The Oedipus Complex Rhetoric analysis
Sigmund Freud extensively studied the human mind and focused on uncovering the roots of mental illnesses. Freud was engaged in his self-analysis and developed the Oedipus Complex (Bergmann 535). Freud’s theory suggested that as small children everyone develops intimate feeling for their parent of the opposite sex and emotions of hatred toward the parent of the same sex. According to Psychologist Paula Nicolson, she stated, “Ever since Freud discovered the Oedipus Complex it has been recognized as the central conflict in the human psyche---the central cluster of conflicting impulses, phantasies, anxieties, and defenses” (Nicolson 427-428). Furthermore, his ability to combine what he learned in his self-analysis with the Oedipus legend and Shakespeare’s Hamlet helped to form the core of his psychoanalyses (Bergmann 535). He also effectively established ethos and used elevated diction to strengthen his claim. On the other hand, his limited use of scientific studies and gender popularity weakened his explanation.
Freud’s decision to use two significant pieces of western literature in his explanation of the Oedipus Complex, helped him to define his theory to others. The allusions he made with Oedipus Rex and Hamlet introduced variety into an otherwise limited discussion. For instance, Freud stated, “Like Oedipus, we live in ignorance of these wishes, repugnant to morality…all of us seek to close our eye to the scenes of our childhood” (Freud 480). This allusion to Oedipus Rex allowed readers to pause and reflect on their own lives. According to Martin Bergmann, author of The Oedipus Complex and Psychoanalytic Technique, wrote,
Had he not read Oedipus Rex, the Oedipus Complex would not have been formulated, and psychoanalyses as we know it would not have been created. The achievement was the connection Freud made between personal experience and the legend of Oedipus and, almost at the same time, he gave the startling...