Oedepus Complex

The Oedipus complex in Freudian psychoanalysis refers to a stage of psychosexual development in childhood where children of both sexes regard their father as an adversary and competitor for the exclusive love of their mother. The name derives from the Greek myth of Oedipus, who unknowingly kills his father, Laius, and marries his mother, Jocasta.
Freud considered the successful resolution of the Oedipus complex to be key to the development of gender roles and identity. He posited that boys and girls resolved the conflicts differently as a result of castration anxiety (for males) and penis envy (for females). Freud also held that the unsuccessful resolution of the Oedipus complex could result in neurosis, and homosexuality. Most Freud scholars today agree that Freud's views on the Oedipus complex went through a number of stages of development. This is well exemplified in the Simon and Blass (1991) publication, which documents no fewer than six stages of development of Freud's thinking on this subject.In the Oedipus complex, a boy is fixated on his mother and competes with his father for maternal attention.
Historical Oedipus
In the Greek play by Sophocles, Laius, king of Thebes, is told by an oracle that he would be killed by his son and so leaves Oedipus out on the mountainside to die. Oedipus is rescued by a shepherd and taken to the king of Corinth who raises him as a son. Oedipus, in turn, is told by the Delphic oracle that he will kill his father and marry his mother. Horrified by this, he flees Corinth. At a crossroads he meets Laius, quarrels and kills him. At Thebes, he correctly answers the sphinx's question and hence wins the hand of Jocasta, his real mother, with whom he had two sons and two daughters. When at last the truth comes out, Jocasta hangs herself and Oedipus, finding her, blinds himself with her golden brooch. Electra was the daughter of Agamemnon who helped plan the murder of her mother.

At some point, the...