Libido Medeas Real Force English Literature Essay

In this survey, Medea by “ Euripides ” is approached from a psychoanalytic position. It focuses on the theory of Freud that Libido plays an of import function in the character edifice of an person and that actions of persons are motivated and controlled by it. The motive of Medea ‘s actions does non come from the outside fortunes but arise from her libido. All her actions are analyzed to convey a slightly clear image of her psychological science. She murders her kids after a batch of believing because of the struggles hatching in her head. The motion of the unconscious of Medea has been highlighted. Her libido transforms into self-importance when her libido object is taken from her. She loses the ability to judge right from incorrect. This position of Medea brings out the alone dramatic art of “ Euripides ” in the ancient Greece. Ahmad Aqeel Sarwar

Professor Ayesha

Classical Drama

31st March’2012

Libido: Medea ‘s Real Force

Medea[ 1 ]is a domestic calamity by Euripides[ 2 ]picturing the psychological deductions because of heartache that inflate the wretchedness of a barbaric adult female Medea. A close survey of the head of Medea shows that there are certain psychological restraints which play a critical function in all of her actions. The radical actions of Medea are non driven by her fury and heartache but by her libido[ 3 ].

Freud explains libido as: “ libido is a term used in the theory of inherent aptitudes for depicting the dynamic manifestations of gender. It is hard to state anything of the behaviour of Libido in thee Idaho and super-ego. Everything that we know about it relates to the self-importance, in which the whole available sum of libido is at foremost stored up. Libido participates in every instinctual manifestation, but non everything in that manifestation is libido. ” ( Freud, Dictionary of Psychoanalysis ) It shows that libido is related to ego and its manifestation is instinctual. A strong libido can be observed in the character of Medea which manifests itself in her actions driven by her utmost self-importance.

In order to acquire a true image of Medea, the myth of Medea should be examined. Ovid[ 4 ]has given a image of Medea in his Metamorphosiss. Patricia B. Salzman Mitchell describes the psychological science of Medea, as portrayed in Ovid ‘s Metamorphosiss:

When her narrative begins in Book 7, she is no more than a miss, but a miss who quickly falls in love and would give it all to derive her darling. Her desire springs from an image of Jason. The text foremost describes how she became passionate for the hero ( concipit interea validos Aeetias ignes/ “ In the interim, the girl of King Aeetes[ 5 ]was ignited by the overmastering fire of love, ” ( Met.7.9 ) ; shortly thereafter we realize that she has merely seen him: “ mongrel, quem modo denique vidi, / ne pereat timeo? “ / ” Why am I afraid that he whom I have merely merely seen may decease? ” ( Met. 7.15-16 ) . The ocular feeling returns in a dual edged-way. Medea Fighting with her ain emotions between responsibility and desire, provinces:

sed trahit invitam nova six, aliudque cupido,

work forces aliud suadet: picture meliora proboque,

deteriora sequor…

“ But a new force derives me against my will. Desire persuades me one manner, my head another. I see the better class and I approve of it, but I follow the worse. ” ( Met. 7.19-21 )

These formulae vocalizations have profound inter textual reverberations, serve as a specifying hint of Medea ‘s character, and intimation at adult female ‘s libido and inability to make the right thing. At a surface degree, picture meliora seems to mention to Medea ‘s cognition of the right way to follow. Her old remark that she has merely seen Jason bears the concealed sense that what is ‘melora ‘ may good be Jason, in her eyes. In add-on, the soliloquy presents a cardinal job in the narrative: why does Medea fire for a alien? ( Met. 7.21-22 ) . Medea ‘s ‘barbarism ‘ and the jobs of lese majesty against one ‘s ain land have been widely explored and they remain cardinal in the issues of motion and stationariness that are here discussed. Medea knows that her proper function is to remain on land and safeguard her household, but love is more powerful. As Carole Newlands points out __ though possibly stretching Medea ‘s transmutation excessively far__ the heroine undergoes a alteration from duteous girl and guiltless miss to rebellious adult female, and eventually monster. ( Patricia )

This transmutation in the individual of Medea occurs because she is in danger of losing her libido object. She can travel to all extremes to continue this new feeling which she relishes now. Medea ‘s actions are now derived by this new force and she is unable to move moderately. She is ready to do the unwomanly move to kill her brother in order to acquire a safe transition for Jason and her.

