Freud's Famous Couch
Lecture 2 -Psychology of Personality
1856 - 1939
Sigmund Freud was born in Freiberg, in Moravia, on 6
of May 1856. People from here were Czechs, but
Jewish people were talking German and were mostly assimilated to the Austro-Hungarian ruling class.
His father, Jacob Freud, was a textile dealer. He married for the first time when he was seventeen and had
two children: Emmanuel and Philipp. After he became a widower, he remarried in 1851 or 1852 with a
certain Rebecca, about whom we don't know if she died young or she was repudiated, and for the third
time with a young woman of twenty, Amalia Nathansohn (1835 – 1930), whose first child will be
Sigmund. He was succeeded by Julius, who died at eighteen months, Anna, Rosa, Mitzi, Dolfi, Paula and
Amalia Freud and Sigmund in 1874
Sigmund Freud inherited from his father the sense of humor, the skepticism before life incertitude, the
habit of exemplifying by a Jewish anecdote when he wanted to bring out some moral feature, his
liberalism and free thought. From his mother he would have taken "the sentimentalism", an ambiguous
word in German, which would mean that Freud was capable of intense emotional feelings.
Freud enjoyed the unrestrained love of his mother, Amalia, who called him "my golden Sigi". This
unconditional love will make Freud notice: "When you were incontestably the favorite child of your
mother, you keep during your lifetime this victor feeling, you keep feeling sure of success, which in
reality seldom doesn't fulfill".
From the age of eight also comes another remembrance less pleasant that will play an important role in
the later victory dream, which the dreamer himself will interpret. The remembrance under discussion put
him in a position of humiliating inferiority before his parents. What's this about: he would have been
scolded by his father because he intentionally had urinated in his parents' bedroom and apostrophized by
these words: "There will come nothing of this boy!". When he narrates this happening, Freud states
precisely that this phrase should have deeply afflicted him "in my dreams the scene often repeated, always
accompanied by an enumeration of my works and successes, as if I intended to say: <<You see,
nevertheless I became somebody! >>."
Another grievous remembrance: his father took him for a walk and narrated an unpleasant event with a
passerby who had apostrophized him: "You, Jew - get down from the sidewalk!" Freud was extremely
disappointed when he found out his father hadn't reacted upon the insult of that stranger. "To this scene,
which annoyed me - he writes - I opposed another one, more consonant with my feelings, the scene when
Hamilcar Barcas asks his son to swear, before the sanctuary, that he'll take his vengeance on the Romans."
Hannibal becomes a hero to Freud's view and he reappears under the form of the dreams about Rome in
his associations from "The Interpretation of Dreams"(1900), from which we also took out this details.
Later on, he presented this happening in the same book, as a resentment motive, which was constantly