Oedipus/Anti–Oedipus: The Philosopher, the Actor and the Patient

Olga Taxidou

in Tragedy, Modernity and Mourning

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2004 | ISBN: 9780748619870
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651719 | DOI:
Oedipus/Anti–Oedipus: The Philosopher, the Actor and the Patient

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This chapter considers the various ways in which the story and play of Oedipus have been interpreted and appropriated by different intellectual projects, from Aristotelian philosophy to psychoanalysis. It examines Oedipus both in Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus using the lens of more recent anti-Oedipal psychoanalysis and philosophy. The chapter tries to answer the question of whether Oedipus the play is in itself Oedipal, and then studies his supposed development in relation to his biological father, the gods, and his biological and adoptive mothers. It looks at one reading of the Oedipus story that views it as the rare exception from the canon of initiation myths, and also considers the structural role and impact of the Sphinx on the narrative and the action.

Keywords: Oedipus; Aristotelian philosophy; psychoanalysis; Oedipus Rex; anti-Oedipal; initiation myths; Sphinx

Chapter.  13693 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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