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Tragic Choices: Fate, Oedipus, And Beyond

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Chapter Summary

At the climax of the play Oedipus the King, Oedipus uncovers the truth about his past and realizes how blind he has been to his own destiny. Oedipus?s destiny is not tragic only due to external circumstances. Rather, the situation is more tragic because Oedipus is the victim of the actualization of his own nature, despite whatever the circumstances may be. This chapter argues that psychoanalysis can be seen as a worthy inheritor of the Greek attempt to give an account of the tragic vicissitudes of the human psyche. One of the interesting contributions to psychoanalysis is the Schicksalsanalysis of the Hungarian psychiatrist-psychoanalyst Lipót Szondi (1893?1986). The chapter tries to show that the tragic destiny of the human subject is both the point of departure and the leitmotiv of Szondi?s thinking. Finally, it suggests that, in line with Freudian psychoanalysis, Szondi?s Schicksalsanalysis can be characterized as a ?tragic humanism?.

Keywords: Oedipus; psychoanalysis; Schicksalsanalysis; tragic destiny; tragic humanism



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