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The Core Curriculum

“Oedipus Rex” starring Christopher Plummer, 1967.

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This is a film version of Sophocles’ “Oedipus Rex,” starring Christopher Plummer, and released in 1967. Freud believed that “Oedipus Rex,” in which Oedipus learns that he has married his mother and has killed his father, expressed a universal truth: that children have sexual desire for the parent of the opposite sex, and that children have rivalrous aggression—even wishes of death—toward the parent of the same sex. Freud called this desire and aggression the “Oedipus complex,” and believed that most mental pathology is, essentially, due to its effects. Freud understood a person’s attainment of normality—as well as morality—as a successful overcoming of the Oedipus complex.