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Kanzer, M. (1950). The Oedipus Trilogy. Psychoanal Q., 19:561-572.

(1950). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 19:561-572

The Oedipus Trilogy

Mark Kanzer, M.D.


A psychoanalytic interpretation of the Oedipus trilogy of Sophocles is given. The three plays are found to dramatize three stages in the development and resolution of the Oedipus complex. Oedipus, Creon, and Theseus represent the same character, but with increasingly successful maturation as he seeks to solve the riddle of the Sphinx—the monster that represents the challenge of sexuality. The sociological background of the trilogy is explored and comparisons made between psychoanalytic and other constructions in interpreting the data.

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