Freud believed in psychoanalysis which is the theory that people could gain insight by making the unconscious, conscious. Psychoanalysis criticism is the idea that in literature (or movie) the author expresses hidden meanings behind what is happening in the story. Rapunzel from Tangled represents the idea of psychoanalysis through her curiosity of the outside world and through her adventure to find the floating lights.

Rapunzel is obsessed with the idea of seeing the floating lights. She is always watching them from the window in her tower, painting them on the wall, and asking Gothel to go see them. Once Rapunzel is given the opportunity to see them she takes it. This shows her inner desires to rebel against Gothel for always keeping her in the tower and to find her purpose in the outside world of the tower.

When Rapunzel first leaves the tower, she can’t make up her mind that she is making the right decision because she feels guilty. She ends up making the decision to go, with Flynn Rider guiding her. Because Rapunzel was kept in the tower, she wanted to escape her repressed life and wanted to explore the world and be adventurous.


Since psychoanalysis is the idea of bringing insight of one’s unconscious to their conscious mind, Rapunzel finally leaving the tower brings to light her desire to be free. She was always afraid to leave Gothel but now that she has, she realizes how exciting it is. Exploring the outside world makes Rapunzel never want to go back to the tower.

In one scene you see Rapunzel swinging from the trees full of happiness but then sitting on a rock because she feels guilty for wanting to leave the tower. She is fighting with her unconscious and conscious self. She goes back and forth until she finally decides on continue to find the floating lights.

Since Rapunzel is always put down by Gothel it takes her a while to start her adventure. She is uncomfortable with the thought of hurting Gothel. Once she finally decides to continue her journey she becomes comfortable with her choice and not be self conscious because of everything Gothel has always told her.


Over the course of Tangled, Rapunzel is observed to make choices and displays behavior consistent with Freud’s psychoanalysis. The theme emerges as an undertone of the behavior of Rapunzel, and part of the appeal of the story is seeing her battle her own emotions and decisions.