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Oedipus Complex

  The Oedipus Complex was discovered by Freud in his own self-analysis. He found that his own memories of wishing to slay his father and possess his mother, and the accompanying feelings of distress, resembled the plot of Sophocles\' play Oedipus Rex. In this, Oedipus unwittingly murders his father Laius and marries his mother Jocasta, Queen of Thebes, thereby becoming king himself. Discovering this he is so horrified that he puts out his own eyes. He refuses to see what has happened, as Freud believed we bury deep inside ourselves the memory of our desire for our parents. Several other pieces of evidence from his work with patients suggested to Freud that this was not unique to himself. He concluded that the wish to eliminate the same-sex parent and to possess the opposite-sex parent was the psychic legacy of every child. His hysterical patients frequently invoked incestuous seduction scenes from childhood which fell into the Oedipal pattern, and this was not confined to this particular group of patients. Freud pointed out that children were often very open about wanting to marry their parent of the opposite sex, but also that these wishes were usually covert as the child sees the same-sex parent as powerful. Freud also thought that people\'s repugnance and disgust that they had lusted after their mother and wished their father dead, confirmed that these were memories too odious to contemplate. MJ  



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