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The Lady of Shalott Analyzed in a Freudian Mind Frame

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Liam Yeatse

on 24 October 2013

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Transcript of The Lady of Shalott Analyzed in a Freudian Mind Frame

The Lady of Shalott
Freudian Analysis
Defense Mechanism (Repression)
Libido
The Libido is a form of energy that humans use to develop in to new stages of mental development. There is only a limited amount of the energy available at any one time.
The Lady of Shalott may be using a large amount of her libido energy to repress her memories
She could be repressing her memories of her life before the curse
Since she might be using up so much of her mental energy to block her memories, she is unable to advance to the next developmental stage
Conclusion
In short:
The Lady is driven by instinct, and has little rationality. She could be repressing her memories of her life before the curse, and is stuck on the latent stage of development. Her libido is being used to fuel her repression of memory, and she wanted to live until Lancelot appeared.
Id, Ego and Superego
The Lady of Shallot's id is over active, and
her ego is underdeveloped. She is almost entirely
driven by instinct, with the exception of knowing that breaking the curse is wrong. Since she has never truly interacted with anyone in the story, she does not have an ego. Her superego is limited to knowing the curse is dangerous and that she must not trigger it.
Repression occurs when a person goes through a traumatic event that the mind is unable or unwilling to accept. As a result, the person removes the memory from their mind completely. It is possible that the Lady of Shalott has repressed the memories of her life before she was cursed.

i.e. line 42 part II "She knows not what the curse may be"
Developmental Stages
Life and Death Instinct
The Lady of Shalott is stuck in the Latent stage of development (from 6 years to puberty)
In this stage children want to interact with the world around them
Since she was not allowed to leave her tower, she never got past this stage
This leads to the imbalance of her psyche that leads to her death

Before and during the events of the poem the Lady of Shalott has a strong live instinct (will to live)
She decides that tempting the curse is unnecessary and does what she usually does (weaves)
When Lancelot appears near her tower, the Lady decides she wants to see him for real, and triggers the curse
While she does not know the effects of the curse, she could deduce that it would kill her
Wanting to see Lancelot for real, and therefore triggering the curse, is a sign of death instinct (lack of will to live, seeking death)
Id- Instinct and emotions
Superego- Morality and Rationality
Ego- Mediator of the Id and Superego, interactions with others
Defense Mechanism- Ways for the mind to cope with stress or an imbalance in the human psyche. i.e. Repression
Conscious and Subconscious Mind
The conscious mind is the thoughts and interactions that one interprets.
The Lady of Shalott consciously wants to be kept in her cottage, so she does not break the curse.

The unconscious mind is our morals and reasoning that of which we are unaware.
In her unconscious mind, the Lady of Shalott wants to leave her cottage and experience the real world.
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