Essay on Psychoanalytic Perspective of Freud and Lacan

Published: 2021-07-07
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University of California, Santa Barbara
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Jaques Lacan is a famous French psychoanalyst known for conceptualizing Freud by using post-structuralism. Lacans idea was different and he therefore overruled efforts to link social theory with psychoanalysis. He based the latter on the idea that the unconscious is the disclosure of the other. By this, he meant that the human body is structured by the desire of other individuals. Because of this, humans are able to express their intimate feelings by relaying others (Lacan, 2013). Lacan sees psychoanalysis as a theory of how an individuals character is created through social interaction and also concluded that desire is by all manner a social phenomenon.

His work was entirely based on Freuds work on human sexuality, deep strictures and how individuals become an other by stemming from the mirror phase and by conscious repression. The conscious desire and ego are therefore divided radically.

However, Lacan theory has been criticized a couple of times because of theorizing unconsciousness and sexuality together with the limitation of how he uses linguistic. The manner in which he structured unconsciousness by tying it to language is seen or rather criticized as subversion and simplification (Lacan, 1988). Critics are of the opinion that unconsciousness is instead tied to symbolism and is by a manner resistance to any syntax.

His theory that unconsciousness is structured like language can be supported by an example where a child can play with objects that gets lost then he later finds them. Through this act, the child is recreating her mother who is missing from her life because his father took custody of her.

Therefore, Lacan has failed to recognize that individuals are able to reach that state of self-actualization and self-reflection. Because of this, human beings are in a position to escape the rather impossible trap. More so, Lacans theory of culture and language fails to take account of social institution, ideology and power.

Psychoanalytic perspective of Aeschylus's Agamemnon

Agamemnon is renowned for being the first play in a trilogy called the Oresteia. This play is deliberated as being the greatest work of Aeschylus, not forgetting it was the best Greek tragedy play. It is categorized as tragedy oriented because its entire mood is filled with awaiting doom. This paper provides a psychoanalysis found in this play and the tragic meaning of life. Moreover, it examines the extent to which the tragic sense of life is related to the goals and process of psychoanalysis.

Based on this play in relation to the tragic sense of life, an individual is literally trapped in the net of what transpired in his past. The experiences that occurred in the past life of an individual will directly influence and shape them. Agamemnon understood what an entire generation which had accumulated tragic experiences was capable of doing. Considering the dilemma of Orestes, he understood that he was bound to avenge by murdering the person responsible for the death of his father Agamemnon. Following deeply, the murder of Agamemnon was committed so as to avenge for the sacrifice of another character, who in this case the victim was Orestess mother (Fletcher, 1999). This supports the argument that an individual is ordained to live and act in a world conditioned by the experiences that took place in the past.

Tragedy is the most dominant theme in this play. It brings out the idea of how tragedy can be used in the attempt to understand or rather find answers to understand an individuals experience rationally. Moreover, after the occurrence of tragedy is considered as one of the most essential question for human existence. Tragedy is constructed from questions that are raised in the long run. The answers provided for this question are essentially personal of terms. This means that they are set in the most individual of circumstances. The answers provided happen to far exceed the scope and importance and scope of the individuals asking them (Kirby, 1990). After getting the question, the individual goes further to demand confrontation with the truth and the end results become tragic.


Fletcher, J. (1999). Exchanging Glances: Vision and Representation in Aeschylus' Agamemnon. Helios, 26(1), 11.

Kirby, J. T. (1990). The" Great Triangle" in early Greek rhetoric and poetics. Rhetorica: A Journal of the History of Rhetoric, 8(3), 213-228.

Lacan, J. (1988). The Seminar of Jacques Lacan Book II: The Ego in Freuds Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis 195455. Trans. Sylvana Tomaselli. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. New York: Norton.

Lacan, J. (2013). The ethics of psychoanalysis 1959-1960: The seminar of Jacques Lacan. Routledge.

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