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Naiman, J. (1992). Freud's Jocasta and Sophocles' Jocasta: Clinical Implications of the Difference. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 73:95-101.

(1992). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 73:95-101

Freud's Jocasta and Sophocles' Jocasta: Clinical Implications of the Difference

James Naiman


Evidence is presented that the Jocasta Sophocles depicted in Oedipus Rex is significantly different from the Jocasta of Freud's synopsis of the play. Sophocles' Jocasta prefers her son to her husband and this preference results in parricide and incest. The clinical implications of this difference are discussed in relation to a group of patients whose mothers resembled Sophocles' Jocasta. The analysis of one such patient is briefly presented. All these patients had difficulties at work and in their psychosexual development. It is argued that these difficulties resulted from the mother's attitude interfering with the dissolution of the Oedipus complex and that quite severe pathology does not necessarily mean pre-oedipal conflicts.

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