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Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) claimed that the myth con rmed an insight he had gained in his work with children: that a little boy’s rst sexual wish is directed at his mother, and his rst murderous wish is aimed at his father as rival. This ‘Oedipus complex’ is (usually) resolved because the boy fears as well as hates his father, whom he invests with the power of castration. He internalizes his father’s authority, which becomes his superego or conscience (Oedipus punishes himself), represses his original wishes and nds other sexual objects. Pushed into the unconscious, the repressed wishes return to disrupt conscious existence in the form of slips of the tongue, double meanings and symptoms. They are also released in dreams, which Freud calls the ‘royal road’ to the unconscious.