August 6, 1960


JAMA. 1960;173(14):1582-1583. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020320062019

The Oedipus legend of Greek mythology is almost three millenniums old. For several centuries it was a folk tale; later it was the subject of histrionic art by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. The legend was preserved during the Middle Ages and rediscovered by Freud as a vital force in his interpretation of psychopathology for the new generation of analysts. Velikovsky1 attributes to Freud the speculation that the Oedipus legend "grew out of the unconscious desire of a son to possess his mother and to dispose of his father by murder. From the folklore of primitive peoples, Sir James Frazer gathered together many instances that Freud used to substantiate his theory: in the Stone Age the grownup sons of the cave man, the undisputed despot in the cave, usually murdered him in order to possess his wives, their mothers. In the neurotic make-up of modern man the Oedipus complex, according

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