Measure for Measure

Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure: Psychological Freudian Analysis College

In Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, the main character’s qualities and ideologies tend to align eerily well with how Sigmund Freud depicts human consciousness. Within us all lies an Id, an Ego, and essentially what can be considered a patriarchal Superego. On one end of the spectrum, this rampant moral corruption in the streets of Vienna is represented by Mistress Overdone, essentially the antithesis to this new movement of returning to strict moral roots; therefore she plays the role of the pleasure principal, the Freudian Id. In the middle representing the Ego, we find the Duke, Isabella, and Claudio. These characters have an inherent drive to do the right thing but don’t fully represent purity in all respects since they’re willing to still compromise and listen to reason. The tyrannical role of the Super Ego is given to Angelo, he aims to create a society that follows the rule of law to the ’t', has generally good morals, and wants what he considers to be “right” to take place regardless of whether or not it’s entirely logical.

A key reason why the Duke decisively put Angelo into power was because he knew that the only way to suppress the chaos and moral decay character’s like Mistress Overdone (the Id) bring to equation...

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