Oedipus

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Oedipus (pronounced /ˈɛdɨpəs/ in American English and /ˈiːdɨpəs/ in British English; Greek: Οἰδίπους Oidípous meaning "swollen-footed") was a mythical Greek king of Thebes. He fulfilled a prophecy that said he would kill his father and marry his mother, and thus brought disaster on his city and family. This legend has been retold in many versions, and was used by Sigmund Freud to name the Oedipus complex.

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Basics of myth

Oedipus was the son of Laius and Jocasta , king and queen of Thebes. After having been married some time without children, his parents consulted the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi about their childlessness. The Oracle prophesied that if Jocasta should have a son, the son would kill her husband Laius and marry her. In an attempt to prevent this prophecy's fulfillment, when Jocasta indeed bore a son, Laius had his ankles pinned together so that he could not crawl, and gave the boy to a servant to abandon ("expose") on the nearby mountain. However, rather than leave the child to die of exposure, as Laius intended, the sympathetic servant passed the baby onto a shepherd from Corinth and then to another shepherd.

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