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Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs In Oedipus Rex

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Oedipus is the former king of Thebes, he has an unfortunate prophecy that seems to be the stem of his psychological problems. His prophecy states that he is destine to kill his father and lay with his mother. Oedipus tells me that after hearing this he fled what he thought to be his home country to save himself and his parents. He unknowingly fled to Thebes, his actual home country, kills his birth father, solves the riddle of the sphinx granting him the title of King and sleeps with his birth mother unknowingly. I have been studying this patient through Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and I have found his psychological state very unstable.
During many of our sessions Oedipus has told me the story of his life and its unfortunate turn. As King,
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Oedipus was in denial when Teiresias told him that he was the murder. I noticed that my patient suffers from hubris, the dangerous excess of pride. When he was told that he was the murderer he was in denial, which could be expected as he had know idea of the deed that he had done, but he began to snap at Teiresias. He said, "When the dark singer, the sphinx, was in your country, did you speak word of deliverance to its citizens? And yet the riddle's answer was not the province of a chance comer. It was a prophet's task and plainly you had no such gift of prophecy...I solved the riddle by my own wit alone." (Sophocles 7). Oedipus was arrogant and had too much pride, he accused Teiresias, the man that came to help him, as being inferior and questioned his gift of prophecy. I believe his hubris also impacted how he treated people. As King he was cornered of other people and was also very noble, after his name was in question he became very defensive. He began only listening to himself and his arrogance also lead to his demise. I believe that his hubris impacted his fall down Maslow's Hierarchy as well. It eventually lead to him losing his needs of self esteem and loving and…show more content…
He told me that he went to the Herdsman that had given him away as a young child. This is where he fell to the bottom of the hierarchy. Jocasta had warned him not to find the herdsman as she had already concluded that Oedipus was he son and didn’t want him to find the proof. Oedipus with his immense hubris, thought that she was convincing him not to go because she was afraid he was of not of noble blood, so he asked him anyway. The Herdsman told Oedipus, "the child was called his child; but she within, your wife would tell you best how all this was." Oedipus asked him in shock, "She gave it to you?" The Herdsman responded, "Yes...to make away with it...They said that he should kill his parents." (Sophocles 19). At this point Oedipus was crushed by the reality he had just been told. His hubris has lead him to losing his self esteem. He told me that later Jocasta was found dead by her own hand. With this Oedipus had lost love and belonging. He informed me that now he wished that he had died so that he could have avoided the horrid prophecy altogether. Finally, Oedipus dropped to physiological needs when he told his brother-in-law Creon, "Drive me from here with all the speed you can to where I may not here a human voice." (Sophocles 22). He no longer had safety or shelter and was set out to live on his own in
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