The Myth of Oedipus and its Meaning

One way or another, everyone hears about the famous Oedipus Complex, which was a myth but was transformed into a psychological complex with the works of Sigmund Freud to explain how it comes to affect our lives. The idea essentially describes it as the kid having a sexual interest in his mother and chasing the murder of his father. Although I’m no Freud, Jung, Adler, or any other, I will provide you with my observations and claims on this topic within the frames of human nature and symbolism.

Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash

The Symbolic Story

To begin with, the myth itself shall be explained: Oedipus, who named the complex, was a kid in a crown family, a boy. But even before his birth, the king was told by oracles that his future son would kill him, so he sent his first son away. He grows up calling someone else mom and dad and one day learns he was destined to murder his own father. So, he leaves to avoid becoming his father’s butcher, but fate’s game was on; while he was randomly roaming around, he passes by his original motherland, Thebes.

Upon his arrival in the town, he kills his father in a quarrel provoked by the king himself. His following work was to set the kingdom free from sickness caused by Sphinx through a riddle. After solving the puzzle, releasing the people from a curse, and becoming a savior, he was announced as the novel king. Moreover, he was offered the companionship of the queen also his mother.

The Meaning Behind Depictions

So, until now, we’ve been speaking the symbolic. It was kings and queens, princes, and their stories. But we’re here to shine a light on our lives through symbolism cognitively. To do so, we must essay to reveal the meaning behind those images.

  • The kingdom is the family’s shared consciousness.
  • The curse was the family’s price for becoming ill-minded by kicking their own blood out.
  • The king’s manners can be translated as the father being afraid of the renaissance that his son will bring. Because he fears death, he takes sanctuary in conservatism and tradition too often. Thus, he becomes a tyrant, and his land is cursed now.
  • Instead of choosing the future and becoming an appreciated queen, she acts to protect the past. Their incest marriage is the representation of the mother’s over-attachment.
  • Oedipus’s lack of knowledge about his birth parents indicates his ignorance, which triggers unfortunate events. Although he acted out based on compassion and naively went out not to kill his parents, he eventually did so because he didn’t cognize which was which.
  • Lastly, the hero overcomes his father by killing the king and taking what he had. Since aggression towards one’s kind is immoral, he falls into incest; he commits the greatest sin through his blinded vision.
Photo by Marco Bianchetti on Unsplash

Points of the Story

The fault is mainly on his parents, who gave lives as payback; the mother should have encouraged her kid to go out, explore, and get hurt so that he would return, be nurtured, and be gone again. Instead of overprotecting, if she could have constructed a healthy relationship and attachment, Oedipus would agnize his home and guarded it.

The queen becomes the oedipal mother who is not after nurturing or nourishing her son and raising a free spirit, but busy trying to get him encapsulated and keep insufficient to grow. She is led by obeying the king and not improvising for the better to maintain the child in reach to fulfill motherhood’s responsibilities.

On the father’s behalf, he could have watched over his kingdom so he’d be prepared for what the future invokes. Also, as a king, he should’ve been looking for other lands to discover and communities to talk and trade to so that his son could direct his aggression towards conquering or having good relations with the outlands. He could prevent these from happening by acting without fearing death but with courage that comes from the instinct to protect and provide for his family and people.

My favorite point, here we are. The kid becomes a conquering nemesis; this translates as his parents being the masters who abandoned him and the kid revenging them. He became an avenger involuntarily since he was born in an oppressive order. Then, he acted out his sickness by attempting to avoid his destiny by running away, but one cannot run away from their fate. He actually chose not to fight, and by making such a choice, his individuation process took a hammering; it literally stopped.

Killing his father put him in a situation where he didn’t have anyone to look up to; Oedipus became lost. Also, marrying his mother led him to be encapsulated in her sight. Now he cannot have a path until the truth is revealed, and then he must first pay the price of living such an ignorant life. He will experience regression and resentment when his mother kills herself as she discovers the truth.

Conclusions with the Final Word:

Throughout the story, we see that one cannot escape their fate with such naiveness. A father addicted to the powers he acquires from his chair is highly toxic and must be eliminated by the descendent. Within this war against one’s blood, a mother should finally ensure justice is placed by upspeaking and mixing things up so that the king would reevaluate decisions and, if there are any, eliminate the sickness in mind.



Observing and analyzing, deducing and writing on any topic comes across — a Lifelong Learner. Mostly psychology, philosophy, well-being, culture, and opinions.

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Musab Gündoğdu

Musab Gündoğdu

Observing and analyzing, deducing and writing on any topic comes across — a Lifelong Learner. Mostly psychology, philosophy, well-being, culture, and opinions.