The Freud Museum


Theory: Freud & Dreams 1

"Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo"

"If I cannot bend the Higher Powers, I will move the Infernal regions"

It has justly been said that Freud's book The Interpretation of Dreams- one of the most significant books of the 20th Century - represents the beginning of psychoanalysis proper. It is certainly the start of the theory of a dynamic unconscious, created in childhood, which is operating continuously in both normal and 'abnormal' minds.

Freud called the interpretation of dreams the 'Royal road' to the discovery of the unconscious - that is to say, it is the 'King's highway' along which everyone can travel to discover the truth of unconscious processes for themselves. Everybody dreams, and because of this it is one of the most important ways for students to grasp Freud's theory of psychoanalysis in a practical way.

The Structure of The Interpretation of Dreams.
The argument in Freud's book The Interpretation of Dreams goes something like this:

  1. "Dreams are the fulfilment of a wish"
  2. "Dreams are the disguised fulfilment of a wish"
  3. "Dreams are the disguised fulfilment of a repressed wish"
  4. "Dreams are the disguised fulfilment of a repressed, infantile wish"

We can go through these propositions in a little more detail in the following pages.

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