Freudian Symbols in The Master Builder
The Master Builder, by Henrik Ibsen, is a play about individuality, morality, and
self. But beneath those very ambiguous descriptions lies a play with symbols that clearly
depict the collective unconscious. Through a careful psychoanalytical critique of the
text, the relationship between the symbolism and the psychological themes can be
discovered as they interact throughout the play.
Within a play, “symbolism has a broader role as a kind of
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showed last 75 words of 1745 total
strength of the superego which is represented by old Solness.
Through a careful examination of the symbols used in Henrik Ibsen’s The Master
Builder, a very successful Freudian analysis of the play and its characterizations can be
revealed. Indeed, it becomes clear that the characters are driven by forces - sexual forces
- quite out of their control, and it is the forces which ultimately destroy Solness’ life and
Hilda’s chance for gratification.