Alter ego

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An alter ego (Latin for "other I", "doppelgänger") means an alternate self, which is believed to be distinct from a person's normal or true original personality. Finding one's alter ego will require finding one's other self, one with a different personality. The altered states of the ego may themselves be referred to as alterations. A distinct meaning of alter ego is found in the literary analysis used when referring to fictional literature and other narrative forms, describing a key character in a story who is perceived to be intentionally representative of the work's author (or creator), by oblique similarities, in terms of psychology, behavior, speech, or thoughts, often used to convey the author's thoughts. The term is also sometimes, but less frequently, used to designate a hypothetical "twin" or "best friend" to a character in a story. Similarly, the term alter ego may be applied to the role or persona taken on by an actor [1] or by other types of performers.



Cicero coined the term as part of his philosophical construct in 1st-century Rome, but he described it as "a second self, a trusted friend". [2]

The existence of "another self" was first fully recognized in the 18th century, when Anton Mesmer and his followers used hypnosis to separate the alter ego. [3] These experiments showed a behavior pattern that was distinct from the personality of the individual when he was in the waking state compared with when he was under hypnosis. Another character had developed in the altered state of consciousness but in the same body. [4]

Freud throughout his career would appeal to such instances of dual consciousness to support his thesis of the unconscious. [5] He considered that "We may most aptly describe them as cases of a splitting of the mental activities into two groups, and say that the same consciousness turns to one or the other of these groups alternately". [6] Freud considered the roots of the phenomenon of the alter ego to be in the narcissistic stage of early childhood. [7] Heinz Kohut would identify a specific need in that early phase for mirroring, by another which resulted later in what he called the "twinship or alter ego transference". [8]

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Jekyll-mansfield.jpg
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Fred Terry as the Scarlet Pimpernel (alter ego of Sir Percy Blakeney) in the 1905 West End production of The Scarlet Pimpernel Fred Terry in The Scarlet Pimpernel crop.jpg
Fred Terry as the Scarlet Pimpernel (alter ego of Sir Percy Blakeney) in the 1905 West End production of The Scarlet Pimpernel
David Bowie as his alter-ego Ziggy Stardust, an androgynous alien rock star who arrives on Earth David-Bowie Early.jpg
David Bowie as his alter-ego Ziggy Stardust, an androgynous alien rock star who arrives on Earth

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The id, ego, and super-ego are a set of three concepts in psychoanalytic theory describing distinct, interacting agents in the psychic apparatus. The three agents are theoretical constructs that describe the activities and interactions of the mental life of a person. In the ego psychology model of the psyche, the id is the set of uncoordinated instinctual desires; the super-ego plays the critical and moralizing role; and the ego is the organized, realistic agent that mediates between the instinctual desires of the id and the critical super-ego; Freud explained that:

The functional importance of the ego is manifested in the fact that, normally, control over the approaches to motility devolves upon it. Thus, in its relation to the id, [the ego] is like a man on horseback, who has to hold in check the superior strength of the horse; with this difference, that the rider tries to do so with his own strength, while the ego uses borrowed forces. The analogy may be carried a little further. Often, a rider, if he is not to be parted from his horse, is obliged to guide [the horse] where it wants to go; so, in the same way, the ego is in the habit of transforming the id's will into action, as if it were its own.

Ziggy Stardust was a glam alter ego of David Bowie in the early 1970s. It may refer specifically to:

<i>The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars</i> 1972 studio album by David Bowie

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is the fifth studio album by English musician David Bowie, released on 16 June 1972 in the United Kingdom through RCA Records. It was co-produced by Bowie and Ken Scott and features Bowie's backing band the Spiders from Mars, comprising Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder and Mick Woodmansey. Most of the songs were written around the same time as Bowie's previous album Hunky Dory (1971). After that album was completed, recording for Ziggy Stardust commenced in November 1971 at Trident Studios in London, with further sessions in early February 1972.

<i>The Scarlet Pimpernel</i> Novel by Emma Orczy

The Scarlet Pimpernel is the first novel in a series of historical fiction by Baroness Orczy, published in 1905. It was written after her stage play of the same title enjoyed a long run in London, having opened in Nottingham in 1903.

Baroness Orczy Hungarian-born British novelist and playwright

Baroness Emma Orczy, usually known as Baroness Orczy or to her family and friends as Emmuska Orczy, was a Hungarian-born British novelist and playwright. She is best known for her series of novels featuring the Scarlet Pimpernel, the alter ego of Sir Percy Blakeney, a wealthy English fop who turns into a quick-thinking escape artist in order to save French aristocrats from "Madame Guillotine" during the French Revolution, establishing the "hero with a secret identity" in popular culture.

A secret identity is a person's alter ego which is not known to the general populace, most often used in fiction. Brought into popular culture by the Scarlet Pimpernel in 1903, the concept is particularly prevalent in the American comic book genre, and is a trope of the masquerade.

A persona, depending on the context, is the public image of one's personality, the social role that one adopts, or simply a fictional character. The word derives from Latin, where it originally referred to a theatrical mask. On the social web, users develop virtual personas as online identities.

The Thin White Duke David Bowie persona from 1975 to 1976

The Thin White Duke was the persona and character of the English musician David Bowie during 1975 and 1976. He is primarily identified with Bowie's 1976 album Station to Station and is mentioned by name in the title track, although Bowie had first begun to adopt the "Duke" persona during the preceding Young Americans tour and promotion in 1975. The persona's look and character are somewhat based on Thomas Jerome Newton, the eponymous humanoid alien played by Bowie in the 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth.

Ziggy Stardust (song) 1972 song by David Bowie

"Ziggy Stardust" is a song written by English singer-songwriter David Bowie for his 1972 concept album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Co-produced by Bowie and Ken Scott, he recorded it at Trident Studios in London in November 1971 with his backing band the Spiders from Mars—comprising Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder and Mick Woodmansey. Lyrically, the song is about Ziggy Stardust, a bisexual alien rock star who acts as a messenger for extraterrestrial beings. The character was influenced by English singer Vince Taylor, as well as the Legendary Stardust Cowboy and Kansai Yamamoto. Although Ziggy is introduced earlier on the album, this song is its centrepiece, presenting the rise and fall of the star in a very human-like manner. Musically, it is a glam rock song, like its parent album, and is based around a Ronson guitar riff.

<i>Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars</i> (film) 1983 film by D. A. Pennebaker about David Bowie and his band.

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is a 1979 documentary and concert film by D. A. Pennebaker. It features English singer-songwriter David Bowie and his backing group the Spiders from Mars performing at the Hammersmith Odeon in London on 3 July 1973. At this show, Bowie made the sudden surprise announcement that the show would be "the last show that we'll ever do", later understood to mean that he was retiring his Ziggy Stardust persona.

Self psychology, a modern psychoanalytic theory and its clinical applications, was conceived by Heinz Kohut in Chicago in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, and is still developing as a contemporary form of psychoanalytic treatment. In self psychology, the effort is made to understand individuals from within their subjective experience via vicarious introspection, basing interpretations on the understanding of the self as the central agency of the human psyche. Essential to understanding self psychology are the concepts of empathy, selfobject, mirroring, idealising, alter ego/twinship and the tripolar self. Though self psychology also recognizes certain drives, conflicts, and complexes present in Freudian psychodynamic theory, these are understood within a different framework. Self psychology was seen as a major break from traditional psychoanalysis and is considered the beginnings of the relational approach to psychoanalysis.

<i>The Scarlet Pimpernel</i> (TV series)

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<i>Two Essays on Analytical Psychology</i>

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