She acts unreasonably and unwomanly because she is unable to command the freshly felt feeling of libido. This unusual force of libido resides in her unconscious and inspires her actions. Harmonizing to Freud “ … it ( libido ) manifests itself in resistless attractive forces exerted by one sex upon the other and that its purpose is sexual brotherhood or at least such actions as would take to that brotherhood. ” ( Freud, The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud ) It is no uncertainty her overpowering libido which takes control of her consciousness and she acts as her libido dictates her. It is deserving observing that all of her actions are violent now. This is explained by Freud as, ” aˆ¦ the libido is on a regular basis and legitimately of a masculine[ 6 ]nature, whether in the adult male or in the adult female. ” ( Freud, The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud ) Its instinctual manifestation is rather clear. Here we come across a immature adult female, Medea, who can make anything to acquire clasp of her libido object and her force lies in her libido.

Let us now examine Medea when the play starts. The violent Medea combustion in the fire of love is non to be seen now. Her lover has married a royal adult female Glauce. She is really much upset by this act of her lover. She is in a province of melancholy keening the fraudulence of Jason. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Melancholia as: “ a mental status and particularly a maniac-depressive status characterized by utmost depression, bodily ailments, and frequently hallucinations and psychotic beliefs. “ ( Merriam-Webster ) Medea is enduring from this very status. She is unable to believe moderately because of her depression. This state of affairs has been portrayed by Euripides, “ Medea ( within ) . O wretchedness! The things I have suffered cause sufficiency for deep Lamentationss! ” ( Euripides ) Her status can be farther explored psychologically. Ilit Ferber explains Freudian construct of griever and melancholy, “ Both Freud ‘s griever and melancholy Begin with a basic denial of their loss and an involuntariness to acknowledge it. But shortly plenty, the griever, who is responding in a non-pathological mode, recognizes and responds to the call of world, to allow travel of the lost-loved object and liberate libidinal desire. This is the point of divergency with the melancholiac who remains sunken in his loss, unable to admit and accept the demand to split and in a suicidal trueness to the lost object, internalizes it into his self-importance, therefore moreover circumscribing the struggle related to the loss. ” ( Ferber )

This construct of Freud is to the full synonymous with the status of Medea presented by Euripides. She is unwilling to accept the world ; in fact she wants to model world by force. Her object of libido has been taken off and this has made her down and she acts as a lunatic. The want of libido-object has resulted in the repression of libido. The repression of libido disturbs the unconscious and the witting life of Medea. The hurting of separation from libido-object is in the unconscious of her head. She herself, possibly, does non cognize the existent job with her. The inordinate repression of libido consequences in her mental emphasis beyond her capacity. She becomes a patient of psycho-neuroses. Freud describes psycho-neuroses as: “ it ( paranoia, neuroticisms ) on a regular basis controls some part of the societal behaviour ( of the patient ) . The transmutation of love into hatred, tenderness into ill will, which is characteristic of a big figure of neurotic instances and seemingly of all instances of paranoia, takes topographic point by agencies of brotherhood of inhuman treatment with libido. ” ( Freud, The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud ) The same is the instance with Medea now. Her utmost love for Jason now transforms into utmost hatred. Her tenderness, as a lover and female parent, alterations into her inhuman treatment. She does non care for anything now, non even for her kids. She is now ready to interrupt the conventions of society to fulfill her head which has been disturbed by the hurting inflicted upon her by her lover. Here once more, she is unable to judge right from incorrect. The barbaric Medea is once more in action.

The pent-up libido here shows itself in the signifier of self-importance. The self-importance of Medea, which was non observed at the clip of her elopement, now begins to take form. The relation between self-importance and libido is explained by Freud in these lines, “ we infer that under normal conditions ego-libido can transform itself into object-libido without trouble and that this can once more later be absorbed into self-importance. ” ( Freud, A General Introduction to Psycho-analysis ) The libido of Medea here transforms into her self-importance. The overpowering libido gives birth to overpowering self-importance. She can make anything for the interest of her self-importance as she did for the satisfaction and saving of her libido. Freud farther says in the same essay, “ A adult male may be perfectly egocentric and yet have strong libidinal fond regards to objects, in so far as libidinal satisfaction is an object is a demand of his self-importance: his egoism will so see to it that his desires towards the object involve no hurt to his self-importance. ” ( Freud, A General Introduction to Psycho-analysis ) It follows from this that if the object goes out of range the individual considers it an hurt to his/her self-importance. The self-importance of Medea now comes to play. She does non keen for the loss of her lover now but negotiations about the fraudulence of Jason. She says, “ Great Zeus[ 7 ]and Lady Themis[ 8 ], see you how I am treated, for all the strong curses with which I bound my curst hubby. ” ( Euripides, Medea ) She begins to believe in the same mode as she did in her fatherland when she experienced the fright of separation from Jason.

