Reason vs Passion

In both Freud's Introductory Lectures and Sophocles' Antigone, the struggle between reason and passion within the psyche is a central theme. It is also a theme central to many great artworks. These works show the dangers of both reason and passion, and the related battle between the id, ego, and superego as described by Freud. Passion and reason are both portrayed as highly powerful and potentially destructive forces within society.

This work depicts the passions as triumphant over reason. In Antigone, the passions of Anitgone and Creon prove more powerful than the reasoning of Ismene and Haemon, just as Freud emphasizes the power of desire over all other aspects of the human psyche, as the animal instincts of human beings are never more than “imperfectly tamed”(Freud 27).
This is a work from Goya's series of prints which focus on the follies of man. It figuratively depicts man's attempt to defy the laws of nature and impose his own will over the world. This relates to the character Creon, who believes that "a city belongs to its master," that his own will transcends all (Sophocles 34), and to Freud's belief that we never have complete control over our desires and actions ( "Mental processes are in themselves unconscious and...of all of mental life it is only certain individual acts and portions that are conscious [Freud 25]).
The painting shows men being punished for disobeying the gods. In a more symbolic sense, it shows man struggling to battle evil, both external and within himself. The painting illustrates mankind's internal conflict to maintain control over darker impulses, the same internal conflict seen in both Freud and Antigone
In this work, Dali revisits a Tarot archetype which traditionally signifies restriction, confusion, and powerlessness (Waite 63). He incorporates the neoclassical work Oath of the Horatii, a piece which celebrates man’s powers of reason through innovating stylistic convention (Rosenblum 30). By recontextualizing this image, he presents the restricting danger of pure reason, relating to the importance of balancing both reason and passion seen in the works of Freud and Sophocles.
From the series Los Caprichos, El Sueno de la Razon is an ambiguous commentary on the power of reason to bring either order or, in isolation, destruction. Depending on interpretation, it means both that the psyche without reason is monstrous and that reason without passion is also disastrous. This idea of balancing reason and passion is seen in both Freud and Antigone
This painting depicts a moment when the superego overcomes the ego and id; just as Antigone sacrifices her own life to "please those who matter most", Abraham obeys god's command and prepares to sacrifice his son (Sophocles 89).
Various symbols of good battling evil are seen throughout this painting. As the old man lays dying in bed, there is an angel at his shoulder offering heaven, and a demon at his feet offering him money. This is a representation of the superego battling the id, and also relates to the evils of money which are discussed in Antigone.
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