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Freudian Psychology and Euripides’s The Bacchae

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  1. Introduction
  2. Freudian psychology
  3. The character of Agave
  4. Freud's claim
  5. Greek view of mind and memory
  6. Another theme presented in The Bacchae instinct
  7. Conclusion
  8. Works cited

Freudian psychology follows the notion that it can dissect the human mind into various parts and pieces that can be interpreted even if the individual doesn't realize what any of the messages mean. In literature, Freudian psychology can be utilized to understand themes, characters, or actions. The Greek tragedies are well known for being a basis for this through concepts such as the Oedipus complex. Eurpides's The Bacchae introduces the ancient world to several other concepts of Freudian psychology, such as repression and psychoanalysis, and effectively demonstrates Freud's concept of the mind, including the id, ego, and superego.

[...] When she was in the company of her maenad companions, the object of murder was an intruder, and to kill this infidel would be an excellent display of loyalty. we don't catch the beast who is roosting there he will betray the secrets of our God's dancing-place? (Slavitt and Bovie 272). However, when she returns to the palace, she believes that she is holding the head of a mountain lion. Her display of bravery will make her family proud, or so she believes. [...]


[...] Dionysus gives Agave the bliss of ignorance, but knowledge is allowed back to her, causing tremendous guilt and self-depreciation. To compound this fact, he punishes her further, not allowing the death of her son to stand as solitary punishment. Ironically, she is cast out of Thebes, because as Dionysus puts it, would be an outrageous sacrilege to find/such murderers living in sight of this burial ground? (Slavitt and Bovie 285). Agave will never be seen by the family cemetery, and will likely be forgotten by every subsequent Theban citizen. [...]

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