Psycho-analytical method: Its limimitations
Psycho-analytic method means the application of psycho-logical theories to works of art. The psycho-analytic method has its limitations and Freud was conscious of them . But in practice he did not care for such limitations.
Freud’s use of the psycho-analytic method shows that he was indifferent to the form of art and restricted himself to its content. Tone, feeling, style and the modification that part makes upon part he does not consider. “ The layman”, he says,” may expect perhaps too much from analysis.... for it must be admitted that it throws no light upon the two problems which probably interest him the most. It can do nothing toward elucidating the nature of the artistic gift, nor can it explain the means by which the artist works, i.e., his artistic technique.” Such are the limitations of the psycho-analytic method.
But according to Freud, despite these limitations, the analytic method is of great value for it can I) explain the inner meaning of a work of art, and ii) throw light on the temperament of the artist as men. For example, Freudian scholars, like Dr .Ernest Jones ,. have tried to solve the problem or mystery of Hamlet by the application of Freud’s theory of Oedipus complex or mother fixation. They have shown that Hamlet’s sense of guilt makes him incapable of action. In this way, Hamlet’s delay is seen in a new light and becomes more explicable.