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Freuianism and Psychoanalysis of Macbeth

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Lindsay Howard

on 8 April 2013

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Transcript of Freuianism and Psychoanalysis of Macbeth

Freudianism and Psychoanalysis of Macbeth Freudianism/Psychoanalysis In conclusion... Freudianism is the beliefs and concepts of the psychologist/psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. Freud had many beliefs about sexuality, personality, and the subconscious. Freud said that the personality was divided into three separate parts: the Id, the Ego, and the Super-Ego. Personality According to Freud Macbeth wanting to become King. Macbeth knows that he would have to murder Duncan to become king, yet he is willing to do so anyway. Duncan is a good king and very fair and loyal to his people, but Macbeth only has his own interest in mind and is willing to kill this beloved leader to gain his own power. Id in Macbeth Macbeth's Ego and Super-Ego are what keeps him from wanting to kill at first. His Ego is what takes other people into consideration. His Ego tells him that he shouldn't kill Duncan because he's a guest in his home and that's inconsiderate. His Super-Ego tells him that it's morally wrong to kill another person. Ego/Super-Ego in Macbeth "People occasionally fall ill precisely when a deeply-rooted and long-cherished wish has come to fulfillment." The Id is the first to develop in a person. It is based on Freud's "pleasure principle", and wants whatever feels good at the time, with no consideration for other people or reality. The Ego is based on reality. It understands the presence of other people, and takes them into consideration. It recognizes the consequence of actions. The Super-Ego is based on societal and social restraints. It contains the belief of what is "right" and what is "wrong". Freud said that if the Id was too strong, it would cause wild impulses that weren't societally right. Macbeth's overpowering Id is what caused him to murder Duncan and the others. However, Macbeth's Id wins anyways, and he ends up killing Duncan. An imbalance of the three powers is what causes rash decisions to be made. Freud's Unconscious Mind The unconscious mind contains the primitive urges for aggression. It contains all sorts of significant but disturbing material that's too terrible to be uncovered. The imaginary dagger and Banquo's ghost could have been part of Macbeth's unconscious. The Preconscious The preconscious contains suppressed negative emotions that influence our experiences. Both the preconscious and unconscious may reveal themselves in dreams or slips of the tongue. What Lady Macbeth said while she was sleepwalking may have been her preconscious revealing itself. Freud believed that all humans were born with an inherent desire to harm others and that whenever a drive or urge is suppressed, it's energy inevitably appears elsewhere. Lady Macbeth tries to persuade Macbeth to murder Duncan so he can become king. Even thought he tries to push that idea away and suppress it, Macbeth still commits the deed. Freud would argue that Macbeth would always kill Duncan based on his belief of the human instinct to harm others. This quote of Sigmund Freud sums up the main themes and plot line of Macbeth. Once he has achieved his goal and become king, Macbeth is not happy and still lives with fear and regret. He constantly wonders if someone will find out what he has done and always feels guilt for murdering Duncan. "First, I am his kinsman and his subject, strong both against the deed; then, as his host, who should against his murderer shut the door, not bear the knife himself." (Act I, Scene VII) "Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand?" (Act II, Scene I) "To bed, to bed; there's knocking at the gate: come, come, come, come, give me your hand: what's done cannot be undone: to bed, to bed, to bed." (Act V, Scene I)
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