top of page

Cassandra Complex



Tormented by her knowledge of the future and her powerlessness to make others accept her vision, Cassandra appears in the Agamemnon
(one of the choruses from Aeschylus' play Oresteia) as a demented clairvoyant, possessed by a god's spirit but unable to warn others or save herself.

"You would scream too if you were harassed by a god and gas-lit by your own people." - S.Elizabeth

Cassandra, a virgin priestess of Apollo, daughter of Priam and Hecuba, bears a heavy burden: she is a prophet who foresees the future with frightening accuracy, but no one ever believes her. This intensely frustrating predicament results from her wish to protect her virginity, a symbol of her integrity and commitment to her prophetic office, even from the god who endowes her with clairvoyance.


Apollo bestows her with the gift of prophecy. Which was apparently one of those conditional, cursed sort of gifts, for when she spurns his advances, the rebuffed Delphic god can not retract his gift so he avenges himself by ordaining that Cassandra's prophecies should never be believed.


The myth of Cassandra has been used by contemporary philosophers, psychologists and political scientists. In psychology, the term Cassandra Complex embodies a profound truth and captures a phenomenon where valid truths are disregarded and disbelieved


In this fraught image, Cassandra, afflicted by visions of terrors and devastation to come, branded treasonous and mad, is depicted with her mouth in a painful, silent scream.


Digital image inspired by Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys' original oil on board (1863) titled Cassandra



Follow me on Instagram @counsellingwithcoaching



Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page