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likipie's avatar

What is Oedipus Rex about?

Asked by likipie (1448 points ) February 27th, 2012

I was reading a book about Jim Morrison written by Stephen Davis and Jim Morrison was explaining the lyric “Father, yes son, I want to kill you. Mother, I want to f*** you” (The End by the Doors) and he was saying it was derived from Oedipus Rex. I’ve come to understand it’s a play written by Sophocles but I’m not sure what it’s about. I don’t do well when it comes to reading material from this time period so I don’t really want to read the play but I do want to understand what Jim Morrison was trying to say.

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6 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

If you can’t face reading the play in its entirety, just check out the cliff notes.

likipie's avatar

@gailcalled I never even thought of that. Thanks.

SavoirFaire's avatar

The play is about a lot of things, but the part that’s relevant to “The End” is that Oedipus winds up killing his father and marrying his mother. Freud used this story as a metaphor for what he believed was a universal stage of psychosexual development in which children react negatively to their father and become possessive of their mother (see Oedipus complex). Jim Morrison was referencing the Freudian idea, but it is still ultimately derived from the Sophocles play.

CWOTUS's avatar

All I know about Oedipus Rex I’ve learned from Tom Lehrer.

I’m not saying how much of everything else I’ve learned from him, though.

ddude1116's avatar

Basically, what @SavoirFaire said, it pretty much sums it up. However, I would like to stress that while the concepts are the same, the context is entirely different, since in Oedipus Rex, he never intended to kill his father and marry his mother and was horrified to find out he had done so. Freud used it metaphorically, as did Morrison, but the two are derived from different themes and concepts. I’m particular about these things..

bob_'s avatar

The original mofo.

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