Oedipus complex

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Related to Oedipal complex: Electra complex, latent stage

Oedipus complex,

Freudian term, drawn from the myth of OedipusOedipus
, in Greek legend, son of Laius, king of Thebes, and his wife, Jocasta. Laius had been warned by an oracle that he was fated to be killed by his own son; he therefore abandoned Oedipus on a mountainside.
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, designating attraction on the part of the child toward the parent of the opposite sex and rivalry and hostility toward the parent of its own. It occurs during the phallic stage of the psycho-sexual development of the personality, approximately years three to five. Resolution of the Oedipus complex is believed to occur by identification with the parent of the same sex and by the renunciation of sexual interest in the parent of the opposite sex. Freud considered this complex the cornerstone of the superego and the nucleus of all human relationships. Many psychiatrists, while acknowledging the significance of the Oedipal relationships to personality development in our culture, ascribe love and attraction toward one parent and hatred and antagonism toward the other not necessarily to sexual rivalry but to resentment of parental authoritarian power.

Oedipus Complex

the unconscious wish of little boys to kill the father and marry the mother (from the Greek legend of King Oedipus). This is regarded as integral to the Phallic Stage in FREUD's psychodynamic theory of development.

Freud suggested that between three and five years old a boy develops sexual jealousy of his father, and since his wishes cannot be realized in fact, he resolves the situation by realizing them vicariously through identifying with his father. This IDENTIFICATION involves internalizing the perceived moral standards of the father, thus forming the SUPEREGO. The obverse of the Oedipus Complex, for the little girl, is the Electra Complex, involving the unconscious wish to kill the mother and marry the father, though the term Oedipus Complex is generally used for both sexes.

Though the theory still has credibility among some psychoanalysts, feminist psychodynamic theorists have proposed other explanations for the development of the superego. Freud's theory was not a satisfactory explanation of female personality development. CHODOROW (1978) suggests that when gender awareness develops (between three and five years) a boy needs to differentiate from his mother with whom he has had a close physical and emotional identity. He therefore develops ways of coping with feelings of insecurity and a veneer of independence. A little girl does not have this need to differentiate, therefore she continues modelling on her mother and is thereby assisted in developing a mature personality. See also KRISTEVA, NARCISSISM.

Oedipus complex

[′ēd·ə·pu̇s ‚käm‚pleks]
(psychology)
In psychoanalytic theory, the attraction and attachment of the child to the parent of the opposite sex, accompanied by feelings of envy and hostility toward the parent of the child's sex, whose displeasure and punishment the child so fears that the child represses his or her feelings toward the parent of opposite sex.

Oedipus complex

Psychoanal a group of emotions, usually unconscious, involving the desire of a child, esp a male child, to possess sexually the parent of the opposite sex while excluding the parent of the same sex
References in periodicals archive ?
Not only that he causes separation, or that he establishes the Law, but that he is the one taking care of Duchess echoes the same intersubjective relations revolving around the Oedipal complex.
Nor does Freud ever develop an Electra complex as an analogue to the Oedipal complex (161 n.
This stage is described by Freud (1900) as the Oedipal complex, taken from the Greek play written in the 5th century B.
She reads the stories of Adam (God) and Eve, Moses and his rod, Noah's drunkenness before Ham, and Lot and his daughters against the backdrop of Freud's Oedipal complex.
The purported reasons for this are many, but let me suggest another, which I like to call a different kind of Oedipal complex.
There are many purported reasons for this, but let me suggest another one, which I like to call a different kind of Oedipal complex.
Pawley's main claim is that Thomson was a "neurotic in the classical Freudian sense of the word" (xiv), suffering from Oedipal complex and psychic impotence, whose poems are rhymed transcripts of his dreams, "written mainly for therapeutic purposes" (4).
A chapter on violence is followed by one on the applicability of Freudian analysis, specifically relating the Oedipal complex, to understandings of male/female relationships in New Guinea.
While dismissing Freud's anthropology, his rejection of "any teleology, any transcendent purpose and meaning to life" as woefully flawed, Cozzens applies an "iconic" or metaphorical reading of the famous Oedipal complex, part of Freud's "remarkable blueprint of the unconscious and .
Father-son relationships in the novel, both actual and metaphorical, are examined in terms of the Oedipal complex that according to Degraeve underpins much of the action.
Freud had previously suggested that children progress through several stages of what he called psychosexual development, including a period in which boys have to resolve an Oedipal complex marked by sexual desire for the mother and rivalrous hatred of the father.
Thus Proser complements Kuriyama's (and to a lesser extent Barber's) Freudian study of the Oedipal complex producing Marlowe's "homosexuality" (186) by "refocusing the shape of the Oedipal story" - "Oedipus' most primitive unconscious motive [being] retaliatory aggression against authority figures perceived as destructive, an impulse characteristic in Marlowe's plays" (3).