Murmur of the Heart

The interpreters of Sophocles were wrong. The son does not wish to kill the father. He wishes nothing on the father. The father is almost nothing to him. Unlike the mother he is mostly unnecessary.

As the son's lust is for many women--any woman even--he does not wish to fuck his mother, though his mother may wish to fuck him. Whether or not she wants him physically, she will have tried to make of him the perfect man, the man she has perfected for herself, made in the image of what she most wanted from the men she has known. Along with the investment of his upbringing she also shares with him half his genes and this makes for a powerful tie between them, stronger than anything she could have with his father. At the very least the mother will want the son to be near to her for life and to replace the father.

It is the father’s realization of her love for the son that leads him to want to kill the son. There is no jealousy or animosity between father and son before this realization. For fathers do not matter to sons. Verily, it is only mothers matter.

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