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Symington, N. (2018). The Murder of Laius. Contemp. Psychoanal., 54(1):152-160.

(2018). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 54(1):152-160

The Murder of Laius

Neville Symington

In this article, the author reexamines the Oedipus myth, first noting that Laius represents an inner psychic reality. He asks us to look beyond what Oedipus did do—slaying his father and marrying his mother—to look at what he did not do. He offers that the basic evil, Oedipus' worst crime, was to consent to the voice of fate of the Delphic oracle, to follow through on what had had been prescribed for him, as opposed to creating his own wife and his own life. In this way, the evil in the myth is an inner one. Oedipus refused the more difficult task of being and confronting the source of personhood, which is the crying infant. Indeed, by heeding the voice of fate, he essentially murdered his inner potential of creating his own freedom.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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