By Almut-Barbara Renger
Whilst Oedipus met the Sphinx at the street to Thebes, he did greater than solution a riddle—he spawned a fantasy that, informed and retold, might develop into one in every of Western culture’s vital narratives approximately self-understanding. making a choice on the tale as a threshold myth—in which the hero crosses over into an unknown and unsafe realm the place ideas and boundaries should not known—Oedipus and the Sphinx offers a clean account of this mythic come upon and the way it offers with the innovations of liminality and otherness.
Almut-Barbara Renger assesses the story’s meanings and features in classical antiquity—from its presence in historical vase portray to its absence in Sophocles’s tragedy—before arriving at of its significant reworkings in ecu modernity: the psychoanalytic concept of Sigmund Freud and the poetics of Jean Cocteau. via her readings, she highlights the ambiguous prestige of the Sphinx and divulges Oedipus himself to be a liminal creature, delivering key insights into Sophocles’s portrayal and constructing a theoretical framework that organizes reviews of the myth’s reception within the 20th century. Revealing the narrative of Oedipus and the Sphinx to be the very paradigm of a key transition skilled via all of humankind, Renger situates delusion among the competing claims of technology and paintings in an engagement that has vital implications for present debates in literary reviews, psychoanalytic concept, cultural background, and aesthetics.