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Migliavacca, E.M. (2011). Awareness of the Tragic and the Evolution of the Psyche: An Essay. Free Associations, 12(1):63-82.

(2011). Free Associations, 12(1):63-82

Awareness of the Tragic and the Evolution of the Psyche: An Essay

Eva Maria Migliavacca

The object of this work is to investigate possible connections between the classical Greek tragic hero and those undergoing psychoanalytic investigation, focusing on the question of achieving awareness of oneself. Initially, some aspects of psychoanalytic theory, as developed by Sigmund Freud, are considered, proceeding then to a characterisation of those aspects of the tragedy and the tragic figure that are relevant to the purposes of this study. The character Oedipus, in Sophocles' plays Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus, is used as a model in this discussion and I also point out the significance of such a model in the origins of psychoanalysis. Finally, I develop a synthesis based on the complex relationship between tragedy and psychoanalysis, highlighting the value of the tragic elements for the apprehension of the human psyche.

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