Essay Example on Keats and Rossetti lies in how their writings depict the tripartite model









On the other hand a crucial difference between Keats and Rossetti lies in how their writings depict the tripartite model of the mind consisting of the id ego and superego In The Eve of St Agnes the feast Porphyro sets up for Madeline stimulates erotic desire Garofalo 357 It represents the propensity of the id for pleasure seeking taking precedence over moral precepts as Porphyro partakes in stolen enjoyment from eastern trade and his enemies 358 The desires of the id are also represented in Porphyro s wish to voyeuristically enjoy Madeline This is countered by Angela the old woman he meets in the hallway who acts as the superego or the mind s conscience She initially declines his request but Porphyro eventually persuades her to lead him to Madeline s chamber Her actions represent the ego as it is the final decision made after considering both the id and the superego In this case the id received a more favorable result The story could be interpreted as Keats endorsing a philosophy that maximizes happiness utilitarianism since Porphyro seeking to maximize his enjoyment leads to good consequences 

On the other hand Rossetti warns against giving into desires too strongly in Goblin Market With Lizzie and Laura representing the superego and id respectively Lizzie engages in an abstemious refusal to taste the fruits and a commitment to control her own appetites Norcia 31 Even though Laura initially warns against conversing with the goblins she ultimately capitulates The scene where Lizzie rescues Laura from the goblins has been read critically to ensue as a metaphorical attempted rape 33 given the context surrounding Rossetti s living environment this appears to be the most sound explanation In London women s bodies were vended in the streets surrounding the churches and zealous churchwomen like Christina Rossetti went out to buy them back 28 The persistent exhortations by the goblin men seduced Laura into partaking of their fruits despite the risk involved When Lizzie declares there is no friend like a sister Rossetti 1508 she is warning against men who seek to take advantage of women In addition this line emphasizes the importance of women looking out for one another lest they fall victim either to the slick deceptions of strange men or to the inclinations of the flesh and become fallen women In light of the earlier textual evidence that Ms Rossetti was involuntarily sexually experienced Goblin Market offers a compelling case against this claim as the moral premise lies in controlling one s base instincts

Even though Rossetti clearly had unconscious sexual desires the ego expression of the female protagonist heavily favored the superego Given her religious beliefs the reader would not be unreasonable in assuming this attitude transferred into Rossetti s actual life Writing poetry was an outlet through which Keats and Rossetti released the tension and anxiety created by suppressing their deepest wishes which would have been found unacceptable by the society they lived in Inadvertently they revealed parts of their core identity which they themselves did not know existed Through suggestive imagery and commentary on the pleasure principle their works spoke volumes about the state of their authors Nevertheless John Keats and Christina Rossetti were limited by factors outside of any human s control For Keats the longevity of his existing literary works only serves to emphasize the tragedy of his short life and ultimately raises more questions than answers regarding his future potential As with Rossetti the timing of her career to take place during the mid 19th century placed severe restrictions on her creative output During a time when women could not vote or work alongside men there is no doubt that Rossetti was hindered by an expectation to conform to the standards of those around her Perhaps she would have been more expressive with the sexual undertones of her poetry had she been born to write in the mid 20th century Despite these issues there is no shortage of literature to analyze the mental state of either author Keats and Rossetti shared a fear of and fascination with death and their realizations of the transient nature of human life motivated them to create immortal art

Their poems were similar to dreams in that they projected their unconscious desires fears wounds and unresolved conflicts onto characters behavior narrative events and settings Recurring images played a crucial role in the identification of these unconscious forces Hidden sexual desires were plentiful in the works of both authors but they differed in their message of prioritizing the id over the superego Psychoanalysis is a robust means in the critical examination of a literary text The use of Freudian concepts paralleled the text with the psyche and furnished a thoughtful understanding of the unconscious of the writer Moreover the literary texts were likened to dreams which are manifestations of the unconscious mind that achieve the purpose of maintaining our sleep through the fulfillment of wishes A thorough critical analysis and psychological reading of the poems allowed the reader to move into the innermost levels of the human mind thus enabling an understanding of the depths of human emotion The use of psychoanalysis by literature for creative purposes benefits the value merit and validity of both fields In the end literature is an expression of the internal processes taking place within the self and the manifestation of these processes can be explained through psychoanalytic criticism In turn the use of diverse methods of literary criticism enables teachers and students alike to investigate new opportunities for examining evaluating and imparting literature of the past present and future

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