The Jungian Art. The Jungian Persona in Shakespeare's works

"Thou Must be Thyself". A Jungian Shakespeare

Textbook, 2021

225 Pages, Grade: A



The Jungian Art - Psychology Relation

Chapter One
Shakespeare and Jung - A Visionary Connection

Chapter Two
The Jungian Persona
Richard II
1&2Henry IV
Henry V

Chapter Three
Archetypal Patterns of Masculine and
King John
King Lear

Chapter Four
The Concept of Individuation in C.G. Jung
Troilus and Cressida
The Winter’s Tale
Timon of Athens




“I have been compelled, in my investigations into the structure of the unconscious, to make a conceptual distinction between soul and psyche. By psyche I understand the totality of all psychic processes, conscious as well as unconscious. By soul, on the other hand, I understand a clearly demarcated functional complex that can best be described as a “personality“.

Carl Jung

“Shakespeare is not only my Poet, but my Philosopher also. His anatomy of the human heart is delineated from nature , not from metaphysics ; referring immediately to our intuitive sense (...) No author had ever so copious, so bold, so creative an imagination, with so perfect a knowledge of the passions, the humours, and sentiments of mankind. He painted all characters, from heroes and kings, down to inn-keepers and peasants, with equal truth, and equal force. If human nature were quite destroyed, and no monument left of it, except his Works, other Beings might learn what man was, from those writings.”

Elizabeth Griffith

“[P]syche is essentially conflict between blind instinct and will (freedom of choice).”

Carl Jung


The Jungian Art - Psychology Relation

“What can analytical psychology contribute to our fundamental problem, which is the mystery of artistic creation? … Perhaps art has no ‘meaning,’ at least not as we understand meaning… Perhaps it is like nature, which simply is and ‘means’ nothing beyond that. Is ‘meaning’ necessarily more than mere interpretation - an interpretation secreted into something by an intellect hungry for meaning? Art, it has been said, is beauty, and ‘a thing of beauty is a joy forever.’ It needs no meaning, for meaning has nothing to do with art.”

Carl Jung

“It is obvious enough that psychology, being the study of psychic processes, can be brought to bear upon the study of literature, for the human psyche is the womb of all the sciences and arts.”1 In that way Jung defined the relation between psychology and literature: psychology approaches man from a scientific point of view while literature deals with the phenomenon of man from the stand point of art.2 Due to its dramatic quality, “literature enables us not only to observe people other than ourselves but also to enter into their mental universe, to discover what it feels like to be these people and to confront their life situations. We can gain in this way a phenomenological grasp of experience that cannot be derived from theory alone”.3 Along these lines Paris summed up the inter-relation between psychological theory and literature, and the why it should be used in literary analysis:

“Theory provides categories of understanding that help us to recover the intuitions of the great writers about the workings of the human psyche, and these intuitions, once recovered, become part of our conceptual understanding of life. We gain greater insight into human behavior because of the richness of artistic presentation. Even the most sophisticated theories are thin compared to the complex portrayals of characters and relationships that we find in literary masterpieces, and they are thinner yet, of course, when compared with the density of life… great writers have intuitively grasped [this phenomenon] and have presented it in more impressive forms than a psychiatrist can hope to do.”4

These words find their confirmation in Jung’s assumption that “[t]he phenomenology of the psyche is so colorful, so variegated in form and meaning, that we cannot possibly reflect all its riches in one mirror. Nor in our description of it can we ever embrace the whole but must be content to shed light only on single parts of the total phenomenon.”5 In this respect, Jungian criticism seeks to interpret the patterns of literary protagonists’ behavior in terms of Jungian human psyche theories. Its focus is on Jung’s concept of the collective unconscious with archetypal contents which influence both the individual and the collective behavior. Jungian archetypal theory is, therefore, a valuable mode of criticism precisely because it sheds light on both the conscious and unconscious processes taking place within the human mind and in that way provides an additional angle for literary analysis.

