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In psychoanalysis, the death principle, representing all instinctual tendencies toward senescence and death. See also entries under instinct Compare: eros.
[G. death]


Etymology: Gk, death
a freudian term for the death instinct.
References in periodicals archive ?
This sociological approach can be expanded to the level of individual human psychology with the dragon combat being a representation of the Freudian struggle between Eros and Thanatos.
Freud in this respect reached a similar conclusion with the Nirvana principle in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, in which he considered Eros and Thanatos alike in their mutual tendency toward relaxation of tension:
The thanatos motif lelds itself well to a reading of a selection of Giordana's films, and here I include Pasolini: un delitto italiano, as, in many, central characters (Peppino, Matteo, Pasolini) die quite brutally.
He fathered three children, one of whom was called Idios-god of libido (also called sexual energy) and Thanatos (also called aggressive tendencies).
It is in such situations that thanatos begins to push its way to the surface.
3) He puts his finger on one of the keys to the question of our fascination with vulgarity and even mutilation, the link between eros and thanatos, or in plain language: sex and death.
In the ancient world, the hideously destructive furies, who are a kind of image of Thanatos or the Death Drive, are converted in Aeschylles' Orestia into the kindly Eumenides: tutelary deities are institutionalised, incorporated within the city, their unspeakably awful terror diverted and turned outwards to protect the city.
In Walker Percy's final novel, The Thanatos Syndrome, the crazy yet truth-saying priest preaches a sermon, proclaiming in part: "Beware, tender hearts
True, Gryllus is a cowardly pig, but he does stop Thanatos, the embodiment of death, from turning the cosmos back into Chaos.
One quickly grows weary of the over-the-top metaphors: the scaffold design, we are told, "appears to have a huge impact on the life and death of cells: for some, Bauhaus is Eros; Pei, Thanatos.
It is a poem about 'sundering', in which human culture appears as thanatos.
Euthanasia is derived from the Greek word eu, meaning "well," and thanatos meaning "death," and early on signified a "good" or "easy" death (Nadeau, 1995).