Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To access “The Standard Edition” of Freud’s work…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

You can directly access Strachey’s The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud through the Books tab on the left side of the PEP-Web screen.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Friedman, J. Gassel, S. (1950). The Chorus in Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus—A Psychoanalytic Approach to Dramatic Criticism I. Psychoanal Q., 19:213-226.

(1950). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 19:213-226

The Chorus in Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus—A Psychoanalytic Approach to Dramatic Criticism I

Joel Friedman and Sylvia Gassel


It is our conclusion that the hero and the Chorus are projections of the audience's attitudes. When these two dramatic elements are analyzed, we understand the audience. We find that the hero is a collective ego, growing out of the psychology of the individual, and created to perform deeds which a community would like to perform but which are forbidden to it. Likewise, the Chorus is created to express attitudes which

reflect the moral censure and the restrictions which a community must impose upon the individual. Therefore, whatever holds true for the hero as an individual, for the Chorus as a community, and for the relationship which exists between them, holds true for the audience. The hero and the Chorus are dramatic representations of the audience.

The hero, because of his ambivalence toward his father, performs certain deeds. The Chorus expresses group ambivalence directed toward the hero because he dares to commit these deeds. The audience, as the root of these systems of attitudes, creates the hero in order to perform such deeds, and creates the Chorus in order to express communal moral censure, expose the evildoer, and drive him to his doom.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.