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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s unforgettable characters, Sherlock Holmes and Dr.
Watson, are a study in contrasts. Holmes, the addict, autodidact, and astute
bohemian, is a perfect foil for Watson, the abstemious, formally educated, dull
doctor. Together, Holmes and Watson represent Doyle’s intrapsychic conflict:
Holmes is the free-spirited (albeit Victorian) id, while Watson is the stodgy
stumbling superego. Doyle resolves this intrapsychic conflict by aligning
(good id) and Watson (superego) against the evil Professor Moriarty (bad id) in
battle of wits (ego). Doyle’s masterpiece memorializes Freud’s tripartite
structural theory of id (instinct), superego (conscience), and ego (intellect) so
skillfully that it seems “elementary.”