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Its ankles were pierced, and it was left to
Oedipus is known in Greek mythology for being declared a Greek hero. In the myth of
Oedipus, he lived up to the requests of what was called the Delphic oracle and murdered his
father, King Laius out of pure rage and jealousy. As the story evolves, Oedipus unknowingly
marries his own mother, Queen Jocasta and creates a family with her (Freeman and Strean
Resulting from his marriage, Oedipus created three intersecting crossroads. In stating this, it
is meant that he engaged in sexual activity with Jocasta and had children as an outcome of
their copulation.. Therefore, Oedipus helped to create three generations (or crossroads) in
which he was a part of all of them (Rudnytsky 265).
The Greek meaning of Oedipus’ name is "swollen foot". Oidus means swollen and pous
means foot. The first syllable of Oedipus’ name, ‘oido’, means "I know." Thus his full name
could be depicted as know-foot (Rudnytsky 266). The meaning of his name reverts to his feet
so much particularly because of a special marking he received when he was an infant. When
he was young, he had his ankles pierced, therefore, he lives up to his name of "swollen foot"
and he even had difficulties in walking (Rudnytsky 265).
Ironically enough the term "swollen foot" is meant to be an allusion of an erect penis
(Rudnytsky 261). Because of this association, it would be simpler to decipher the true
meaning of the Oedipus myth. Overall, it has evolved into an entire story about how a boy
feels towards his father in a jealous way and how a boy feels towards his mother in a sexual
Freeman, Lucy, and Dr. Herbert S. Strean. Freud and Women. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1981.
Rudnytsky, Peter L. Freud and Oedipus. New York: Columbia University Press, 1987.
Oedipus was adopted by the King and Queen of
Corinth, but left Corinth as a young man when
he heard what the oracle had to say
At a place where three roads met, he
killed some travelers who would not
came to the city of
Thebes, he found it
without its king and
under the curse of
The sphinx killed any passer-by who could
not answer her riddle