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The Oedipus Complex

Powerful Essays
Inspired by Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex and his analyses of his own and patients’ psychological behavior, Sigmund Freud developed the Oedipus complex. Freud believed that dreams are suppressed oedipal urges, and that these urges are universal to humankind. Opposition to the theory’s name is common, since many believe that Oedipus Rex has a profounder meaning than Freud asserts. Through the content of the play, Sigmund Freud supports his complex by shining light on Oedipus’s tragic, yet inevitable prophecy. The Oedipus complex was developed by the famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. The complex describes Freud’s theory of psychosexual stages of development in children, particularly boys. It denotes a boy’s feelings of lust and desire for the mother, and jealousy and envy for the father. The boy views the father as a rival for possession of his mother’s love and affection (Cherry). Likewise, the Electra complex, a term coined by Freud’s student Carl Gustav Jung, describes a similar idea that young girls compete with their mothers for their father’s attention (Wiesen). Freud, however, despised this term since it “seeks to emphasize the analogy between the attitude of the two sexes" (Cherry). Instead, he refers to the female variant of his theory as the "feminine Oedipus attitude" and or the "negative Oedipus complex" (Freud, Sigmund Schlomo).
Freud also delves into sibling relationships concerning his theory. He believes that sibling relationships do not have an independent purpose outside of the Oedipus complex. Siblings of opposite sexes act as doppelgängers of their parents, where a son can desire his sister in place of his mother and vice-versa, whereas same-sex siblings become rivals of each other, vying for their par...

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Wiesen, G. "What Is the Electra Complex?" WiseGEEK. N.p., 03 Nov. 2013. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
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