The story of Oedipus has been used throughout the ages in a variety of ways, by both artists and scholars. In this paper, the author highlights the host of aspects and motives which have turned this story into a myth, a tragedy and a very popular literary model in Western cultural history. As a myth, it can be read horizontally or vertically, synchronically or diachronically, and on the basis of either a masculine or a feminine imagination. It is argued that when it is read as just proof of the Oedipus complex, as Freud did, many equally important aspects are ignored. But whatever the interpretation we give to the story of Oedipus, it remains a construction told by men for men, a myth of male truth.

Download full text