Oedipus complex


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Related to Oedipus complex: Oedipus Rex

Oedipus complex

 [ed´ĭ-pus]
a term used originally in psychoanalysis to signify the complicated conflicts and emotions felt by a child when, during a stage of his normal development as a member of the family circle, he becomes aware of a particularly strong, sexually tinged attachment to his mother; the term also applies to a similar attachment felt by a girl to her father (called also Electra complex). At the same time, the child tends to view the other parent as a rival and yearns to take that parent's place. This pattern, which was described by Sigmund Freud, is named from the legend of the mythical Greek hero, King Oedipus of Thebes, who was raised by foster parents, unknowingly killed his real father in a quarrel, and later married his mother. When he learned of his unwitting incestuous relationship with his wife he blinded himself.

According to psychoanalysts, a child enters the oedipal phase at about the third year and usually has solved his largely unconscious conflicts in a satisfactory way by the age of 5 or 6. He does this by turning his feelings of possessiveness toward one parent and competitiveness toward the other into a wish to be liked by both of them. Eventually, a child who has worked out his conflicts well can focus his affection on members of the opposite sex outside the family circle and can establish satisfactory marital relationships as an adult.

Freud's theory is generally accepted by psychiatrists, although many have developed supplementary theories for the behavior pattern he described.

Oed·i·pus com·plex

(e'di-pŭs, ē'),
a developmentally distinct group of associated ideas, aims, instinctual drives, and fears generally observed in boys 3-6 years old: coinciding with the peak of the phallic phase of psychosexual development, the child's sexual interest is attached primarily to the parent of the opposite gender and is accompanied by aggressive feelings toward the parent of the same gender; in psychoanalytic theory, it is replaced by the castration complex.
[Oedipus, G. myth. char.]

Oedipus complex

n.
In psychoanalysis, an unconscious sexual desire by a child, especially a male child, directed to the parent of the opposite sex, usually accompanied by hostility to the parent of the same sex.

Oedipus complex

Psychiatry Normal attachment of a child to the parent of the opposite sex, accompanied by envious and aggressive feelings toward a same-sex parent; the OC is a constellation of consequences–per Freud–resulting from the sublimation of a boy's psychosexual desire for his mother, likened to Oedipus of Greek mythology, who killed his father and married his mother. See Jocasta complex.

Oed·i·pus com·plex

(ed'i-pŭs kom'pleks)
A group of associated ideas, aims, instinctual drives, and fears in male children 3-6 years old; at the peak of the phallic phase of psychosexual development, the child's sexual interest is attached primarily to the mother and is accompanied by aggressive feelings toward the father; in psychoanalytic theory, it is replaced by the castration complex.
[Oedipus, G. myth. char.]

oedipus complex

The Freudian belief that much psychiatric disorder, especially the ‘psychoneuroses’, are caused by the persisting effects, including unresolved guilt feelings, of the child's unconscious wish to kill the parent of the same sex and to have sexual intercourse with the parent of the opposite sex. The notion was one of the central tenets of Freudian dogma but is no longer widely held. Freud derived the term from the name of the swollen-footed, mythical hero of Sophocles' tragedies who was nailed up by his feet as a baby (hence the swelling) but who survived to kill his father and marry his mother. See also FREUDIAN THEORY.

Oedipus,

King Oedipus of Thebes, mythical Greek hero.
oedipism - (1) self-infliction of injury to the eyes; - (2) manifestation of the Oedipus complex.
Oedipus complex - a phase of psychosexual development in which the child is erotically attached to the parent of the opposite sex and has feelings of aggression toward the same-sex parent.
Oedipus period - the time of a child's development characterized by erotic attachment to the parent of the opposite sex.
References in periodicals archive ?
Healthy resolution in the Oedipus complex requires the acceptance by the child that he or she cannot exclusively possess another (Sharpe & Rosenblatt, 1994).
In their criticism of the Oedipus complex, Deleuze and Guattari argue that psychoanalysis makes several mistakes about the nature of human desire.
Using here Freud's texts against themselves, playing up the way they recognize and yet fudge the violence of heteronormativity, rather than seeing both fetishism and queer sexuality as failed attempts to negotiate the Oedipus complex, we might see in them a "successful" resistance to normalized, hierarchical gender relations and normative heterosexuality with its insistence that someone always be "on top" (for another instance where a queer theorist re-reads fetishism so as to de-pathologize it, see Dean).
"Myths of Masculinity: The Oedipus Complex and Douglass's 1845 Narrative." The Psychoanalysis of Race.
The killer, Jia Ming, objects: "I'm no expert or critic, but I don't think you can apply a Western theory to China without causing confusion." Chen persists, however, realizing that in this case the Oedipus complex has Chinese characteristics.
Kirye Dimitra (her father) is a representative of male authority and oppression, which makes it difficult for Dimitra to resolve the Oedipus complex. Hence, her Oedipal stage is prolonged.
If my line of thinking is correct and the new wound cannot be reduced to a past trauma, this means that paradoxically working through trauma (and the Oedipus complex) is at least partially working and that a new condition, some form of emancipation, and independence have been achieved.
For Freud, the Oedipus complex was both the heart of neuroses and the primary structuring agent of civilisation.
From the most recent insights of neuroscience and infant development research, to the interpretation of dreams, to the nature of mental pain and the dynamics of the Oedipus complex and much more fill this distinguished evaluation of the connections between memory and the unconscious.
In addition to writing many papers on neurological and clinical matters, in 1910 Jones published two of his most important essays: "On the Nightmare" and "The Oedipus Complex as an Explanation of Hamlet's Mystery: A Study in Motive." In 1937, when the great Shakespearian actor Laurence Olivier was preparing for the role of Hamlet, he called upon Jones for advice.
She: "We were a mutation." He: "The founders of the communal education system intended to circumvent the Oedipus complex. Down with the neurotic dynasty!"
The Oedipus complex and other theories that symptoms are the expression of complicated subconscious material have limited application at best.