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In Lesson 1, you learned about two psychoanalytical approaches to myth: Sigmund Freud’s Oedipus Complex and Carl Jung’s Electra Complex. According to Freud, the figure of Oedipus plays out latent desires that all men have—feelings of hatred and violence toward their fathers, and feelings of sexual attraction toward their mothers. While Oedipus lives out these latent desires, most humans suppress them. It is because of their guilt over having these feelings in the first place that humans venerate parental figures in the form of gods.
Jung’s Electra Complex is the woman-focused counterpart of Freud’s theory; Electra loved her father so much that she conspired to kill her mother, in an expression of the latent desires of women—feelings of hatred and violence toward their
mothers, and feelings of sexual attraction toward their
Now that you have been introduced to the myths that inspired Freud and Jung and informed their psychoanalytical theories, you will be asked use the Oedipus Complex or the Electra Complex to analyze other myths that could be seen as expressions of these latent human desires.
In no more than 1 page, write an analytical essay in which you do the following: choose one classical myth that you learned at any point in this course and explain how either the Oedipus Complex or the Electra Complex could be used to interpret it. [Note: the myth you choose should
not be the myth of Oedipus or the myth of Electra.]
You should include a summary of the myth that you choose. Please remember that Freud and Jung’s theories are interpretive lenses through which to view myth; they are not inherent parts of myth and were created much later than the myths themselves, to help explain them. Be sure your language reflects this relationship between classical myth and the theories of Freud and Jung.
Oedipus and Electra complex examples: (
hieros gamos or “holy marriage.)
Uranus and Gaea
Cronus and Rhea
Zeus and Hera
· Make sure your essay is directly related to topic above, and that you analyze one myth using one psychoanalytical theory.
· Use specific examples from your chosen myth to support your analysis.
· Make sure that your paper is in final draft form (e.g. appropriate level of formality, correct spelling, clean grammar, proper formatting, etc.).
· 1 page, double-spaced (no extra spaces between paragraphs)
· 12 pt. Times New Roman font
· 1” margins
· A title, underlined or italicized
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