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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Egos
Egos

An alter ego (Latin for "other I") means an alternative self, which is believed to be distinct from a person's normal or true original personality. Finding one's alter ego will require finding one's other self, one with a different personality. The altered states of the ego may themselves be referred to as alterations. A distinct meaning of alter ego is found in the literary analysis used when referring to fictional literature and other narrative forms, describing a key character in a story who is perceived to be intentionally representative of the author's work (or creator), by oblique similarities, in terms of psychology, behavior, speech, or thoughts, often used to convey the author's thoughts. The term is also sometimes, but less frequently, used to designate a hypothetical "twin" or "best friend" to a character in a story. Similarly, the term alter ego may be applied to the role or persona taken on by an actor[1] or by other types of performers.

Origin

Cicero coined the term as part of his philosophical construct in 1st-century Rome, but he described it as "a second self, a trusted friend".[2]

The existence of "another self" was first fully recognized in the 18th century, when Anton Mesmer and his followers used hypnosis to separate the alter ego.[3] These experiments showed a behavior pattern that was distinct from the personality of the individual when he was in the waking state compared with when he was under hypnosis. Another character had developed in the altered state of consciousness but in the same body.[4]

Freud throughout his career would appeal to such instances of dual consciousness to support his thesis of the unconscious.[5] He considered that “We may most aptly describe them as cases of a splitting of the mental activities into two groups, and say that the same consciousness turns to one or the other of these groups alternately”.[6] Freud considered the roots of the phenomenon of the alter ego to be in the narcissistic stage of early childhood.[7] Heinz Kohut would identify a specific need in that early phase for mirroring, by another which resulted later in what he called the “twinship or alter ego transference”.[8]

Anton Mesmer
Anton Mesmer

In popular culture and fiction

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

See also

References

  1. ^ Glenn Daniel Wilson (1991). Psychology and Performing Arts. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 90-265-1119-1.
  2. ^ "Alter Ego". Collins English Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 10th Edition. William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  3. ^ J Haule, Jung in the 21st Century II (2010) p. 88
  4. ^ Pedersen, David (1994). Cameral Analysis: A Method of Treating the Psychoneuroses Using Hypnosis. London, U.K.: Routledge. p. 20. ISBN 0-415-10424-6.
  5. ^ S Freud, Five Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (Penguin 1995) p. 21
  6. ^ S Freud On Metapsychology (PFL 11) p. 172
  7. ^ S Freud, 'The Uncanny' Imago V (1919) p. 41
  8. ^ H Kohut, How Does Analysis Cure? (London 1984) p. 192-3
  9. ^ I. Ousby ed., The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English (Cambridge 1995) p. 263
  10. ^ N. Douglas, Looking Back (London 1934) p. 274
  11. ^ Kotrial, Utsav (August 30, 2018). "The Origin Stories of Music's Biggest Alter Egos". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  12. ^ Juzwiak, Rich (June 18, 2019). "Madonna: Madame X Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
This page was last edited on 23 February 2021, at 20:29
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