Life and Works: Sigmund Freud

Life and Works: Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud



Beginning Years:

Sigmund Freud who was originally born Sigismund Shlomo Freud was born on May 6, 1856. He was the first of their eight children and owing to his precocious intellect, his parents favored him over his siblings from the early stages of his childhood; and despite their poverty, they sacrificed everything to give him a proper education.

Middle Years:

After planning to study law, Freud joined the medical faculty at University of Vienna to study under Darwinist Prof. Karl Claus. In October 1885 Freud went to Paris on a travelling fellowship to study with Europe's most renowned neurologist, Jean Martin Charcot. It was this trip that helped Freud decides to turn away from a career in research neurology and into a career in medical psychopathology. Freud established the theory that unconscious motives control much behavior.

Last Years:

In 1930, Freud received the Goethe Prize in appreciation of his contribution to psychology and to German literary culture. Three years later the Nazis took control of Germany and Freud's books featured prominently among those burned and destroyed by the Nazis. Freud decided to go into exile "to die in freedom". He and his family left Vienna in June 1938 and moved to Hampstead, London. A heavy cigar smoker, Freud endured more than 30 operations during his life due to oral cancer. In September 1939 he prevailed on his doctor and friend Max Schur to assist him in suicide. Schur administered three doses of morphine over many hours that resulted in Freud's death on September 23, 1939.

His Theories:

Freud has been influential in two related but distinct ways. He simultaneously developed a theory of how the human mind is organized and operates internally, and a theory of how human behavior both conditions and results from this particular theoretical understanding. This led him to favor certain clinical techniques for attempting to help cure psychopathology. He theorized...

Similar Essays