The manner in which we relate to a literary text and its characters reflects the way we perceive ourselves and our reality, says Laurie Maguire, and adds: “For the last several decades it has not been fashionable for professional Shakespeareans to talk about Shakespeare characters as if they were real people living real lives.”6 However, to limit our understanding of literary characters to just fiction, i.e. that they do not and cannot have any relation with our objective reality, wishes or passions, means to reduce on purpose the impact that literature might have on us as individuals and, consequently, on our perception of ourselves and the world because literature (and great literary works especially) is all about human beings, human relationships and human experiences.7 This shows why Jungian psychology can be used in the study of literature - it deals with human beings and their struggles, whereas “literature portrays, and is written and read by such people.”8 Actually, psychology, Paris states, can help us understand the behavior and feelings of characters in literature, enriching our knowledge of ourselves and others through an understanding of their inner conflicts and relationships.9 In that regard Maguire notices:

“Actors will tell you they approach Shakespeare’s plays first through character and situation; audiences respond first to character and situation; the daily drama of our lives also revolves around the palpable emotional realities of character and situation. With Shakespeare, as with life, we’re simply trying to get our heads round the thoughts and nature of the woman who rejects a man, the guy who pursues a girl, the father who misunderstands a daughter, the politician who takes a country to war”.10

This interconnectivity of psychology and literature, and art in general, was also stressed by Jung: “Psychology and aesthetics will always have to turn to one another for help, and the one will not invalidate the other. (…) Whether the work of art or the artist himself is in question, both principles are valid in spite of their relativity.”11 Jung himself was misunderstood due to his writing style which, according to Mary Ann Mattoon, was “complicated” because of his “poetic descriptions of the complexities of the psyche”.12 Consequently, she continues in her Preface to the book, “[a]cademic psychologists have had relatively little interest in Jung because he was as much poet as scholar and as much intuitive thinker as empiricist. “13 Along those lines, in a remark made to Miguel Serrano, Jung pointed out that his work “will remain unfinished and only poets, as [he had] said, will be able to understand it and carry it on.”14 Thus, a literary critic has the right to discuss literature from a psychological viewpoint because, since psychology is the study of human psyche, psychologists have to take into account whatever concerns human beings, including literature.15 What Jung is stressing is that there is no point in studying literature if it is not approached from the angle of and in direct relation to human beings and their psyche. James Hillman summed it up in the following manner:

“Jung gave a distinct response to our culture’s most persistent psychological need - from Oedipus to Socrates through Hamlet and Faust - Know Thyself. Not only did Jung take this maxim as the leitmotif of his own life, but he gave us a method by which we may each respond to this fundamental question of self-knowledge.”16

Along these lines, Shakespeare’s constant interest in the concept of self-knowledge and the stress on the search for the self and the dangers and consequences of finding or losing oneself is the link that can be established between the two of them.

Jung’s standpoint that, in their interpretation of texts, literary critics should concentrate on the work of art and not on the artist17 applies perfectly to Shakespeare since there are several theories about Shakespeare’s identity and authorship of his texts.18 Thus, his writings are the only rock-solid evidence that we have as basis for interpretation. Related to the focus on the work of art, Paris summarizes both Shakespeare and Jung when he says:

“The great artist sees and portrays far more than he can comprehend. One of the features of mimetic characters is that they have a life independent of their author and that our understanding of them change, along with our changing conceptions of human nature.”19

To create such a work of art, writers have to be “brilliant individuals [who] instinctively mold their narratives around characters, situations, and dramatic sequences that carry a high “payload” of emotional or spiritual impact. We may well say, in fact, that the greatest creators of literature are those who have the best combination of intuition for invoking major archetypes and skill in manipulating them effectively.”20

In his essay Psychology and Literature Jung asserts that a work of art is something in its own right which possesses integrity and does not need to be bent in order to fit any psychological theory.21 By analyzing Jung and Shakespeare we see that both of them dealt with man and his psyche, only from different points of view – Jung from the scientific and Shakespeare from the artistic angle. Both of them came to the same conclusions – that powerful forces, inexplicable to the human mind, direct or influence our behavior. In that regard, Soellner made the following remark on Shakespeare:

“Although Shakespeare’s great characters are often more passionate or more patient, more virtuous or more infamous, more glorious or more unfortunate than we shall ever be and speak in a language more mighty and splendid than ours, we feel that they are essentially like us.”22

Thus, exploring human nature through the analysis of literary characters is what enables us to link Jung and literature in general, or Jung and Shakespeare, in this case. As Paris said: “We gain greater insight into human behavior because of the richness of artistic presentation.”23 Shakespeare’s dramas are, in fact, literary expressions of some of the main Jungian psychological concepts, such as the archetypes of the persona and of the masculine and feminine, the psychological process of individuation, with the compensatory role of the psyche as a dynamic, self-regulating system. The link between literature and psychology is, therefore, seen in the way in which Shakespeare’s literary characters embody or personify the contents of the human psyche as Jung saw and defined them. In that respect Vyvyan said:

