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Madame Bovary and Hysteria: A Freudian Perspective

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Document pages: 8 pages

Abstract: Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytical theories can beused with reference to the analysis of literary works. Reading novels, poemsand other compositions through the lens of psychoanalysis gives the opportunityto analyse and evaluate these works in their genesis and functioning. In thisarticle, the main character of Madame Bovary, Emma, is analysed with referenceto Freud theories concerning the tripartite structure of the mind (Id, Ego andSuperego) along with the Oedipus complex, sexual drives and the analysis of herhysterical personality. The method used for this purpose is the textoanalysiscreated by a French professor, Jean Bellemin-Noël: several passagesfrom Flaubert’s work are highlighted and discussed according topsychoanalytical theories and with a focus on the social role of women in the19th century.

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