Oedipus complex


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Related to Oedipus complex: Oedipus Rex

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 ?
46) He perceived in these fabrications the traces of childhood fantasy; and it was on this fundamental insight that he based his theory of the Oedipus complex.
Evolutionary psychologists and anthropologists, who view social behavior as the outgrowth of evolution by natural selection, generally respect Freud's intellectual contributions but consider the Oedipus complex a misguided explanation of conflict between parents and children.
The instructor might then try, as I did, to challenge such predetermined reading by linking the play to the Oedipus complex, (3) or by historicizing the tragedy's expressions of religious doubt and sacred vs.
A host of innovative behavioural concepts including sublimation, somatic markers, Oedipus complex, Electra complex, fetishism, etc.
This type of incestuous sexual attraction was popularised by the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud in the 19th century who attributed it to some of his patients, in what he described as the Oedipus complex.
And on it you can see the Austrian neurologist's thoughts change from second to second as time ticks away, flitting from pondering about the Oedipus complex to the existence of the Ego and the Id.
The first psychoanalyst to be inducted into the French Legion of Honor, Nasio explains that Freud's famous Oedipus Complex has nothing to do with love or hate, and everything to do with sex, as hormones surge through four-year-old boys and girls, and any adult within range becomes the object of young lust.
Goldstein, I'm sorry to tell you this, but I'm afraid your son has an Oedipus complex.
How is it you always manage to work in the name of your friend's wimpy kid with the huge Oedipus complex every time we're discussing my chosen vocation?
Although he emphasizes that it was his mother who first started drawing naked people, he muses that a psychoanalyst might draw the conclusion that he "somehow accomplished an Oedipus complex, on paper.
To take this even further: keeping in mind that the Oedipus complex is a mechanism for aligning sexual desire with gender, the novel is anti-Oedipal.
As I suggested above, Freudian theory posits that identification revolves around one or the other of the two "myths" or formations constitutive of identity, the Oedipus complex and the issues surrounding narcissism that will become my eventual focus.