She eventually thinks of taking her retaliation and bring downing the same hurting on Jason which she herself suffers from. She has suffered psychologically and she wants Jason to experience the same psychological torment. She does non believe of killing Jason but she plans to take away his libido-object by killing Glauce. To achieve success in her motor she does non move frantically but tactfully. She requests Creon to give her one twenty-four hours to travel off from the state. In this clip she architects a program to kill Glauce. Her libido has now absorbed in her self-importance as we have noted earlier. The strength of libido consequences in the intensified self-importance. Her self-importance now drives all her actions. She plans to kill her kids every bit good because she does non desire her enemies to bring down strivings on her kids. She besides thinks that if she leaves her kids behind, her enemies will express joy at her. She is to the full cognizant of the horror and inhuman treatment involved in her program. She says, “ My wretchedness overwhelms me. O I do recognize how awful is the offense I am approximately, but passion over regulations my declarations, passion that causes most of the wretchedness in the universe. ” ( Euripides, Medea ) This passion is non inspired merely by her self-importance but besides by her libido because she has in her head the violent manner she followed at the clip of her elopement and it is possibly towards this wretchedness she refers in the cited lines.

She decides to kill her kids and the ground behind her action is, “ I can detain no longer, my kids will fall into the homicidal custodies of those that love them less than I do. In any instance they must decease. And if they must, I shall murder them, who gave them birth. ” ( Euripides, Medea ) This besides implies that Medea ‘s love is non complacent_ it is rather violent. She lives on extremes. Her love is utmost and her hatred is utmost. This state of affairs of her head once more refers to miss of balance common in patients enduring from neuroticisms. She loses sense of taking the right manner and sense of guilt is ne’er seen in her.

Her concluding duologue with Jason is deserving observing. Here she to the full claims what she has done and her existent motivation. She says, “ You could non trust, nor your princess either, to contemn my love, do a sap of me and unrecorded merrily of all time after. ” ( Euripides, Medea ) She has deprived Jason of his libido object and she is now satisfied because she has served her self-importance properly and has inflicted the same psychological emphasis as she suffered herself. She now feels herself winning. She farther says, “ Name me tigress if you like, or Scylla that haunts the Tuscan seashore. I do n’t mind now I have got decently under your tegument. ” ( Euripides, Medea ) Her self-importance now served she has no concerns. She even does non care now what society says about her. She has taken her retaliation.

This depth psychology of the character of Medea shows that her overmastering libido is behind all her actions. The aid she offered to Jason during the run, her elopement with Jason, the slaying of her brother, the painful decease inflicted upon Glauce __ all these actions were carried out for the satisfaction of her libido and so her libido transforms into self-importance. The repression of libido consequences in the formation of self-importance with greater strength. Her heightened self-importance consequences in the slaying of her ain kids. She even denies them burial. This non merely disrupts the natural order but besides intensifies the wretchedness of Jason. The violent death of blood dealingss is revolting in footings of Aristotle. She kills her blood dealingss twice and this shows that her head is non balanced. The job behind her psychological instability is non that she is unable to command her libido. It is because her libido is overpowering and it is beyond her power to command it. The intensive libido is rather obvious in the unconscious of Medea coercing her to take stairss that disrupt the natural order.

Plants Cited

Euripides. Ten Plaies by Euripides. Trans. Moses and McLean, John Hades. New York: Bantam Books, 2006.

Ferber, Ilit. E-rea. 15 June 2006. 30 March 2012 & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //erea.revues.org/413 & gt ; .

Freud, Sigmund. A General Introduction to Psycho-analysis. Trans. Joan Riviere. New York: Garden City Publishing Company, Inc. , 1943.

– . Dictionary of Psychoanalysis. 1963.

– . The Basic Hagiographas of Sigmund Freud. Ed. Dr. Brill. Trans. Dr. Brill. Vol. The Sexual Aberrations. New York: Random House, Inc. , 1938.

Patricia, B. Salzman-Mitchell. A Web of Fantasies: Gaze, Image and Gender in Ovid ‘s Metamorphoses. Ohio: Ohio State University, 2005.

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