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Aho Eerola, K. (2019). The Oedipus myth and its analogues, especially its characteristic manifestation in Finnish folk tales. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 42(1-2):103-111.

(2019). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 42(1-2):103-111

The Oedipus myth and its analogues, especially its characteristic manifestation in Finnish folk tales

Kaija Aho Eerola

The play of the ancient Greek tragedian Sophocles is the most famous story of Oedipus. However, similar stories have been told before and thereafter throughout history as legends and folk tales in different parts of the world. There is a specific folk tale type classified according to its narrative components and named the Oedipus tale. There are somewhat conflicting opinions about the universality of the Oedipus tales and Oedipus complex. This review deals with the nature of the Oedipus legend and its folk tale analogs. There are 25 examples of Oedipus folk tales that are known to be from Finland – a high prevalence compared to other regions of the world. From Scandinavia, for instance, they are virtually absent. The most of Finnish Oedipus stories have a special feature that is unique in the world.: a peculiar prophecy of a sheep that will be born at the same time and eaten by a wolf. An example of these Finnish folk tales is told. Possible interpretations of this tale are offered and discussed. The specific feature of the Finnish Oedipus tales stimulates a discussion on the different opinions regarding the timing of the Oedipus complex, especially considering its oral precursors.

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