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(1951). 'The Oedipus Trilogy.': Mark Kanzer.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 32:264.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: 'The Oedipus Trilogy.': Mark Kanzer.

(1951). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 32:264

'The Oedipus Trilogy.': Mark Kanzer.

The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 1950, Vol. XIX, No. 4, pp. 561–572.

The Oedipus Tyrannus of Sophocles is interpreted in terms of a neurosis precipitated in the father by the impending birth of a child. Regressing in phantasy to childhood curiosity and guilt over the mysteries of sex, the conflicts of an earlier phase of development are re-activated. The search initiated by King Oedipus into the causes of the plague that has befallen his native land (i.e. the mother-wife's pregnancy), can lead only to his own implication as once it had led to the discovery of the father's rôle. Now the resultant parricidal tendencies are turned against himself. Jocasta, the queen, is shown to be identical with the Sphinx; the entire drama is a portrayal of the legendary encounter between Oedipus and the fabled monster.

Variations of the same problem are to be found in the other plays of the trilogy, Antigone and Oedipus at Colonus. The repetitive theme is handled with increasing maturity by the successive heroes, however, apparently reflecting a successful working-through of the dramatist's phantasies. Aspects of the dramas in their relationship to various concepts of the Oedipus myth also receive attention.

Author's Abstract.

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Article Citation

(1951). 'The Oedipus Trilogy.'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 32:264

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