MONSTROUS PHANTASIES AND MONSTROUS GODS: CLAUSTRO-AGORAPHOBIC ANXIETY IN HESIOD AND KLEIN

In her work with young children, Melanie Klein observed unconscious monstrous phantasies and claustro-agoraphobic anxieties that the Greek poet Hesiod wrote about 2,800 years earlier in his epic poem The Theogony, the genealogy of the gods. Claustrophobic fears of imprisonment within the mother's body and agoraphobic wishes to return to the womb and fear of being shut out of it are terrifying themes found in mythology and in universal truths of humankind. They are the recurrent beliefs and fears of small children - the ones found in psychoanalysis, fairy tales, and Greek mythology. Whereas Freud developed the Oedipus complex from the writings of Sophocles, Klein postulated an earlier, maternal version of the Oedipus complex. Monstrols phantasies and Monstrous Gods link the work of the poet Hesiod (800 BC) with the psychoanalyst Melanie Klein. This paper addresses some important overlaps between Hesiod's vision and Klein's as they pertain to the claustro-agoraphobic dilemma, defined by Henri Rey.

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