“The imagination naturally projects the archetypes on to individuals, creating dual figures unconsciously. Shakespeare does so deliberately; because he has learnt the art, as distinct from the science, of psychanalysis from medieval poetry. The science of it belongs to the twentieth century; the art was in full flower in the thirteenth.”24

Thus, approaching Shakespeare’s characters from Jungian perspective includes analyzing them as individuals, i.e. as dramatic characters in their own right, but also considering them as unacknowledged, i.e. repressed or unrecognized, parts of the main character’s personality. They have, indeed, their characteristics as individual persons, but for a Jungian analysis their existence as part of the hero’s unconscious is something that cannot be neglected:

“Plays and their characters, like our dreams and their inhabitants, are products of human psyche and have no reality separate from their resonances within its chambers. They imitate, partake of, reflect, and materialize the human mind’s structures, functions, and characteristics – not just the particular minds of the author, his characters, audience, and readers, but mind in its general sense as psyche”.25

Ultimately, the manner to approach and understand Shakespeare, and art in general, can be found in the following Jung’s words:

“[W]e [must] let a work of art act upon us as it acted upon the artist. To grasp its meaning, we must allow it to shape us as it shaped him. Then we also understand the nature of the primordial experience. He has plunged into the healing and redeeming depths of the collective psyche, where man is not lost in the isolation of consciousness and its errors and sufferings, but where all men are caught in a common rhythm which allows the individual to communicate his feelings and strivings to mankind as a whole”.26

Chapter One

Shakespeare and Jung - A Visionary Connection

“Great poetry draws its strength from the life of mankind, and we completely miss its meaning if we try to derive it from personal factors.”

“A great work of art is like a dream, for all its apparent obviousness, it does not explain itself and is always ambiguous.”

Carl Jung

“Inwardness, Shakespeare’s largest legacy to the Western self”.

Herold Bloom

“It is characteristic of a poet that he should have more easy access to the unconscious than the majority, and the greater the poet, the fuller his exploration is likely to be.”27 The link between the opus of Shakespeare and Jung is contained in these words, despite the fact that, according to Driscoll, Jung “had little appreciation of drama as an art form and less of Shakespeare [and the fact that] he did not recognize how closely plays resemble dreams or how well stage metaphors and dramaturgy might convey his conceptions of the ego, the self, and their innumerable roles.”28

Shakespearean dramas, tragedies especially, depict characters who are struggling with their identity and are, therefore, embodiments of inner and outer conflicts. In that sense, the richness of Shakespeare’s characters and their relationships provide great material for psychological analysis:

“Shakespeare is a poet of nature who faithfully represents human nature in his plays. He does not falsify reality. Shakespeare is a poet of nature also because his characters are natural; they act and behave think and speak like human beings. His characters are the faithful representations of humanity. He deals with passions and principles which are common to humanity. He does not merely depict the particular manner and customs of any one country or age. His characters … are above all human beings. So, his characters have a universal appeal. But this does not mean that they do not have any individual qualities.”29

Coppelia Kahn clearly noticed that, while Shakespeare had no formal theory of the unconscious, he possessed extraordinary and sophisticated insight into it.30 Just like Jung, Shakespeare describes the unconscious processes at work stressing thereby its undeniable importance in the functioning of human psyche in general.31 Thus, as Paris noticed, the analyst and the artist often deal with the same phenomena, with the difference that the artist deals with psychological processes in a more concrete manner – he gives artistic shape to observations rather than analyzing them.32 From that perspective, both Jung’s and Shakespeare’s writings can be seen as complementary texts which demonstrate the standpoint that psychological “theory illuminates literature, that literature enriches theory, and that combining theory and literature enhances both our intellectual and our empathic understanding of human behavior.”33

Jung himself was very interested in the process of artistic creation which he considered an autonomous mechanism in the human psyche:

“The creative urge lives and grows in him [the artist] like a tree in the earth from which it draws its nourishment. We would do well, therefore, to think of the creative process as a living thing implanted in the human psyche. In the language of analytical psychology this living thing is an autonomous complex. It is a split-off portion of the psyche, which leads a life of its own outside the hierarchy of consciousness. Depending on its energy charge, it may appear either as a mere disturbance of conscious activities or as a supraordinate activity which can harness to its purpose.”34

