Oedipus and the Sphinx: The Threshold Myth from Sophocles through Freud to Cocteau

Oedipus and the Sphinx: The Threshold Myth from Sophocles through Freud to Cocteau

Almut-Barbara Renger

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.

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