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Analysis of Antigone Deals with the Oedipus Myth

Jocasta plays a role that is vital more because she is the mother as well as the wife of Oedipus than because she is the mother of Antigone. Oedipus is the central figure in this family, the central figure in the myth, and the central figure in Freud's psychological evaluation of the myth and its relevance in the development of the psychology of the individual.

Gilligan considers the general developmental perspective and then applies it to women. She notes first that developmental theory takes the individual from infantile dependence to adult autonomy and traces a path characterized by an increasing differentiation of self from other along with a progressive freeing of thought from contextual constraints. She notes, though, that this approach is largely male oriented:

The men whose theories have largely informed this understanding of development have all been plagued by the same problem, the problem of women, whose sexuality remains more diffuse, whose perception of self is so much more tenaciously embedded in relationships with others and whose moral dilemmas hold them in a mode of judgment that is insistently contextual" (Gilligan 278).

Antigone behaves in a way that would not be defined as feminine by her society and that would also be classified as masculine from a traditional psychotherapeutic standpoint. She shows masculine tendencies toward aggression and self-assertion, for instance, and her development would be judged as warped by the father-daughter relationship. Gilligan makes the interesting observation that the traditional view would have women develop only to a certain point and then stop rather than going on to "adulthood" as do men:

The repeated finding of these studies is that the qualities deemed necessary for adulthood--the capacity for autonomous thinking, clear decision making, and responsible action--are those associated with masculinity but considered undesirable as attributes of the femini...

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Analysis of Antigone Deals with the Oedipus Myth. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:15, August 17, 2017, from
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