Desire on a repressed psyche: Unstoppable force

The powerful element of repressed desire is prevalent in both the theories of Sigmund Freud and Sophocles' tragedy Antigone. This concept constructs the overarching theme of both works: desire is a potent and surging force that, when repressed, will eventually exceed one's threshold for self-control. However, what results from this breaching of one's control varies: In Freud's Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis, an unbalanced mediation between desire and self-control leads to the development of neuroses, while in Antigone, repressed desire forces the protagonist into action. By fulfilling her desire she liberates herself from the emotionally debilitating repression. The internal struggle against repressive factors imposes itself in the form of laws in both works. To Freud, it is the restraining and prudish norms of society that restrict one's mind and actions from the fulfillment of desires, while in Antigone it is the authoritative decree of the tyrant Creon.

Symbolic of how one's entire sense of purpose, duty, and being is strangled by the grip of repression represented by Creon's control over Antigone. "I've never seen such misery and madness." (Sophocles L4) This emotion only drives her to defy him.
If one tries to contain it it will burst forth, presenting itself in another way. "As being something unconscious, it had the power to construct a symptom." (Freud 364)
"I'll obey the men in charge. My mind will never aim too high, too far." (Sophocles 67) While Ismene lives by this mentality Antigone despises it. "They'll never catch me betraying my brother." (Sophocles 47)
The neurotic effects of desire on one's psyche is felt by all who experience it. "...on the whole, the positive, wish-fulfilling character prevails in hysteria and the negative, ascetic one in obsessional neurosis." (Freud 372)
People are willing to sacrifice much if it means one will be able to fulfill the desire of doing what they believe in. "I will bury him. I will have a noble death." (Sophocles L72)
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