Oedipus and the Sphinx: The Threshold Myth from Sophocles through Freud to Cocteau
whilst Oedipus met the Sphinx at the street to Thebes, he did greater than resolution a riddle—he spawned a fantasy that, informed and retold, could turn into considered one of Western culture’s imperative narratives approximately self-understanding. making a choice on the tale as a threshold myth—in which the hero crosses over into an unknown and unsafe realm the place principles and boundaries aren't known—Oedipus and the Sphinx offers a clean account of this mythic come upon and the way it offers with the techniques of liminality and otherness.
Almut-Barbara Renger assesses the story’s meanings and capabilities in classical antiquity—from its presence in old vase portray to its absence in Sophocles’s tragedy—before arriving at of its significant reworkings in eu modernity: the psychoanalytic idea of Sigmund Freud and the poetics of Jean Cocteau. via her readings, she highlights the ambiguous prestige of the Sphinx and divulges Oedipus himself to be a liminal creature, supplying key insights into Sophocles’s portrayal and constructing a theoretical framework that organizes reviews of the myth’s reception within the 20th century. Revealing the narrative of Oedipus and the Sphinx to be the very paradigm of a key transition skilled through all of humankind, Renger situates fable among the competing claims of technological know-how and paintings in an engagement that has vital implications for present debates in literary reviews, psychoanalytic idea, cultural background, and aesthetics.
on the other hand, her start could have been the fabricated from incest: her mom being Echidna’s daughter Chimaera,33 the ﬁre- spitting creature with lion-, goat-, and snake- heads, and, in line with Hesiod, her father being Orthos, the 2- headed puppy, son of Echidna and as a result Chimaera’s brother.34 it's also signiﬁcant that Euripides (like Herodotus)35 noted her with the epithet Μ[ε]ιξοπάρθενος (“half virgin”), an identical epithet that he used for Echidna, which attests to her prestige as a toddler.
one other κύων, one monster ahead of one other. This contemptuous, disparaging depiction of a similar riddle scene that used to be so universal within the vase portray of the time, within which Oedipus often seems as a guy of intelligence, nearly completely touches at the complex of the hero’s heritage. After answering the riddle with “man,” he doesn't comport himself in a manner applicable to the values of his tradition, yet way more like a hybrid being from the relatives of the monsters that Hesiod mentions in.
Dramatic motion Cocteau designed. The assembly happens among the ﬁrst act, during which Œdipe’s murdered father Laïus appears to be like as a ghost, and the 3rd, Œdipe’s marriage ceremony evening along with his mom. Structurally conversing, the come across kinds the keystone within the arch of the 3 scenes that precede the disaster. This place makes its functionality as a dramatic threshold best from the patricide to the maternal incest without delay obvious. The liminal personality of the stumble upon can be emphasised via the.
Un ﬁlm de nos ombres, de nos ténèbres, notre poésie en quelque sorte, ne nous regarde pas et ne doit être décelé que par ceux qui nous jugent.” J. Cocteau, “Poésie et ﬁlms,” in Du cinématographe, 26–28, right here 26. five. Cocteau makes use of adjectives like “naïf ”, “mediocre”, “pauvre”, and “assez vulgaire.” Cf. ok. Rave, Orpheus bei Cocteau: Psychoanalytische Studie zu Jean Cocteaus dichterischem Selbstverständnis (Frankfurt am major, 1984), 12–15. 6. Cf. Rave, Orpheus bei Cocteau, esp. 12–15. 7. On Cocteau’s.
Fourrures des fauves et les plumes des oiseaux.” Cocteau, “Marlene Dietrich,” in Du cinématographe, 60. 50. “Mais Lorelei était dangereuse; vous ne l’êtes pas parce que votre mystery de beauté consiste à prendre soin de votre ligne de cœur. C’est votre ligne de cœur qui vous position au- dessus de l’élégance, au- dessus des modes, au- dessus des types: au- dessus même de votre braveness, de votre démarche, de vos ﬁlms et des vos chansons.” Ibid. fifty one. Cocteau, “Charlie Chaplin” and “James Dean,” in Du.