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A Child of One's OwnParental Stories$
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Rachel Bowlby

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199607945

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199607945.001.0001

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Childlessness Euripides’ Medea

Childlessness Euripides’ Medea

(p.103) 5 Childlessness Euripides’ Medea
A Child of One's Own

Rachel Bowlby

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at some articulations of the distinctive forces and passion of parental feelings, including those that come from the loss or absence of children. It notes the relative absence of the subject of parental wishes (or fears) from Freud's writings, in spite of his drawing on Greek tragedy, where children and childlessness are common themes. Parental issues are prominent in Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, for instance, where Freud saw only the history of a child. The chapter's main focus is on how parenthood and infertility appear in Euripides’ Medea. Medea is both a murdering mother whose parental feelings are unhinged in the face of her jealousy of her husband's new woman, and—at the same time—an infallible fertility consultant.

Keywords:   Euripides, Medea, childlessness, infertility, IVF, Sophocles, Oedipus the King, Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams

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