Self and Society

Sigmund Freud's theories of the self and unconscious desires are reflected throughout Antigone. Freud believed that the self was comprised of three aspects: the id (unconscious), the ego (pre-conscious), and the super ego (conscious)(Freud 354-374). According to Freud, the ego maintains the balance between unconscious desires and societal norms. When these aspects are imbalanced, the person presents with symptoms of neuroses or hysteria (Freud 354-374). Freud's ideas of the self are portrayed by each character throughout Antigone. The following exhibit represents Freud's theories of the self reflected through Antigone. 

This image represents Freud's concept of the id. According to Freud, the id contains our unconscious desires. When these unconscious desires are repressed, we display symptoms of hysteria (Freud 354-374).
In Divine 1999, the woman is wearing androgynous clothing and a look of defiance. This represents the defiant nature of Antigone, who rebels against the role of a good, obedient Greek woman (Sophicles 5). By defying this societal norm, Antigone fulfills her unconscious desires to stand up for her beliefs.
This image of a log balanced on a rock represents Freud's concept of the ego. The id and the super-ego are in constant conflict of each other. The ego maintains the balance between the two, keeping unconscious desires and societal norms in check. The concept of the ego is reflected through Haemon, who acts as a mediator between Antigone and Creon (Sophicles 32-33).
This painting of St. Marina, represents Freud's concept of the super-ego in Ismene. Unlike her sister, Antigone, Ismene is a good, obedient Greek woman. She states, "And I'll obey the men in charge. My mind will never aim too high, too far" (Sophicles 5). By suppressing her unconscious desires and conforming to society, Ismene embodies the super-ego.
This image represents the super-ego, the conscious aspect of the self which suppresses the unconscious desires and conforms to social norms (Freud 354-374).
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