Regarding artistic creation, Matthew Fike summed up Jung’s standpoint that there are „two partially overlapping categories of artistic creation: the psychological, which always arises “from the sphere of conscious human experience” and is presumably amenable to medically based critique; and the visionary, which may reflect both the personal unconscious and the elusive realm of the collective unconscious.”35 As Jung stated in his essay On the Relation of Analytical Psychology to Poetry, the result of the first way of creating is a work of art which is based on the artist’s personal experience, i.e. his own personality:

“There are literary works, prose as well as poetry, that spring wholly from the author’s intention to produce a particular result. He submits his material to a definite treatment with a definite aim in view; he adds to it and subtracts from it, emphasizing one effect, toning down another (…) all the time carefully considering the over-all result and paying strict attention to the laws of form and style. He exercises the keenest judgment and chooses his words with complete freedom. His material is entirely subordinated to his artistic purpose; he wants to express this and nothing else.”36

This way of artistic creation, however, does not satisfy Jung’s view of exploring and using full artistic potential since, in such works of art, “[t]here is nothing left for the psychologist to do (...) No obscurity surrounds them, for they fully explain themselves in their own terms (...) Even the psychic raw material, the experiences themselves, have nothing strange about them; on the contrary, they have been known from the beginning of time-passion and its fated outcome, human destiny and its sufferings, eternal nature with its beauty and horror.”37

Contrary to the works produced in such a manner, there are artistic works created in the way that the author is simply a means though which something greater than himself speaks:

“These works positively force themselves upon the author; his hand is seized, his pen writes things that his mind contemplates with amazement. The work brings with it its own form; anything he wants to add is rejected, and what he himself would like to reject is thrust back at him. While his conscious mind stands amazed and empty before this phenomenon, he is overwhelmed by a flood of thoughts and images which he never intended to create and which his own will could never have brought into being. Yet in spite of himself he is forced to admit that it is his own self speaking, his own inner nature revealing itself and uttering things which he would never have entrusted to his tongue. He can only obey the apparently alien impulse within him and follow where it leads, sensing that his work is greater than himself, and wields a power which is not his and which he cannot command. Here the artist is not identical with the process of creation; he is aware that he is subordinate to his work or stands outside it”.38

This type of the work of art has a life of its own independently from the artist’s conscious intentions and wishes.39 Its origin and source are outside the writer’s individual psyche40 and its meaning continues to interest the generations to come. In this process, a work of literature clearly reflects some aspects of the writer’s life but it also transcends the personal:

“The personal psychology of the artist may explain many aspects of his work, but not the work itself. And if ever it did explain his work successfully, the artist’s creativity would be revealed as a mere symptom. (…) The essence of a work of art is not to be found in the personal idiosyncrasies that creep into it - indeed, the more there are of them, the less it is a work of art - but in rising above the personal and speaking from the mind and heart of mankind. The personal aspect of art is a limitation”.41

On the other hand, “re-immersion in the state of participation mystique is the secret of artistic creation and of the effect which great art has upon us, for at that level of experience it is no longer the weal or the woe of the individual that counts but the life of the “collective”. That is why every great work of art is objective and impersonal, and yet profoundly moving. And that is why the personal life of the artist is at most a help or a hindrance but is never essential to his creative task.”42 Thus, the artist cannot exclude the influence from both the personal psyche 43 and the collective unconscious 44 in the creative process, so that we can safely say that a work of art is a product of the influence of both.

Regarding Jung’s view of Shakespeare as a visionary artist, James Kirsch says the following:

“He [Jung] made several points in regard to Shakespeare: one that it would be impossible to discover Shakespeare’s own individuation in his plays; two, that although one certainly would find all sorts of archetypes and archetypal patterns in his plays, this fact would not contribute very much to the understanding of the phenomenon Shakespeare; and three, that God spoke with Shakespeare and Shakespeare spoke with God.”45

In respect to “God” it seems that both Jung and Shakespeare’s referred to and understood the term in a very similar way. As far as Jung is concerned, it is important to mention that he makes references to God, as such usually understood as a Transcendent Metaphysical Being, as well as to the God-image or God-archetype. In that regard, David Tacey points out that, for Jung, “God” means an ultimate and unknowable reality. Jung treated “God” with respect not just because of its historical and religious significance and meaning but also because he was aware that there is more to life than meets the eye. So, he believed in the existence of the ultimate and metaphysical reality, but was, however, skeptical about our ability to know it. Jung’s complex position, Tacey concludes, is that, even though we cannot find scientific proof for the existence of God, we have intuition and feelings which confirm God’s reality at another level, since it stands outside of reason. Jung, is, therefore, gnostic in the positive sense of ‘one who knows God’, with a contradiction that he as a scientist cannot assert this knowledge and thus remains agnostic.46 Walter Shelbourne, on the other hand, understands Jung’s positive personal view of “God’s” existence as evidence that he is not agnostic47 and quotes the following words of Jung:

