The oedipal complex is named after Sophocles’ protagonist, who unwittingly murders his father and marries his mother. There is a female equivalent, known as the electra complex, but Freud was more concerned with what he termed female “penis envy”.
Of all theories of relationships, Sigmund Freud’s oedipal complex has probably caused the most controversy.
Freud theorised that all small boys select their mother as their primary object of desire. They subconsciously wish to usurp their fathers and become their mothers’ lover.
The Observer, Sunday 8 March 2009