Antigone's structural model of the psyche

by Levi F. Dillon                                                                                                                                                                 Sophocles characterizes in Antigone each of Freud’s structural model of the psyche through characters within the play. As such, the play’s protagonist, Antigone characterizes the “id” and therefore displays evidence of an incestuous reverse Oedipus complex which she channels through her brother in the absence of her father, which serves as the primary motivation for memorializing Polynices. 

"...the division of the personality into an ego (left), a super-ego (right), and an id (center)" (Freud 12).
Ismene characterizes the super-ego and fulfills her role as a law-abiding princess: "What, why would you bury him? Against the proclamation?" (Sophocles 118).
"Tempers too stubborn are the first to fail" (Sophocoles 134). Creon, the corrupt Tyrant, shows evidence of his super-ego in his attempt to maintain hierarchy and structure while simultaneously showing evidence of his id through his greed and draconian style of ruling as a manifestation of his masculinity.
Antigone fulfills the id by contradicting authority in the name of her incestual desire for her family's male figures. "The desire for pleasure...chooses...a man's mother and sister, a woman's father and brother" (Freud 175).
In the absence of Antigone's father, her desire is instead channeled through her brother. "Loving and loved, I will lie by his side" (Sophocles 119)
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.