Ego (563 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume : WORLD HISTORY AND IDEAS: A CROSS-CULTURAL VOLUME.


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When dealing with this term it is useful to realise that the Latin term was added to the Freudian lexicon during the early translation of his work into English. Freud’s own German term was “das Ich”, meaning simply “the I” and had been a term of philosophical enquiry since the seventeenth century. In historical terms it is also important to realise that the ego in Freudian terms is not the same as the self: the whole critical thrust of Freud’s thinking is to dethrone the self-important and self-certain concept of self which has been elaborated since Descartes (1596-1650) and to propose that what we take to be our “Self” is an energetic complex of conscious and unconscious elements. In this complex the ego is but a part.…

Clark, Robert. "Ego". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 October 2005
[, accessed 24 October 2016.]

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  1. Psychoanalysis