King Oedipus’ attachment

Jan 04 2024

The ancient Greek drama of Oedipus the king – Oedipus rex – still plays a key role in psychoanalytic theory.

King Oedipus was at young age not offered the opportunity to attach to and love his genetic parents. They left him to die when he was a baby.

Main stream psychoanalysis haven’t yet interpreted the drama like this, but isn’t the core message of Oedipus rex the importance of children’s preoedipal attachment, and about anger when they don’t receive basic care?

How would Sigmund Freud – the father of psychoanalysis – have theorized about oedipal conflicts if he and his society had known more about children’s need for safe care, and attachment to one or a few safe caregivers?

In psychoanalysis we meet in dyad and are able to communicate about being in triad. The psychoanalytic setting is preoedipal or oral – as psychoanalysis has come to define Man’s first period of life.

Further reading: On denial, acting out contempt and revenge