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King Oedipus And His Complex - Crazy Characters
King Oedipus And His Complex - Crazy Characters

Video: King Oedipus And His Complex - Crazy Characters

Video: King Oedipus And His Complex - Crazy Characters
Video: Oedipus Rex by Sophocles | Characters 2023, December

The Oedipus complex is one of the main categories of psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud. By it the author meant "the child's unconscious erotic attraction to the parent of the opposite sex and the associated aggressive feeling towards the parent of his own sex."

This complex is well known to psychologists, but we will not talk about it, but about the mythological ancient Greek king Oedipus. More precisely, what kind of mental disorder did he develop at the end of such an unfortunate fate?

The entire life path of our hero is not trivial, which could not but affect the formation of his personality.

The gods told his father: "If you have a son, he will become your killer, and your whole house will perish in blood." For this reason, the pope-king, when his wife, contrary to the prohibition, gave birth to a son, ordered the shepherd to take the child to a mountain pasture bordering on another Greek polis - Corinth, pierce his sinews and leave him there.

The shepherd took pity on the child, handed it over to the shepherd of the neighboring "state", and as a result, the boy ended up abroad with the childless king of Corinth, Polybus. The overjoyed king named the foundling Oedipus, which in Greek means "swollen legs", adopted and raised a Corinthian prince from him.

But the secret of the origin could not be hidden, and once at a feast someone called Oedipus "a fake son." The angry prince went to Delphi to find out the true truth from the gods. And he received an unexpected answer: "You will kill your father and marry your mother."

In order not to commit such a grave crime, Oedipus decided not to return home to Corinth and wandered in the opposite direction - to the city of Thebes, where he was actually born. On the way, on a narrow road, he came across a chariot in which King Lai, his biological father, was traveling. The proud young man did not want to give way to some old man, they quarreled, and the hero Oedipus killed not only Lai in a battle, but also his guard, except for one servant who managed to escape. And he continued on his way to Thebes.

And confusion reigned in the city-state of Thebes: and the king was killed, and a winged lioness appeared - the Sphinx, who daily killed one of the inhabitants of the city, who could not solve the now-known riddle: “Who walks on four legs in the morning, on two, and at three in the evening? Oedipus decided to take a chance and gave the correct answer: this is a man in infancy, maturity and old age. The Sphinx was defeated and threw himself off the cliff.

The inhabitants of the city rejoiced and with triumph took Oedipus to the widowed queen, who was glad to marry a young man, since now no one forbade her to bear children. What she and her new husband did happily for twenty years, giving birth to two sons and two daughters.

But then a plague struck Thebes - the punishment of Apollo to people for their sins.

But for what? Again I had to turn to the gods in Delphi, and the soothsayer conveyed their will: to get rid of the epidemic, the murderer of the former king Lai should be punished.

See also: Tsar Lai never dreamed of … Was there a "Oedipus complex"?

But who is the killer? Began, in modern terms, "investigative measures". They found the shepherds who saw the baby Oedipus, and the guard from the retinue who fled when Oedipus killed the "old man" in the chariot.

And so it happened that, unknowingly, Oedipus killed his father and married his mother. When the truth became known to everyone, his mother and at the same time his wife hanged herself out of grief, and Oedipus himself, falling into depression, gouged out his eyes. The heartbreaking picture was eloquently described by the ancient Greek playwright Sophocles (495–406 BC):

Taking off her royal

robe, tearing off the golden shoulder clasp, He began to

pierce the needle into the sockets of the eyes, shouting that the eyes should not ripen

Neither his torment nor his committed evils.

king oedipus oedipus complex
king oedipus oedipus complex

Benin Gagnero. "Blind Oedipus entrusts his children to the protection of the gods", 1784

This is a vivid and clinically correct attack of agitated depression. The subsequent depressive state of Oedipus lasted a long time. Blinded, he wandered around the palace alone, not wanting to see anyone. In the end, Oedipus went from Thebes to Athens, where his death was predicted by the god Apollo

Hearing the first rolls of thunder, Oedipus announced that they were announcing his death, and headed "towards the descent into the kingdom of the shadows of Hades."

From such a terrible tragedy, Sigmund Freud created his "Oedipus complex", in which the son does not kill his father, but only subconsciously competes with him, and does not - God forbid! - incest with his mother, but only admires her as a woman, until he has his own woman-wife.

However, in life, of course, anything happens …


  • Zelinsky F. F. Psychology of the Ancient Greek Myth / Foreword by Hasan Huseynov. M.: AST, 2019.
  • Ovcharenko V. I. Psychoanalytic Glossary. Minsk: Higher School, 1994.
  • Sophocles. King Oedipus // Sophocles. Tragedies / Per. from Old Greek S. V. Shervinsky. M.: Fiction, 1988. S. 31–95.