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Freud on Oedipus - Essay Example

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Even though some of his ideas are criticized today as being too focused on the sexual, they still managed to give us great insight as to the working of the brain. One such insight is…
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Freud on Oedipus
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Freud on Oedipus

Download file to see previous pages... The Oedipal complex as described by Freud indicates men wished to possess their mothers in much the same way that their fathers did. “It is the fate of all of is, perhaps, to direct our first sexual impulse towards our mother and our first hatred and our first murderous wish against our father” (Freud, 2006). According to Freud’s theory, in identifying with the male gender, boys begin to see their fathers as competition and begin wishing they could replace their fathers and marry their mothers. Freud’s theory held that children suffering the guilt and frustration of the oedipal complex, in which the child unconsciously desires an intimate relationship with the parent of the opposite sex and the removal of the parent of the same sex, who are incapable of solving this conflict on their own eventually grow up to become criminals as they seek alleviation from this guilt through punishment. To illustrate his point, he continuously goes back to the story of Oedipus to illustrate these ideas.
In the play, Oedipus is fated at birth to grow up to kill his father and marry his mother, so his natural father orders that he be abandoned to the wilderness expecting that he will die of exposure to the elements. However, the crying baby was rescued by a shepherd and taken to the neighboring monarchs, who were sadly childless, to be raised as their son. All of this history was unknown to Oedipus when he took leave of his parents at an appropriate age to go question the Oracle about his future. As he is leaving the Oracle, Laius, seeking a solution to a Sphinx problem back in Thebes, is approaching. The two come together at a place where three roads meet and they argue over who has the right of way. Their argument turns into a fight and Oedipus kills Laius never knowing who he really is, thus fulfilling the first part of the prophecy without even knowing it. Because he is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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