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Freudian Mythologies
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Freudian Mythologies: Greek Tragedy and Modern Identities

Rachel Bowlby


More than a hundred years ago, Freud made a new mythology by revising an old one: Oedipus, in Sophocles' tragedy the legendary perpetrator of shocking crimes, was an Everyman whose story of incest and parricide represented the fulfillment of universal and long forgotten childhood wishes. The Oedipus complex — child, mother, father — suited the nuclear families of the mid-20th century. But a century after the arrival of the psychoanalytic Oedipus, it might seem that modern lives are very much changed. Typical family formations and norms of sexual attachment are changing, while the conditions of ... More

Keywords: Freud, Oedipus, Greek tragedy, mythologies, new reproductive technologies, modern identities

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780199566228
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199566228.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Rachel Bowlby, author
Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature, University College London
Author Webpage