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Oedipus


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In Greek mythology, the son of Jocasta and of Laius, king of Thebes. Left to die on a mountain by Laius, who had been told by an oracle that he would be killed by his own son, the infant Oedipus was saved by a shepherd. Returning eventually to Thebes, Oedipus solved the riddle of the sphinx, but unwittingly killed his father and married Jocasta; their children were Antigone, Ismene, Polynices, and Eteocles. On discovering what he had done he put out his own eyes in a fit of madness, while Jocasta hanged herself.

Oedipus complex in Freudian theory, the complex of emotions aroused in a young child, typically around the age of four, by an unconscious sexual desire for the parent of the opposite sex and wish to exclude the parent of the same sex. (The term was originally applied to boys, the equivalent in girls being called the Electra complex.)

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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