Ego

The id, ego, and superego exist to be powerful forces that represent the thoughts and actions of people. Freud's details these ideas and they are exemplified through the characters in Antigone. The id is helpful in evaluating Antigone's rebellious actions. The ego helps in analyzing Creon's monarchial character. The superego is helpful in describing Ismene's conforming nature. The actions of the characters in Antigone are key in identifying how all three concepts play into human thought and behavior.

This picture is symbolic of dead bodies laying on the ground. This scene can be related to Polynices' exposed body as an order from Creon. While Hades, god of the underworld, requires that the dead people buried properly (Cunningham-Bryant), Creon refuses Polynices a burial as some sort of punishment for attacking the city.the people of Thebes' response to Creon's order to kill Antigone. While the people wouldn't dare openly oppose Creon's word as king, they express grief and dissatisfaction in private (Meineck & Woodruff 32). Creon's actions of ignoring the request of Hades in order to suit his personal agenda is another example of the id.
This painting is symbolic of people waiting for legal advice. This scene can be related to Creon's response to the prophecy offered by Teresias. While Tiresias' advice represent what is the right thing to do, Creon's personal agenda overshadows it (Meineck & Woodruff 46). Creon's initial response of disagreement with Tiresias' prophecy is a result of the id. Despite being presented with information that suggests his actions are against social and moral code, Creon still desires to have his original plan executed. Creon allowing his personal agenda to overrule expectations of society and the gods is the id at work.
This canvas is symbolic of war, which is an integrally predates the events that occur in Antigone. This scene can be related to Polynices' attack on Thebes in an attempt to gain his rightful throne (Meineck & Woodruff xvii). Polynices actions disregard social and moral standards in order to get what he wants. Bringing war against the city is something that was very much frowned upon with consequence (Cunningam-Bryant). Polynices' desire to reign is a result of the id. This disregards what is expected in public and lives off going after whatever it is that you want.
This painting is symbolic of two people meeting in private. This scene can be related to the people of Thebes' response to Creon's order to kill Antigone. While the people wouldn't dare openly oppose Creon's word as king, they express grief and dissatisfaction in private (Meineck & Woodruff 32). The human behavior of not daring to go against what Creon orders is representative of the ego. The ego navigates between the id and the superego as an effort to attain what people while acting within the confines of social expectations (Cunningham-Bryant). The grief for Antigone is present, but the restraint of openly grieving for Antigone with Creon's knowledge is adhering to social expectations in which people do not question the king.
This sculpture is symbolic of Zeus. The King of the Gods is instrumental in serving as a pivot between Creon's ego and superego (Meineck & Woodruff 14). Earlier in the text, Creon believed that the gods would approve of his refusal to bury Polynice. It is later in the text when he learns that his refusal is exactly what may upset the gods (Meineck & Woodruff 49). The human behavior of Creon refusing to bury Polynice can be understood as a result of the ego. Creon's disdain for Polynices attacking the city with war is coupled with his belief that the gods also disapprove of Polynices actions to the same extent. The ego allows for Creon to get his way, without knowingly disturbing the gods. Creon later seeking to undo what has been done is a result of the superego, in which he disregards his own desires to adhere to society's expectation to please the gods (Cunningham-Bryant).
This picture is symbolic of the role of women in society. This scene can be related to Ismene, who does not want Antigone to bury Polynices. Despite her despair for the death of her brother, Ismene acknowledges Creon's power and the strength of men (Meineck & Woodruff 5). Ismene's lack of interest to help Antigone bury Polynice is representative of the superego. Ismene acknowledges that she is hurt by the death of her brother and the lack of burial, but refuses to go against the laws of Creon. She also acknowledges that men are stronger than women, and her an Antigone could not possibly win the fight. Ismene's disregard for her personal desire to bury her brother is replaced with the adhering to expectations of society to adhere to laws. This is a case of the superego at work.
This painting is symbolic of a mother who does not have parental rights. This scene can be related Eurydice and her presence between Creon and her son, Haemon. The text does not suggest that Eurydice knew about Creon's actions that led Haemon to kill himself. Eurydice's existence in the text is a result of the superego followed. It can be assumed that Eurydice not being a major character has a lot to do with the role of women in society to which she conforms to (the superego).
This picture is symbolic of a prodigal son returning to his father. This scene can be related to Haemon's initial relationship with his father, Creon. Initially, Haemon lets his father know that he is loyal to him (Meineck & Woodruff 30). This initial loyalty to his father represents the superego and the id. The superego is exemplified through the expectations of Haemon to remain loyal to his father no matter what (Meineck & Woodruff 30).
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