By Mulvey's estimation, First Cinema devised the star-system in order to produce ideal egos
in the mold of a more perfect mirror-image; centered in narrative space and time, glamorized actors and actresses play at the roles of "ordinary" people--at once recognized and rnis-recognized by the public they allege to portray.
Therefore, when Gretta gains control of her speech, his ideal ego vanishes only to behold his pure physiognomy, devoid of the idealising glamour he has built up, thus cutting off the narcissistic bond between Gabriel as subject and his ego, which was emphasized by his imaginary external view of the window before delivering his speech after the supper.
It sticks on galoshes, it covers the surface of Dublin, it paves the streets on which the characters walk, and, in the closing paragraph, it both externalizes Gabriel's prospective rebirth after his crisis and covers the whole surface of Ireland in such a transcendental, cosmic manner as to map a paralysed space to be left behind, associated with his dead past and his former ideal ego.
Although Freud uses three distinct terms for the agency that pushes the subject to act ethically--he speaks of the ideal ego (Idealich), ego ideal (Ich-Ideal), and superego (Uberich)--as a rule he conflated the three (he often uses the expression Ichideal oder Idealich (ego ideal or ideal ego), and the title of chapter III of The Ego and the Id is "The Ego and Superego (Ego Ideal)." Next come the Freudian transposed into the Lacanian:
Lacan, however, introduces a precise distinction between these three terms: the "ideal ego" stands for the idealized self-image of the subject (the way I would like to be, I would like others to see me); the ego ideal is the agency whose gaze I try to impress with my ego image, the big Other who watches over me and pushes me to give my best, the ideal I try to follow and actualize; and the superego is this same agency in its vengeful, sadistic, punishing aspect.
The ideal ego is the individual's fabrication of a cohesive self, constructed out of the narcissistic residue of the individuation process gone awry.
The reason individuals inflate their concept of themselves, their ideal ego, is that there is a constant comparison being made with the image of perfection towards which the ego strives, that into which it desires to merge (or reunite).
As of 1996, the first three seminars are available in English translation, providing access to the foundational concepts of Lacan's structural rereading of basic Freudian theory: the registers (the symbolic, the imaginary, and the real) and the elements of subjectivity (the Subject, the ideal ego, the object other, and the Other as the linguistic unconscious).
Schema L illustrates the structure of intersubjectivity and defines the relations of his terms Subject (je), ideal ego (moi), other (as object), and Other (as language).