is that after finding out Apollo's prophecy that her and her husband's new-born son would murder his father and make love to her, she and her husbands decide to give the baby to a shepherd to kill him. This clearly shows that she believed in Greek gods' power and superiority. Futhermore, on page 211 the narrator that the queen is "placing her branch on the altar" meanwhile she says:

(Line 998 - Line 1011)
"Lords of the realm, it occured to me,
just now, to visit your temples of the gods,
so I have my branch in hand and incense too.

Oedipus is beside himself. Racked with anguish,
no longer a man of sense he won't admit
the latest prophecies are hollow as the old-
he's at the mercy of every passing voice
if the voice tells of terror.
I urge him gently, nothing seems to help,
so I turn to you, Apollo, you are nearest.

I come with prayers and offerings...I beg you,
cleanse us, set us free of defilement!
Look at us, passengers in the grip of fear,
watching the pilot of the vessel go to pieces."

Line 1007 clearly shows that Jocasta believes in gods and fears them as well. The fact that she goes to Apollo's temple with offerings and tells all of her problems to Apollo demonstrates how deeply she was religious. In my opinion, she believes in the Greek gods throughout the play. However, when she realizes Oedipus' real identity she pretends that she does not believe in them and that prophecieas are nonsenses in order to save Oedipus from the truth.