Summary Jean Cocteau Hell Machine

Summary Jean Cocteau Hell Machine

Jean Cocteau
Hell Machine
The play, based on the motifs of the myth about Edil, unfolds in ancient Greece. The Queen of Thebes of Jocasta, in order to prevent the oracle’s prediction that her son, when he grows up, will kill his father, King of Leah, the king of Thebes, seventeen years ago ordered the servant to injure the feet of his youngest son, to bind him and leave him alone in the mountains to true death. A certain shepherd found a baby and carried it to the king and Queen of Corinth, who had no children, but passionately dreamed about them. They raised him with love, calling him Oedipus. Turning into a young man, Oedipus learned from one of the Delphic oracles that he was prepared to kill his father and marry his own mother. Not knowing that he is the adopted son

of the rulers of Corinth, Oedipus leaves them and leaves the city. On the way he meets a horse escort. One of the horses touches Oedipus A quarrel breaks out between him and the unskillful rider. The rider swings at Oedipus, he wants to repel the blow, but, missed, falls not by the rider, but by his old master. The old man dies from the blow. Oedipus also does not suspect that his father, King Lai, the ruler of Thebes, is killed.
Jocasta, an inconsolable widow, is bitterly mourning her deceased spouse. A few days later, rumors reach her that the ghost of King Lai almost every day at dawn is a soldier guarding the fortress wall of the city, chatting incoherently with them and asking to warn his wife about something incredibly important. One night, Jocasta comes to the wall in the hope that her arrival will coincide with the appearance of the ghost, and while the ghost is not visible, she tries to check if her guards are deceiving her. Throughout the whole scene of their conversation, no one visible specter appears at the wall, vainly calling to his wife and begging to pay attention to him. Only after the departure of the queen and her adviser Tiresias, the soldiers manage to see the ghost of the king against the background of the wall, which only has time to ask the tsarina to be warned that she will be careful of the young man,
which is currently on the outskirts of the city. After uttering the last words, the ghost disappears to never again appear in the living world. At this very time not far from Thebes, Edil encounters the Sphinx, whom he searched everywhere, but, confronted with him, immediately does not recognize him, for the monster appears before him in the guise of a young girl. The Sphinx was already tired of making riddles and killing all those who could not solve them, so he tells Oedipus the answer to his next question and gives the young man the opportunity to get out of the competition as a winner. The defeat of the Sphinx gives Oedipus the opportunity to marry Jocasta, for the queen has promised that she will marry someone who will be able to deal with the Sphinx and become the ruler of Thebes, to which Oedipus long sought. Oedipus is happy and, not thanking the Sphinx for his kindness, pleased with himself, runs away towards the city. The Sphinx is indignant at the ingratitude of Edil, he is ready to send after him Anubis, the deity with the body of man and the head of a jackal, and order him to tear Oedipus. Anubis, however, advises the Sphinx not to hurry with retribution and tells him about the joke that the gods conceived to play with the unsuspecting Oedipus: he had to marry his own mother, give birth to two sons and two daughters, with three of the children will die a violent death. The Sphinx is pleased with this prospect and agrees to wait in order to enjoy the picture of the Oedipal grief in the future. advises the Sphinx not to hurry with retribution and tells him about the joke that the gods conceived to play with the unsuspecting Oedipus: he had to marry his own mother, give birth to her two sons and two daughters, and three of the children would have to die a violent death. The Sphinx is pleased with this prospect and agrees to wait in order to enjoy the picture of the Oedipal grief in the future. advises the Sphinx not to hurry with retribution and tells him about the joke that the gods conceived to play with the unsuspecting Oedipus: he had to marry his own mother, give birth to her two sons and two daughters, and three of the children would have to die a violent death. The Sphinx is pleased with this prospect and agrees to wait in order to enjoy the picture of the Oedipal grief in the future.
The wedding day of Oedipus and Jocasta is tending to decline. The newlyweds retire to the bedroom of Jocasta. The queen asks her husband to pay tribute to the traditions and meet with the blind elder Tiresias, the spiritual mentor of Jocasta. Tiresias is extremely pessimistic about the marriage of the queen and too young, and besides, he believes, the poor man of the Oedipus tramp. Learning that Oedipus is the offspring of the kings of Corinth, Tiresias changes his attitude towards the newlyweds and the opinion of the queen’s marriage as a whole.
Having met in the bedroom of Jocasta, the newlyweds almost immediately plunge into a heavy sleep to the uttermost exhausted by the daily worries of people. Each of them dreams of horrors – Oedipus associated with the Sphinx, and Jocasta with the incest that she predicted. Waking up and seeing the old scars on Oedipus’s legs, Jocasta starts to question him about their nature and to his relief learns that he received them, according to his parents, as a child during a forest walk. Unable to contain the excitement, Jocasta makes her husband a half confession, telling him how allegedly one of her servants seventeen years ago carried her infant son with pierced feet to the mountains and left there alone.
The next seventeen years, that is, the years of the married life of Oedipus and Jokasgas, flew by as one happy moment. Four sovereign children were born to the royal royal couple, nothing overshadowed their existence. But after a ghostly happiness a catastrophe broke out. Heaven brought the epidemic of plague to the city, so that the king would know the true grief and realized that it was just a toy in the hands of ruthless gods. Oedipus learns that his father, King of Corinth, died of old age. This news, in part, even makes Oedipus happy, because he gives him hope that he managed to avoid the fate predicted by the oracle. The mother of Oedipus, Merope, is still alive, but her advanced age, according to Oedipus, serves as a reliable defense against the implementation of the second part of the prediction. However, the messenger, who brought news of the demise of the king, informs Oedipus that he is the adopted son of the deceased.
King Oedipus did not kill King of Corinth, but he recalls that somehow it was the cause of the death of one person who met him at the intersection of roads leading from Dedfov and Davliy. At the same instant, Jocasta understands that it was Oedipus who killed Lai, his real father, and realizes that the prediction was accomplished to the fullest. She leaves in a sacred horror Oedipus, talking with the messenger, Tiresias and Creon, the brother of Jocasta, and commits suicide by hanging himself on his own scarf. Oedipus, remembering the confession of Jocasta seventeen years ago, is in the belief that he is the son of Lai and the servant of Jocasta. Noticing the disappearance of his wife, he follows her, but in horror returns and reports the death of his wife. His eyes gradually open, he realizes that Jocasta must both be a son and a husband, and the plague that struck the Thebes is the punishment of the city for the fact that the greatest sinner found refuge there. The plague is designed to heat up the atmosphere, so that at last a thunderstorm comes from the depths of the centuries. Oedipus descends into his quarters.
After a while, the cry of Antigone, one of the daughters of Oedipus, comes from there. All those present she calls upstairs: Antigone discovered the corpse of her mother, and next to him – the father, who you pricked your eyes with the golden brooch of Jocasta. Everything is covered with blood. Creon can not comprehend why Edel did this: he thinks it would be better to follow the example of Jocasta. Tiresias is inclined to believe that this is the pride of Edile: he was the happiest of mortals, now he prefers to become the most miserable of them.
On the stage appears the ghost of Jocasta, clad in all white. Only blinded Oedipus and almost blind Tiresias can see him. Now Jocasta appears before Oedipus only as his mother. She comforts her son, and, henceforth, guarding against all dangers, leads him after him. Together with Oedipus, Antigone also leaves, unwilling to part with his father. All three leave the palace and leave the city.


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Summary Jean Cocteau Hell Machine