Oedipus the King

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was a neurologist from Australia and the
founder of psychiatric therapy movement.
He explained how individuals’ behaviours are controlled by
unconscious motives, used hypnotism to cure mental illness, and also
developed “talking culture”, a core building block in
psychoanalysis, and had particular interest in conversion
syndrome/hysteria.
Sigmund Freud developed Oedipus Complex theory from Sophocles books such
as Oedipus the King and Antigone.
Oedipus Complex explains how sibling in their younger age tend to be
attracted and love parents of the opposite sex, and experience
antagonistic and jealous feelings towards parents of the same gender.
These feelings are concealed due to fear of reprimand by parents of the
same gender.
Oedipus complex manifests itself in the phallic phase of psychosexual
development when the child’s personality and libido are being formed.
The complex is unconsciously attained, and may persist throughout the
lives of the childhood and during maturity where it is manifested
through preference of children of opposite sex by the parents (Sigmund
197).
Oedipus complex is both positive and negative, whereby in its positive
type, a child secretively desires sexual relationships with parent of
opposite gender and perceives the parent of same gender as a competitor.
In its negative type, the child desires sexual relations with parent of
same gender and perceives parent of the opposite gender as the
competitor (Sigmund 66).
“Oedipus the King”, a play about Oedipus, who as prophesied by the
Oracle, killed his father and married his mother, in the play, Oedipus
complex is manifested when:
Oedipus killed his father, King Laius of Thebes. Though Oedipus did not
know that King Laius was his father, the unconscious ego in Oedipus made
him attack and kill his father (the competitor) thereby having the
mother for his self.
After being declared King of Thebes after he solved the riddle of
sphinx), Oedipus married his mother Jocasta, queen of Thebes to
satisfy his unconscious sexual desires of having sexual relations with
own mother.
With her, he bore children namely, Polyneices, Eteocles, Antigone, and
Ismene.
Antigone
Antigone is a play by Sophocles involving a woman heroine, Antigone a
daughter of Oedipus, king of Thebes.
King Oedipus had killed his father and married his mother without
knowing that they were his real parents.
Oedipus’ mother ‘and wife’, Jocasta hanged herself in depression
after she realized that Oedipus was her.
Oedipus fled leaving the kingdom under Creone who was Jocasta’s
brother since the heirs to the throne (Antigone, Ismene Polyneisis and
Eteocles) were not yet of age.
Upon maturity, Oedipus’ sons began fighting over the kingdom rights
dying in their own battles. Creone gave reputable burial for Eteocles
but excluded polyneisis who was seen as a traitor (Butler 166).
Antigone agitated for respectable burial right for her brother which she
achieved amidst threats from the male dominant society (Butler 213).
According to Freud, the boy child loves the mother while the girl child
loves the father (Oedipus complex)In Antigone, Oedipus complex in
manifested where
As a child Antigone went to the island where Oedipus had exiled himself
and took care of him (Butler 69).
This is the primary goal of Oedipus complex where children unconsciously
love and care for parents of the opposite sex.
Though the situation was not of her own making( blinding of the father
and death of the mother), Antigone had managed to eliminate her mother
and having her father all by herself thereby fulfilling her
‘unconscious’ woman desires as stated in Oedipus complex.
According to Freud, Oedipus complex, if the girls love for the father is
fruitless, the girl redirects that love to the brothers.
After her father’s death, Antigone dedicated herself to give her
deceased brother a honorable death (Butler 216).
Though the effort to bury her brother is on moral base, it is also
entrenched on elemental unconscious sexual drives of Oedipus complex.
Works Cited
Butler, Judith. Antigone`s Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death. New
York: Columbia University, 2002.Print
Sigmund, Freud. A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis. New York:
Horace Liveright, 1920. Print.

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