Critical Approaches

As Freud writes in such a literary style, but his topic is scientific, critics have generally been concerned with his theories and content of the book rather than his style per se. The psychodynamic theory has not been free from criticism. The main problem it has faced is that of a lack of rigorous empirical support, which modern day science values much more. The 'data' comes largely from middle class citizens or the works of Lichtenberg, and Fischer etc. With such data, how can Freud be sure that he has an exhaustive collection of jokes, and has not left a technique/condition/ purpose unidentified? The answer is he can't so here we have the fundamental weakness of Freud's work.

Concerning other approaches to this topic, Zenon Kelper, writes concerning Akhenaten, and concludes with his down fall that his body was never found (nor that of his Hittite wife, or mother - who was Hebrew). He reveals that Egyptology today shows a compelling probability that Moses was in fact the masked figure of Akhenaten. Hence, Egyptologist, Ahmed Osman has proposed that Akhenaten did not die in Egypt, but in the Sinai, (as Moses). Furthermore, it has been proposed that the story of Akhenaten- Moses was recorded into the legend of Oedipus in Greece (Velikovsky). Theseus (1300-1000 B.C.) is said to have been influenced by Oedipus-Akhenaten in exile beyond his colony. Kelper continues to point out that the end/death of Moses and his identification was kept secret by the Rabbis, tradition stating only that, having delivered the Tables of Law, Moses was pursued and threatened by Satan (alias Seth) (according to Osman's Egyptological demonstration, Seti - the first was Akhenaten's harassing successor...).

An obvious source of criticism is The Bible. The Bible was keen to show Moses to be of Hebrew descent, therefore would distort the facts of circumcision and his birth story to reflect this. In the second book of The Bible, the book of Exodus, it describes Egyptians' decision to oppress Hebrews who lived in the land of Egypt for 400 years) the descendants of Joseph and his brothers). It proposes that although Moses was born a Hebrew, he grew up in the Pharaoh's court and the Hebrew's were jealous of him, but the Egyptians didn't trust him either. The Bible continues to describe Moses' leadership of the Hebrews, and his doubt and confusion about his mission. However the Biblical account does imply that the God to which Moses introduces them is he same as the one who gave the covenant to Abraham, and does not discuss Akhenaten's attempts to enforce monotheism (nor that his mother - and therefore he too - was a Hebrew). Despite this Biblical account, in the book of Deutoronomy, it is acknowledged that after Moses, the Jews adopted the false gods of the Canaanites - as they also adopted their farming techniques etc. - so whilst not endorsing Freud's theories the Bible does acknowledge that Yahweh was the god for the Hebrews, at least initially, at their liberation from Egypt and introduction to monotheism as the 'chosen people'.

Another point worth noting is that on the transcription of proper names, since many of the Egyptian and Hebrew proper names present translators with special problems - Egyptian writing not recording vowels, so actual pronunciation of names can only be guessed at. As regards Old Testament names, (in English translations of Freud's work) the forms found in the English Authorised Version are usually used - and the 'false' deity, here is referred to as 'Yahweh'.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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