Repression... Or Lack Thereof

Repression is a theme present in both Freud and Sophocles' works. Freud sees repression as part of being human in that the thoughts and feelings we repress change our behaviors while Sophocles shows repression as impossible, for attempts at repression from Creon only force Antigone to act out. Freud's belief that repressed feelings lead to neuroses lines up perfectly within the play Antigone. She acts upon what Freud defines as the id, or unconscious, primal desires. Whether she lusts for her late brother is unclear, but from her desire to lay with him in his final place, Freud would say she is indeed holding back sexual desires. While the two men view repression differently, their effects are nearly identical, as is represented by the paintings in this gallery.

Anxiety, Edvard Munch, 1894, From the collection of: The Munch Museum, Oslo
This piece, appropriately titled, depicts the madness of the mind described by Freud when plagued with obsessional thoughts "in which he is in fact not interested" (320). The color scheme also represents this chaos for they are clashing. Freud would make an argument that the peoples' looks of discontent come from their repression of an inner desire, and most likely a sexual one. If they acted upon their desires instead of holding them back, their minds would be much clearer.
Gassed, Sargent, John Singer (RA), 1919, From the collection of: Imperial War Museums
A reminder of the weaknesses of men who seem invincible. The men in this painting have succumbed to what is most likely mustard gas, considering the time period of the painting, and this weakness destroys the false image that is a war hero.
Adolescent I, George Minne (Belgian, 1866 - 1941), about 1891, From the collection of: The J. Paul Getty Museum
A basic depiction of the male body. The lack of a head, or the brain, in this statue emphasizes the importance of the male genitals. This image appeared when conducting a search of Freud-related items, and works because he so heavily discusses sexual desires, particularly between boys and their mothers, or the Oedipus complex, where the "mother [is a] love-object" (409).
Women Washing Clothes, Han Rak-yeon, 1898/1945, From the collection of: Korea Data Agency
This image of women is a stereotypical representation of the roles of women, one which Antigone does not abide by, despite Ismene's plea that "we are women and we do not fight with men" (5). Antigone is not content with selling herself to the typical duties of womanhood. She wishes to honor her brother and do right by her family rather than act solely on the king's beliefs.
Refugees, Jēkabs Kazaks, 1917/1917, From the collection of: Latvian National Museum of Art
Haemon tells his father that "a place for one man alone is not a city" (34). This image is a portrayal of one man's superiority over the others. Not only is he standing above the women, he is much larger.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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