The Interpretation of Dreams & Oedipus Rex

Posted: October 17th, 2013





The Interpretation of Dreams & Oedipus Rex

Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic hypothesis of the Oedipus complex is considered as one of the most controversial theories in the psychological school of theories in the world. The term Oedipus complex was because of the tale of the King Oedipus and the Oedipus Rex of Sophocles. It dwells on a prophecy whereby a young protagonist man is predicted to murder his father and wed his mother in unclear circumstances (Ahmed, 61).

From Freud’s perspective, it is evident that young boys require love form their parents and with specific reference to their mothers all of which is a natural need for nurturing from the mother. In addition, Freud notes that young men unconsciously harbor hatred towards their fathers, which grows into wishing for the death of the father. Freud bases his theory on two portions of the mind, the conscious part and the unconscious part. In addition, he also noted that there was a preconscious part of the mind, which is responsible for the interactions between the conscious and the unconscious parts of the mind. In addition, he considers that the preconscious and unconscious minds form the smallest parts of the brain. He also considers that the unconscious mind is responsible for instigating man’s desires for cravings and basic things such as sex, food, thirst among others (Ellis, Abrams, & Lidia, 11).

From Freud’s perspective, he sates that man is born as an infant who has a pure id. This id is however corrupted and evolves to from wishes of which are unconscious for the growing individual. His views that the corruption of the mind is on the unconscious part could be termed as insufficient and baseless. This is because he states of the division of the brain into three parts, which are diverse in terms of functionality. However in essence the real brain is not divided in the claimed three parts of which he attributes the human traits such as desire, needs and wants. Hence, his claims could also be termed as assumptions or mere speculation as they are lacking. The lack of the three parts of the brain within any real human brain could be a clear illustration of the deviation those theories have had on the psychoanalytic schools of thought (Ellis, Abrams, & Lidia, 34).

Thus, his position when applied to man exercising free will could be described as fulfilling the desires of the unconscious part all of which is communicated from the unconscious to the conscious part by the preconscious part of the brain. Freud in efforts to convince people that man in essence has an already mapped out fate or destiny all of which is defined by the unconscious part of the brain and communicated to the conscious part of the brain for execution by the preconscious part of the brain all of which are unseen. Freud’s theories were usually explicit on sexual issues, which were considered as untouchable issues at that period. He considers that man does possess free will but is instead driven by the life drive, which is the desire to survive, and the death drive, which is the desire to kill or cease living. From such issues we draw a conclusion that man has fate or destiny which is already predetermined by the natural forces and more so the unconscious part of the mind.

Hence, according to Freud man does not possess free will but is instead directed towards a fate. In relation to Liaus and Oedipus, they both were unaware of the presence of each other’s existence and were instead directed towards their fate by the unconscious mind. Hence, they both played their role towards the fulfillment of the prophecy.

Furthermore, Freud adds that sex and its related actions are based on the unconscious part of the mind. This brings forth the question as to why consensual sex is mere based on unconscious reactions. Thus if so people would have sex with every other person. From such we are able to arrive at a conclusion that individual actions are made from free will as an individual is able to determine if an action is adequate and right before proceeding with the execution of the task.

Freud’s basis on the ‘Oedipus complex’ is based on his theory that attraction or desire for the parent who is preferably of the opposite sex is usually a component in the developmental stage especially for younger male children at around the age of five years. In addition according to Sigmund Freud the behavior exhibited by people in society arises from sex and nature all of which are part of the unconscious part of the brain. In addition, the sex and nature or instincts are neurological messages of the physical needs of humans. Hence, in relation to the mythical story of Oedipus, the death of Liaus, Oedipus’ father happened because of his resentment for his father and coupled by the presence of a complex and unfathomable relationship between Oedipus and his mother. Hence, all of the incidences of the myth of Oedipus are edged on the fate and from such it is easy to state that man lives according to his fate or destiny (Ellis, Abrams, & Lidia, 41).

On the other hand, man does not have free will as his actions are based on sexual desires. He presupposes that man when born harbors only sexual desire of which becomes evident in maturity. He lays too much emphasis on sexual desires as the driver of man’s actions and more so his actions of social interactions with other people. This statement is insufficient, as man does not interact on a sexual perspective in day-to-day life. Hence, his conclusion can also be disputed by the modern day psychological schools and modern day medicine.  Modern day studies indicate that infants and younger children do not harbor any sexual thoughts or feelings hence his claims that man possesses sexual desires while still in the mother’s womb as an embryo. Such claims are insufficient because his efforts are to convince the world that man has his behavior embedded within his mind. Hence, his or her sexual acts are merely out of the subconscious part of the min (Ellis, Abrams, & Lidia, 49).

Oedipus did not consider Queen Jocasta as his biological mother of who he was predicted to marry by the oracle but instead considered her as a potential wife to be as she held the throne. In addition, Oedipus’ encounter, which resulted in the death of his father who was the king, happened when both were unaware of each other’s identity. Thus according to Freud Oedipus’ murder towards a father of whom he was not aware of, happened out of resentment for the male parent. This is an insufficient statement as the tow Oedipus and Liaus were unaware of each other’s identity. In addition, from the same perspective his marriage towards a mother whom he did not consider was out of love for his mother. This is untrue because none of the two had any idea of each other’s identity.

On the other hand, fate had a great role to play in the myth because Oedipus and Liaus visited oracles in efforts to avoid each other’s paths. However their efforts were in futility as the two eventually met and Oedipus after committing the murder did not have an idea of the identity of Liaus and if he was his father. Oedipus’ choice to marry a woman well older than him, edged out of free will and fate. Thus, Freud’s view that there exists a sexual attraction for people and their parents of the opposite sex is edged on mere assumptions. This is because Oedipus did not possess any knowledge that he was about to meet his mother in his path of adventure (Ahmed, 68).

In conclusion Sigmund Freud’s theory could be considered as mere sexualized as he considers every actions within the human brain is as a result of the need to have physical fulfillment of specific actions. Hence, his theories are inadequate in that they fail to account for other actions by people, which are not based on a sexual perspective. This is because minute actions by people are influenced by their sexuality and sexual thoughts. Hence, the rest of the actions are undetermined. The same theories are also indecent because as an individual I do not consider my mother or father from a sexual perspective without any regard for my gender. Thus we act based on our needs to fulfill specific needs all of which must not fall under a sexual perspective (Ahmed, 70).

Work Cited

Ahmed, Sofe. “Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory Oedipus Complex: A Critical Study With Reference To D.H. Lawrence’s “Sons and Lovers”” Internal Journal of English and Literature 3. 3(2012): pp 60-70.Print.

Ellis, Albert, Mike Abrams, & Lidia Abrams. Personality Theories: Critical Perspectives. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications, 2009. Print.










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