“All that I have learned has led me step by step to an unshakable conviction of the existence of God. I only believe in what I know. And that eliminates believing. Therefore, I do not take His existence on belief – I know that He exists.”48

Despite these opposing interpretations and Jung’s statements such as this one, it is of utmost importance to stress that, throughout his writings, what Jung remained constant to was that he was not interested in dealing with a metaphysical reality of God:

“About God himself I have asserted nothing, because according to my premise nothing whatever can be asserted about God himself. All such assertions refer to the psychology of the God-image. Their validity is therefore never metaphysical but only psychological. All my assertions, reflections, discoveries, etc. have not the remotest connection with theology but are, as I have said, only statements about psychological facts.”49

Thus, his use of ‘God’ actually refers to a “psychological” God, i.e. God as archetype, as opposed to an “absolute” God50:

“An archetype - so far as we can establish it empirically - is an image. An image, as the very term denotes, is a picture of something. An archetypal image is like the portrait of an unknown man in a gallery. His name, his biography, his existence in general are unknown, but we assume nevertheless that the picture portrays a once “living subject”, a man who was “real”. We find numberless “images of God”, but we cannot produce the “original”. There is no doubt in my mind that there is an “original” behind our images, but it is inaccessible.”51

Such a God, that is, the God within us that, according to Coward, is the archetype of Self that emerges through the “individuation process”52, is real for Jung since, as such, it is part of the human psyche53:

“The idea of God is an absolutely necessary psychological function of an irrational nature, which has nothing whatever to do with the question of God's existence. The human intellect can never answer this question, still less give any proof of God. Moreover, such proof is superfluous, for the idea of an all-powerful divine Being is present everywhere, unconsciously if not consciously, because it is an archetype. There is in the psyche some superior power (…). I therefore consider it wiser to acknowledge the idea of God consciously; for, if we do not, something else is made God (...). Our intellect has long known that we can form no proper idea of God, much less picture to ourselves in what manner he really exists, if at all. The existence of God is once and for all an unanswerable question.”54

Along the same lines Shakespeare thinks as well. Apart from the fact that he wrote plays which take place in the pre-Christian era in which he mentions the pantheon of the ancient gods, his plays also contain references to God in the religious sense of Christianity. However, in both cases, we are left with the impression that such evocations are mainly for emphasis’s sake, as a manner of speech of the characters in emotionally-charged, numinous situations rather than an expression of some true internal religious belief in externally -existent divine Being(s). References of that sort can be found, for example, in Henry V where the future King uses God as a motivation asset to convince his men to follow him in battle, or as an ornament in the list of praise-worthy inclinations in 2 Henry VI:

“Follow your spirit: and upon this charge, Cry ‘God for Harry! England and Saint George!’55

(Henry V, 3.i, 69-70)

“God shall be my hope, my stay, my guide and lantern to my feet”.56

(2 Henry VI, 2.iii, 25-26)

The gods or God are not perceived by Shakespeare’s characters as direct external motivators of their actions, which is where we can catch a link with Jung. Shakespeare’s heroes, especially the ones in his tragedies, are internally motivated and driven by some inner force which dictates or greatly influences their conduct and life. That is Jung’s psychological God, i.e. the power of the archetype: “Archetypes are complexes of experience that come upon us like fate, and their effects are felt in our most personal life”57, says Jung. This statement reflects perfectly the psychological state of the great majority of Shakespeare's characters – fate, destiny, stars, nature, fortune, providence, wheel - all of them are very frequent concepts in Shakespearean dramas, and are all linked to the pathos and the inner drive of the characters that mention them. In that regard Jung’s observation that “[t]he psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate “58 is reflected more than once in Shakespeare’s dramas. In Julius Caesar, Cassius famously says to Brutus:

„Men at some time are masters of their fates: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings. “59

(Julius Caesar, 1.ii, 140-143)

In Hamlet, Hamlet says to Horacio:

„There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will “.60

(Hamlet, 5.ii, 10-11)

“[B]lessed are those

Whose blood and judgment are so well commingled,

That they are not a pipe for Fortune’s finger

To sound what stop she please. Give me that man

That is not passion’s slave, and I will wear him

In my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of heart,

As I do thee.”61

(Hamlet, 3.ii, 61-67)

Lady Macbeth in Macbeth says:

„That I may pour my spirits in thine ear

And chastise with the valor of my tongue

All that impedes thee from the golden round,

Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem

To have thee crowned withal “.62

(Macbeth, 1.v, 13-17)

„O, I am fortune’s fool! “63, says Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, (3.i, 98).

