October 13, 2006
Laura's commentry of Freud
“I do not know what kind of help she wanted from me, but I promised to forgive her for having deprived me of the satisfaction of according her a far more radical cure for her troubles.” Dora: An Analysis of a case of Hysteria, Sigmund Freud (pg.112)
As this work is so titled “An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria,” the focus was not Dora, but analyzing the disease, hysteria, from which she and others suffer; the evidence of the analysis happens to be the particular case involving the girl Dora. Freud writes, “I don’t know what […] she wanted from me,” which underlies the fact that Dora was the only one who could receive a personal benefit of this treatment, and that Freud was strictly analyzer through whom the treatment was delivered. Though Freud does not intentionally make this parallel, his analysis of Dora is very similar to analysis completed by any scientific researcher. The researcher does not have any personal stakes in the matter other than their own satisfaction of discovery or understanding of their subject. This is exactly how Freud describes his interest in Dora, the “satisfaction of according her a […] cure…” And the fact that Dora “deprived” Freud of this satisfaction is analogous to a researcher feeling disgruntled at not being able to complete his research because his employer broke off his funding for the research.
So this case happens to be that of the girl named Dora, but the focus is on Freud as an analyst and his own report of his experience of his work and theory.
October 06, 2006
Laura's commentry on Oedipus
“Now he has eyes to see with, but they will be slashed out;
Rich and powerful now, he will be a beggar” (p.44 lines 25-26)
From the beginning of the play, the dramatic irony is that the audience already knows what will happen to Oedipus. Sophocles wrote this play, knowing his audience knows the story, to tell of the vulnerability and fallibility of all men, dispelling pity and terror for ourselves by invoking these emotions for Oedipus. Sophocles has taken a well known myth and used it as a medium to illustrate the fragileness of our human nature.
Sophocles’ audience would have known before the play ends that Oedipus would stab out his own eyes, and having Teiresias tell Oedipus he will be blind though Oedipus does not believe him increases the irony and the dramatic affect that Oedipus has been living his whole life blind to who he is. He has eyes to see and yet does not see; even with his sight, he is blind to the truth.
Then when Oedipus’ eyes are slashed out, as Teiresias prophesies, by his own hands, Oedipus has acknowledged his blindness and embodies this by physically blinding himself only after the truth is finally seen.