Hermaphroditus and Salmacis: A Psychoanalytical Approach Analytical Essay by smb490

Hermaphroditus and Salmacis: A Psychoanalytical Approach
An analysis of the myth of Hermaphroditus and Salmacis, as recorded in Ovid's "Metamorphoses", in relation to Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung's psychoanalytic concept of "dream-work".
# 152159 | 1,172 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2003 | US
Published on Jan 07, 2013 in Literature (Greek and Roman) , Literature (Mythology) , Psychology (Freud)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper analyzes the myth of Hermaphroditus and Salmacis from Ovid's "Metamorphoses" and how it demonstrates the use of "dream-work", a psychoanalytic concept championed by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. The paper details how the myth illustrates the operation of symbolism and decomposition in the interpretation of a Greek traditional tale. The paper traces the use of Freudian phallic symbolism throughout the myth, and ultimately suggests that the use of "dream-work" and myth can coalesce into the single key to the subconscious.

From the Paper:

"Many of the dreams Freud and Jung analyzed have sexual undertones and implications and the myth of Hermaphroditus and Salmacis is similar in this respect. The symbolism in Salmacis' sisters' requests that she use a javelin and partake in the hunt is strongly phallic and sexual. The javelin and other such weapons represent the male genitals, and the image of the hunt infers the sexual chase between a man and a woman. The reference to the bow, which conforms to fit the shape of the arrow, implies sexual intercourse in its suggestion of the male and female genitals. Through the use of these
symbols, Ovid has created an intensely sexual tone for the myth even before Hermaphroditus and Salmacis has their salacious encounter.
"Even after the two meet, the thread of phallic imagery continues to weave itself throughout the tale. When the nymph embraces the young man, Ovid's image of a serpent is indicative again of the male genitalia. The description of the spreading wings of an eagle suggest the lovers opening up to each other sexually, while the mention of ivy entwining tree trunks or an octopus enveloping its enemy suggest a passionate lovers' embrace. These symbols work to emphasize the sexuality and erotic love of the tale."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Edmunds, Lowell (ed.). "Approaches to Greek Myth." The John Hopkins University Press: Baltimore and London. < http://webdev.Loyola.edu/Lnd1_test/edocs?CLEN211Edmunds-03.pdf>
  • Morford, Mark P.O., Robert J. Lenardon. Classical Mythology. 7th ed. New York: Oxford Univeristy Press, 2003.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Hermaphroditus and Salmacis: A Psychoanalytical Approach (2013, January 07) Retrieved August 18, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/hermaphroditus-and-salmacis-a-psychoanalytical-approach-152159/

MLA Format

"Hermaphroditus and Salmacis: A Psychoanalytical Approach" 07 January 2013. Web. 18 August. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/hermaphroditus-and-salmacis-a-psychoanalytical-approach-152159/>