free booknotes online

Help / FAQ




<- Previous Page | First Page | Next Page ->
MonkeyNotes-Electra by Euripides
Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version

OTHER ELEMENTS

Psycho-analytical interpretation of Electra

Or

Psycho-Analytical study of Electra

Research has been done by various scholars to interpret certain literary works from the psychoanalytical point of view. Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein and a few others have studied and interpreted Electra.

The psychoanalytical reasons for the murders in the play are more than revenge alone. The child experiences conflicts right from birth. There is a conflict between loving impulses and destructive ones. There is a struggle between life and death instincts. The motherís capacity to feed is a source of admiration for the child. Yet at the same time, it is a source of envy. This envy makes the child want to destroy her creativeness on which the infant depends for its own survival. There is envy of the father too because of his capability and potency. When this envy dominates the adult, he/she may consciously or unconsciously wish for the elimination of the mother or father or both. This is applicable to Electra and Orestes. Envy is primarily directed towards the motherís breast. One of the effects of this strong envy is to make the parent helpless. In Electra, Clymenestra shows her breast to her children when she pleads for her life, hoping that they will spare her realizing that she fed and looked after them when they were infants. But it is of no avail. According to Melanie Klein, it is not only revenge and Apolloís oracle, but also envy at the deep unconscious level that makes Orestes kill his mother.


Melanie Klein came to the conclusion that Electraís hatred though intensified by the murder of Agamemnon has its seed in the rivalry of the daughter for the mother, which focuses on the unconscious frustration at not having had sexual gratification from the father. Early disturbances in the girlís relationship to her mother are important in the development of the Oedipus complex, which is referred to as Electra complex by some psychoanalysts. The hostility between Cassandra and Clymenestra is another aspect of the Oedipus complex. Their rivalry regarding Agamemnon illustrates one aspect of mother- daughter relationship. This rivalry exists because both want sexual gratification by the same man. Cassandra being Agamemnonís lover could feel like a daughter who has succeeded in taking away the father from the mother and therefore expects and deserves punishment from her. It is also a part of the Oedipus situation that the mother responds, or is at least felt to respond with hatred to such Oedipal desires of the daughter.

According to Melanie Klein, Apolloís hatred for women is seen in his command to Orestes to kill his mother. In Orestes too, an inverted Oedipus complex is seen to the extent that he is willing to obey the oracle without reasoning or analyzing how evil the order is. The inverted Oedipus complex is increased due to the absence of the father and/or by his neglect of the son. However, it is worthwhile to note that Orestesí love sympathy and admiration for his elder sister indicates a positive attitude towards the mother figure. Thus we can infer that some signs of direct Oedipus complex are not altogether absent. Oedipus situation can be turned towards another person who is a father figure. In case of Orestes, his Oedipal feelings turned towards Aegisthus. In case of Hamlet hatred was directed towards his uncle.

Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version


<- Previous Page | First Page | Next Page ->
MonkeyNotes-Electra by Euripides
Google
Web
PinkMonkey

Google
  Web PinkMonkey.com   

All Contents Copyright © PinkMonkey.com
All rights reserved. Further Distribution Is Strictly Prohibited.


About Us
 | Advertising | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Home Page
This page was last updated: 5/9/2017 8:52:42 AM