These are only some of the examples of characters who lack true introspection and knowledge of themselves and, therefore, knowledge of the genuine and actual cause of events. In line with Jung’s quotation above, their inner conflicts have not been recognized as such and, therefore, everything that happens to them is blamed on external factors. The power of the archetype not dealt with or not recognized, which, consequently, holds a firm grip on the protagonist, Shakespeare presents as Fatum or fatalism. That can also be seen in King Lear in Kent’s and Glouchester’s words, respectively:

„It is the stars, The stars above us, govern our conditions. “64

(King Lear, 4.iii, 33)

“As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods.

They kill us for their sport.”65

(King Lear, 4.i, 41-42)

In Twelfth Night, Sebastian says to Antonio:

„My stars shine darkly over me: the malignancy of my fate might perhaps distemper yours; therefore I shall crave of you your leave that I may bear my evils alone.“66

(Twelfth Night, 2.i, 3-6)

The Player King in Hamlet says:

„Our wills and fates do so contrary run That our devices still are overthrown; Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own. “67

(Hamlet, 3.ii, 199-201)

In Henry V, Pistol says to Fluellen:

„Fortune is painted blind, with a mufler afore her eyes, to signify to you that Fortune is blind; and she is apinted also with a wheel to signify to you, which is the morel of it,that she is turning and inconstant, and mutability and variation; and her foot, look you is fixed on a spherical stone which rolls and rolls and rolls.“68

(Henry V,, 26-34)

Just like in Jung’s definition of archetypes, Shakespeare describes this overpowering, ever-present, inconsistent force that annihilates the power of the ego by the mere fact that the rational ego-consciousness69 is not aware that its decisions are influenced or led by the unconscious forces of the archetype: “Indeed, the fate of the individual is largely dependent on unconscious factors”70, says Jung, and continues:

“Who could say in earnest that his fate and life have been the result of his conscious planning alone? Have we a complete picture of the world? Millions of conditions are in reality beyond our control. (…) Individuals who believe they are masters of their own fate are as a rule slaves of destiny.”71

Following that line of thought, Shakespeare seems to stress the importance of self-knowledge, self-development, the individuation process and the archetype of Self. As Helena in All's Well that Ends Well says:

„Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, Which we ascribe to heaven: the fated sky Gives us free scope, only doth backward pull Our slow designs when we ourselves are dull. “72

(All's Well that Ends Well, 1.i, 219-222)

Iago in Othello famously confirms this stance:

“'Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus. Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners.

(...) [E]ither to have it sterile with idleness, or manured with industry – why, the power and corrigible authority of this lies in our wills.”73

(Othello, 1.iii, 307-309; 313-316)

Along these lines Bloom concludes that Hamlet, Iago, Edmund, Lear, Edgar, Macbeth, and Cleopatra are „[t]respassers defiant of formal and societal overdeterminations, they give the sense that all plot is arbitrary, whereas personality, however daemonic, is transcendent, and is betrayed primarily by what's within. They have an interior to journey out from, even if they cannot always get back to their innermost recesses. And they never are reduced to their fates; they are more, much more, than what happens to them. There is a substance to them that prevails; the major Shakespearean protagonists have souls that cannot be extinguished.“74

It is true that, throughout Jung’s work, his references to Shakespeare are scarce, but according to Tubbs, Jung had no doubt that Shakespeare was the greatest playwright of all time.75 Wellek and Warren place Shakespeare beside Milton, James, Eliot, Poe and Dostoevsky as writers who were “combining an obsessively held vision of life with a conscious, precise care for presentation of that vision.”76 That means that, as Jung said, every artist also needs to be a craftsman if he wants to produce a work of art:

