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My Oedipus Complex

             Frank O"Connor, the author of "My Oedipus Complex", was a member of the Irish Renaissance. The Irish Renaissance was a movement of Irish nationalist artists that included William Butler Yeats and Sean O"Casey (McMahan, Day, Funk 1152). O"Connor wrote plays, novels, autobiographies and 150 short stories (Tomory 17). Born as Michael O"Donovan, he picked up the pseudonym Frank O"Connor to keep anonymous (Wohlgelernter 3). At least 70 of his short stories related to Irish family life and a majority of those related to his own life experiences. "My Oedipus Complex" was one of those stories.
             The Greek mythological character Oedipus was the son of Lauis, king of Thebes, and Jocasta. An oracle warned Lauis that if he had a son, his son would kill him. When Oedipus was born, Lauis remembered what the oracle said and pierced his son's ankles with spikes and gave him to a herdsman to leave him on a mountain to die. On the mountain, the horsemen of King Polybus of Corinth found him and brought him to the city where the Queen Periboea adopted him and named him Oedipus because of his swollen ankles. When he grew older, Oedipus went to the oracle to inquire about his parents to ease doubts in his mind. The oracle warned him not to return to his homeland for he would kill his father and lay with his mother. When leaving the oracle, he unknowingly encountered Lauis and Lauis was killed. After Lauis" death, Thebes fell to calamity and the Sphinx declared that Thebes would remain in that state until someone could solve her riddle. Creon, Jocasta's brother and now ruler of Thebes declared that anyone who solved the riddle would become ruler of Thebes and have Jocasta's hand in marriage. After many men attempted to answer the riddle and failed, Oedipus solved the Sphinx's riddle. Oedipus became ruler of Thebes and wed Jocasta, not knowing she was his mother. Later, Oedipus" true identity was revealed.

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