Oedipus – Despite all efforts, a tragic figure


Oedipus
Oedipus – litmuse GR L via Flickr

According to several ancient Greek writers, Oedipus (Greek Oidipous: “swollen foot”) is the mythical son of Laius and king of Thebes.

In taking steps to avoid a prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother, Oedipus unwittingly did so.

The Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud named one of his most important ideas after the tragic story of Oedipus—the Oedipus Complex.

The tale of Oedipus exemplifies the Greek belief in hubris.

J.F. del Giorgio, author of The Oldest Europeans (2006), adds that

It is also a dramatic example of the change of institutions in Greece. In matrilineal tribes, the son of the king was not supposed to succeed him, as that would mean to marry his own mother, as it happened with Oedipus.¹

If this entry seems a bit perfunctory, it is. I just thoroughly revised the related The Oedipus Complex and frankly, have run on of steam on this topic. Check out my revision!

¹ https://earthpages.wordpress.com/2018/02/14/oedipus/#comments

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2 comments

  1. It is also a dramatic example of the change of institutions in Greece. In matrilineal tribes, the son of the king was not supposed to succeed him, as that would mean to marry his own mother, as it happened with Oedipus.

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