“The creative process, so far as we are able to follow it at all, consists in the unconscious activation of an archetypal image, and in elaborating and shaping this image into the finished work. By giving it shape, the artist translates it into the language of the present, and makes it possible for us to find our way back to the deepest springs of life.”77

Driscoll writes along the same lines:

“There are two separate Shakespeares: the dramatist and the poet – the early Shakespeare mastering the theater and its craft, and the later Shakespeare supreme master of the theater moving on to become supreme master of visionary poetry. (…) None would deny that Hotspur, Caesar, Polonius, Rosalind and Sir Toby Belch imitate general nature in a very life like manner. But what about Falstaff, Hamlet, Othello, Iago, Macbeth, Cleopatra and Coriolanus? Do they take on a life of their own so fully that we do their creator in injustice to call them good “imitations”?”78

The effect of Shakespeare’s tragedies on us resonates in Jung’s words on the effects that the visionary mode of creation has on us: “We are reminded of nothing in everyday life, but rather of dreams, night-time fears, and the dark, uncanny recesses of the human mind.”79 In that regard, literature, as Rogers-Gardner says, becomes more than an aesthetically and intellectually pleasing arrangement of words and becomes an avenue into the collective unconscious, healing the soul by providing catharsis and acting as a means of uniting the outer and inner world.80 Thus, Shakespeare gave a poetic form to Jung’s standpoint that through artistic creation, we recognize and bring the contents of the personal and collective unconscious into consciousness; consequently, art represents the process of self-regulation in life81.

As far as archetypes are concerned, Jung gave several definitions and explanations, being himself aware that it is a source of misinterpretation and confusion. One of the most concise definitions of the concept is the one that “he never maintained that the archetype in itself is an image, but [that he] regard[s] it as a modus without definite content.“82 That means that “[a]rchetypes are, by definition, factors and motifs that arrange the psychic elements into certain images, characterized as archetypal, but in such a way that they can be recognized only from the effects they produce. They exist preconsciously, and presumably they form the structural dominants of the psyche in general. (...) As a priori conditioning factors they represent a special, psychological instance of the biological “pattern of behaviour “ (...) Empirically considered, however, the archetype did not ever come into existence as a phenomenon of organic life, but entered into the picture with life itself.”83

His definitions of archetypes have, therefore, been a constant topic of interpretation by the Post-Jungians in the attempt to provide a more solid and more unified explanation of the term. Alex Aronson defined archetypes as “neither “personalities” nor “images” unless they are rendered visible through art or dreams or spontaneous hallucinations. They can be known only through an effort of the conscious mind. It is, indeed, part of their paradoxical nature that they remain invisible until, quite literally, they are “brought to light” by consciousness.”84 Vannoy Adams was more detailed in dealing with the concept:

“Jung defined “archetype” in different ways at different times. Sometimes, he spoke of archetypes as if they were images. Sometimes, he distinguished more precisely between archetypes as unconscious forms devoid of any specific content and archetypal images as the conscious contents of those forms. (...) Many non-Jungians erroneously believe that what Jung means by archetypes are innate ideas. Jung expressly repudiates any such notion. Archetypes are purely formal, categorical, ideational potentialities that must be actualized experientially. According to Jung (CW 10), they are only “innate possibilities of ideas.”... Although archetypes “do not produce any contents of themselves, they give definite form to contents that have already been acquired” through experience (CW 10, pp. 10–11). (...) “It is necessary to point out once more,” Jung says (CW 9.i, p. 79), “that archetypes are not determined as regards their content, but only as regards their form and then only to a very limited degree.” An archetype “is determined as to its content only when it has become conscious and is therefore filled out with the material of conscious experience.” By contents, Jung means images. Archetypes, as forms, are merely possibilities of images. What is consciously experienced – and then imaged – is unconsciously informed by archetypes. A content, or image, has an archetypal, or typical, form.” The archetype is an abstract theme ([e.g.] engulfment), and the archetypal images ([e.g.] whale, witch, wolf, ogre, dragon, etc.) are concrete variations on that theme.”85

Mathew Fike’s insight was also helpful when he said that Jung made “distinctions between archetype (potentiality), archetypal image (a cultural accretion), and symbol (an image with multiple meanings).”86 In other words, the difference between an archetype and an archetypal image/idea87 is in the following:

“[A]rchetype is to the potential for representation as archetypal image/idea is to actual representation. One is a sort of image or idea-making capacity; the other is an actual created image or idea in consciousness, visual art or literary text.”88

