Read the short discussion of the fairy tale ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ from
Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment, available on the Strategies seminar page
(next to the link to this sheet).
Also read Terry Eagleton’s chapter on psychoanalysis on the library course
extracts page here: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/electronicresources/extracts/
1. Consider Bettelheim’s analysis of the fairy tale in the light of the
theories of the unconscious discussed in the lecture. How do you react
to his analysis? Do you find his interpretations convincing? Give your
2. Select one literary or filmic text (it can be a text we have looked at on
the course). Re-consider it in the light of theories and approaches
relating to the unconscious.
3. When credited with the ‘discovery’ of the unconscious, Freud is said to
have replied: 'The poets and philosophers before me discovered the
unconscious […] What I discovered was the scientific method by which
the unconscious can be studied.' What do you think Freud means?
Give an example from any text (poetry/philosophy/literature/film)
that illustrates Freud’s idea.
4. Construct an essay plan for ONE of the following titles making
reference to ONE OR MORE texts from the course:
- To what extent has psychoanalysis provided us with useful models of critical reading practice?
- In what sense(s) can a text be said to have an ‘unconscious’?