Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford


  • Jonathan J. DetrixheEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_584-1

Eros was the Greek god of sexual love. In Hesiod’s Theogony (1988), Eros is among the first children of Chasm, born to excite the forthcoming gods into procreating (p. 6), while in Ovid’s Metamorphoses (2004), Eros is Venus’ son and his arrow causes Apollo to fall in love with Daphne (p. 28). Some accounts of the Trojan War have Eros present at the seduction of Helen by Paris, encouraging their fateful union (Buxton 2004, p. 133). Though the god of love whose principle attribute is sexual desire, Eros does not hesitate to use violence to promote lovemaking; he is often depicted with weapons, such as a bow (Buxton 2004, p. 69) or a whip (Dell 2013, p. 189).

Freud chooses Eros to represent the life side in opposition to the death side (Thanatos) in his latter theory’s instinctual dualism. Eros is a central character in Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920/ 1961) and its companion volume The Ego and the Id (1923/ 1960) where Freud seeks to understand why people engage in destructive acts...


Unconscious Mental Process Greek Text Pleasure Principle Aggressive Impulse Death Instinct 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Long Island UniversityBrooklynUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kevin Meehan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLong Island UniversityBrooklynUSA