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Klockars, L. (2009). The Oedipus Myth: The Tragedy and Strengths of Oedipality. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 32(2):125-133.

(2009). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 32(2):125-133

The Oedipus Myth: The Tragedy and Strengths of Oedipality

Leena Klockars, FIL, LIC

The essence of the story of King Oedipus forms a cornerstone of psychoanalysis since Freud. Oedipality means the painful experience of the child who is left outside the mutual relationship between the parents and the child's wish to kill one parent and marry the other one. The life-long oedipal attitude and relationship develop in dyadic and triadic relationships. An example is given of a boy whose dyadic relationships are threatened by triads, and whose triads are threatened by integrated oedipality. Only after the oedipal situation is worked through does it become possible to live and love in reality, and to maintain manifold relationships. This development is also reflected in thinking, which only slowly develops into multidimensional levels of symbolization and thought. Prior to this development, we continue to “marry dyads” and “kill triads” and remain driven by dyadic and triadic wishes in all fields of our life.

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