Freud's Theory of the Id, Ego, and Superego
The famous psychologist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), the father of psychotherapy, is credited with the development of the idea of the subconscious: the deepest layer of the human mind, said to be the place where memories, wishes, fears, and dreams are stored. This famous theory, as explored in this text, posits that humans are controlled by their unconscious mind.
When and How to Pair: Have students read this text before reading Act Two, Scene One when Troy admits to Rose that he’s had an extramarital affair and that he has fathered a child with his mistress. Pair Fences: Act Two, Scene One with “Freud’s Theory of Id, Ego, and Superego,” and ask students to discuss Freud’s theory in relation to Troy’s impulsive behavior and his unconscious mind. Is Troy in control of his actions and completely responsible for his infidelity, or is he blameless because his unconscious feelings of inadequacy overpower his conscious desire to be faithful to Rose?