Reason vs. Passion

The theme of Reason vs. Passion is a theme that is covered by both Sigmund Freud (1853-1939) and Sophocles (495 B.C.E - 405 B.C.E). Freud depicts this struggle in Introductory Lectures to Psychoanalysis through his description of the unconscious and its three parts (ego, superego, id); while Sophocles shows the theme in the heated conflict between Antigone and Creon in Antigone. While the two examine the themes in different ways, they can be connected to the following gallery.

Here we see Freud's take on the motif reason and passion with this Etching. This shows when the Ego (reason) suppress the Id, the desires of the Id manifest in dreams. As Freud writes "Dreams are the of sleep-disturbing psychic stimuli by way of hallucinated satisfaction" (loc 1868)
Freud also notes that suppression of one's desires would also spill over into the conscious realm. As Freud writes "The symptom [of neuroses] develops as a substitution for something else that has remained suprressed." (loc 3955)
However, Freud warns that an excessive libido and repression of the Ego, as he states that "satisfaction may never be curtailed; it achieves its results in the patient's behavior in a roundabout way; by preference turning against his own person in self-inflicted torture." (loc 4370)
The conflict of reason vs. passion is also very present in the play Antigone, which pits "young, powerless, passionate Antigone against he uncle, the mature, powerful, initially coldhearted Creon." (pg. xx). In an introduction to the play, Paul Woodruff notes that it appears that "the conflict between Antigone and Creon cannot be resolved" (pg. xxii)
Creon is the clear Ego of the conflict, who "tries to enforce a rational sort of justice that takes no notice of family ties and that seeks to preserve the health of the city state above all." (pg. xx). This can be seen during one of Creon's monologue, in which he says "Anarchy tears up a city, divides a home/ Defeats an alliance of spears./ But when people stay in line and obey,/ Their lives and everything are safe./ For this reason, order must be obtained./ And there must be no surrender to a woman." (31)
By contrast, Antigone is "committed totally to reverence, and nothing matters more to her than the particular obligations that she has with a person naturally, by birth." (pg. xx-xxi). Her views are expressed through her big speech, in which she proclaims "No man could frighten me into taking on/ The god's penalty for breaking such a law." (pg. 21)
Due to nature of their argument, and the stubborn way that both cling to it, this leads to an almost never ending fight, much to the exasperation of others. As Haemon states "Talk, talk, talk! Why don't do you ever want to listen?"
At the end of both works, both Sophocles and Freud agree that reason and passion must be tempered and held equal. As the chorus states at the end of the play "Wisdom is supreme for a blessed life,/ And reverence for the gods/ Must never cease./ Great words sprung from arrogance,/ Are punished by great blows./ So one learns, in old age, to be wised.
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