Freud considered his patients' dreams and his own to be "the royal road to the unconscious." In The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), perhaps his most brilliant book, he theorized that dreams are heavily disguised expressions of deep-seated wishes and fears and can give great insight into personality.
These investigations led him to his theory of a three-part structure of personality: the id (unconscious biological drives, especially for sex), the superego (the conscience, guided by moral principles), and the ego (the mediator between the id and superego, guided by reality).
Freud's last years were plagued by severe illness and the rise of Nazism, which regarded psychoanalysis as a "Jewish pollution." Through the intervention of the British and U. governments, he was allowed to emigrate in 1938 to England, where he died 15 months later, widely honored for his original thinking.
His theories have had a profound impact on psychology, anthropology, art, and literature, as well as on the thinking of millions of ordinary people about their own lives.
These writings follow the full range and development of this thought up to 1931, covering such topics as sexual education of children, the psychology of love, perversions, the taboo of virginity and anal eroticism.
His views changed considerably over the years, particularly those concerning the development of sexuality in children, the Oedipus complex, the relation of character to sexual types and the sexual life of women.
On publication the Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality causes a scientific scandal.
This work, which Freud considered his most significant after the Interpretation of Dreams, presents the child as a sexual being and it outlines the basis of his theory of the instincts.
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was a clinical neurologist living and practicing in Vienna.
His ground-breaking theories of the id, ego, and super-ego of the mind continue to be studied throughout the world.