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Freud, S. (1913). The Theme of the Three Caskets. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XII (1911-1913): The Case of Schreber, Papers on Technique and Other Works, 289-302.

Freud, S. (1913). [SEL289a1]The Theme of the Three Caskets. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XII (1911-1913): The Case of Schreber, Papers on Technique and Other Works, 289-302

[SEL289a1]The Theme of the Three Caskets Book Information Previous Up Next Language Translation

Sigmund Freud

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[SEL289a2]Editor's Note to "The Theme of the Three Caskets"

[SEL289a3]Das Motiv Der Kästchenwahl

[SEL289a4](a) German Editions:

[SEL289a5]1913 Imago, 2 (3), 257-66.

[SEL289a6]1918 S.K.S.N., 4, 470-85. (1922, 2nd ed.)

[SEL289a7]1924 G.S., 10, 243-56.

[SEL289a8]1924 Dichtung und Kunst, 15-28.

[SEL289a9]1946 G.W., 10, 24-37.

[SEL289a10](b) English Translation:

[SEL289a11]‘The Theme of the Three Gaskets’ 1925 C.P., 4, 244-56. (Tr. C. J. M. Hubback.)

[SEL289a12]The present translation is based on that of 1925.

[SEL289a13]Freud's correspondence (quoted in Jones, 1955, 405) shows that the underlying idea of this paper occurred to him in June, 1912, though the work was only published a year later. In a letter to Ferenczi of July 7, 1913, he connected the ‘subjective determinant’ of the paper with his own three daughters (Freud, 1960a).

[SEL289a14]I

[SEL289a15]Two scenes from Shakespeare, one from a comedy and the other from a tragedy, have lately given me occasion for posing and solving a small problem.

[SEL289a16]The first of these scenes is the suitors' choice between the three caskets in The Merchant of Venice. The fair and wise Portia is bound at her father's bidding to take as her husband only that one of her suitors who chooses the right casket from among the three before him. The three caskets are of gold, silver and lead: the right casket is the one that contains her portrait.

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