Oedipus Complex

Oedipus Complex Sigmund Freud, Austrian physician, neurologist, founder of psychoanalysis and also known to some as the father of modern psychology, conceived the Oedipus complex. The Oedipus Complex, otherwise known as the Oedipal complex, takes its name from the title character of Sophecles’s Oedipus. In this Greek tragedy, Oedipus ends up killing his father and marrying his mother. In 1896, Freud established Psychoanalysis, meaning the investigation of the psychological causes of mental disorders, changing psychology forvever. Freud first came up with the idea of the Oedipus complex during a session of self-analysis, when he unearthed a childhood memory of being sexually aroused by seeing his mother naked.

“Soon after Freud uncovered these memories from his own childhood he assumed a universal law-the Oedipus complex.” (www.vuc.) He published his idea of the Oedipus complex in 1905, and shocked society. The idea that infants had sexuality scared people. Although the dictionary definition of the Oedipus complex is: “In psychoanalysis, a subconscious sexual desire in a child, especially a male child, for the parent of the opposite sex, usually accompanied by hostility to the parent of the same sex. If unresolved naturally, this complex may result in neurosis and an inability to form normal sexual relationships in adulthood.” Women, although less likely, can suffer from the Oedipus Complex, but when they have it, it’s known as the Electra complex. In the Oedipus complex, Freud theorized that in every newborn child is the urge to engage in sexual acts with the parent of the opposite sex, and kill the parent of the same sex, just like in the Greek tragedy.

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“The reasoning for the incestual attraction is most likely due to proximity: As the child first develops a sense of sexuality, at the early age of three, the parents are two of the few within the child’s small social circle.” (talk.to.freud) The Oedipus complex is the foundation for many of Freud’s theories. Psychology Essays.


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