Freud's Oedipus Complex: Outdated?

Topics: Sigmund Freud, Psychoanalysis, Gilles Deleuze Pages: 4 (1188 words) Published: November 9, 2008
Sigmund Freud, viewed by many as the founder of modern psychiatry, developed the Oedipus complex after studying dreams and the unconscious mind. Freud’s theory of the Oedipus complex assumed that infants love the opposite-sex parent and hate the same-sex parent. The feelings of love and hate change as the child grows, but the original feelings of hate for the same-sex parent and love for the opposite-sex parent still remain in the unconscious mind of adults. The Oedipus complex was based off of the legend of King Oedipus, a prince who fulfills the words of an oracle by killing his father and marrying his mother without knowledge of his parents’ identities. Freud’s theory has been idolized, revised, and reconsidered by modern psychologists through out the years. Hans W. Loewald, M.D., Richard C. Friedman and Jennifer Downey, and Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari are a few of the psychologists who researched and studied the Oedipus complex in the past few decades. All of these psychologists have viewed and examined Freud’s theory in different manners.

Hans W. Loewald believed the Oedipus complex was reoccurring in life and that the complex needed to be diminished by the individual. Loewald was a professor in psychiatry at the University of Maryland Medical School, Yale University School of Medicine, and served as president at the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis. One of Loewald’s most prominent articles concerning Freud’s theory was The Waning of the Oedipus Complex. Loewald reformulated Freud’s Oedipus complex. The major fundamentals of Loewald's reformulation evaluated the idea of the tension between the pressures of parental influence and the child's instinctive need to establish his own abilities for originality lied at the core of the Oedipus complex. He discussed the notion that oedipal parricide, the murdering of a parental authority, is driven by the child's urge for emancipation. Loewald also stated that the Oedipus complex was...

Cited: Freud, Sigmund. “Oedipus Complex.” A World of Ideas: Essential Readings for College Writers 7th Edition. Ed. Lee A. Jacobus. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2006. 472-478
Friedman, Richard and Jennifer Downey. "The Biology of the Oedipus Complex." The Psychoanalytic quarterly 64(1995): 234-64.
Goddard, Michael. "Felix and Alice in Wonderland:." 11 Oct 2007 .
Loewald, Hans. "The Waning of the Oedipus Complex." Journal of Psychotherapy Practice and Research 9:4(2000): 239-49.
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