Thus, literature, according to Fike, is the product of a writer’s response to archetypes and, in turn, it activates archetypes within the reader89, which is why we find Shakespeare’s texts so fascinating up to this day. Among all of Shakespeare’s writings, the tragedies are widely accepted as the most popular, i.e. fascinating texts. If anything is evident in them it is the fact that the hero’s conscious intentions have proven powerless in relation to the power of irrational, i.e. of the unconscious.90 Decisions belong to the sphere of ego-consciousness whereas instincts91 reside in the deep spheres unknown to ratio. That can explain the difficulties that both readers and critics have when they cannot explain with certainty why characters act or think the way they do. Since reasons, causes and intentions are rational categories, they are insufficient in terms of providing such explanations. This is the reason why the implementation of Jung’s theory of archetypes and the existence of the unconscious as categories autonomous92 from the ratio can prove very useful for providing a deeper insight into Shakespeare’s characters and their behavior.

Shakespeare’s opinion on creativity coincides with Jung’s, who attributes all creative functions to the unconscious:

„Since it is a characteristic of the psyche not only to be the source of all productivity but, more especially, to express itself in all activities and achievements of the human mind, we can nowhere grasp the nature of psyche per se but can meet it only in its various manifestations. (...) It makes no difference whether the artist knows that his work is generated, grows and matures within him, or whether he imagines that it is his own invention. In reality, it grows out of him as a child its mother. The creative process has a feminine quality, and the creative work arises from unconscious depths - we might truly say from the realm of the Mothers. Whenever the creative force predominates, life is ruled and shaped by the unconscious rather than by the conscious will, and the ego is swept along on an underground current, becoming nothing more than a helpless observer of events. The progress of the work becomes the poet’s fate and determines his psychology. It is not Goethe that creates Faust, but Faust that creates Goethe. “93

Shakespeare’s lines about poet and art in A Midsummer Night’s Dream practically reflect Jung’s opinion of the artist and the process of artistic creation94:

“And as imagination bodies forth The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing A local habitation and a name.”95

(A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 5.i, 14-17)

It is evident that for both of them the source of poetry and artistic creation in general is, as Garber says, located on the other side of human consciousness which is from the ego’s perspective of objective reality, a non-existent reality, i.e. a “nothing” until the artist gives it objective shape. Thus, “the forms of the things unknown” equate the Jungian archetypes and are “the raw material of poetic vision”, while the “shapes” denote archetypal images or their symbolic representation.96 Driscoll is of the same opinion regarding the unconscious and its contents, as well as its influence on the artistic creation:

“Since he [the artist] lives closer to both the archetypal realm and the zeitgeist than do ordinary men who, circumscribed by their social functions, are confined to life’s surface, the artist can directly apprehend the (…) psychic forces he encounters and translate his visions into art form thus the poetical character makes archetypal visions accessible to all men. (…) [B]ecause the artist can speak the language of dreams directly through image and symbol, he enjoys a peculiar power to create myths and identities that possess an archetypal import and fascination that philosophical reasoning cannot equal.”97

According to Kirsch, analytical psychology is especially interested in drama since “[e]very longer dream is a fully developed drama, and theatrical drama satisfies us best when it places on stage those inner conflicts which have been going on eternally in the human heart.”98 Coursen finds another link between dreams and dramas by stating that “Jung links dream to drama, a kind of play conducted by the various personalities within us, a play obviously not directed by consciousness, but propelled onto the inner stage of our sleeping both by repression of conscious content, on the level of what Jung calls the “personal unconscious”, and by a deeper human system of intention that Jung, of course, calls “the collective unconscious”.”99 Thus, drama as a form of artistic creation can, according to Kirsch, be linked to the Jung’s method of active imagination100 whose aim is to bring the unconscious material into consciousness and is, therefore, one of the key concepts according to Jung which relates to artists and artistic creation:

“In order to clarify certain problems, contents of the unconscious are personified and dramatically confronted with each other. Discussions and interactions occur between and among such imaginary figures who, though they move with a certain autonomy, are experienced as being part of one’s own psyche.”101

It seems that Shakespeare thinks along the same lines when he sees the poet in the following manner:

“Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend More than cool reason ever comprehends. The lunatic, the lover, and the poet Are of imagination all compact.”102

(A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 5.i, 4-8)

Driscoll noticed that creative imagination acts as a healing process through dreams and art which give the individual a metastance to his tragic experiences from which he can mature toward wholeness. He must, however, pass through tragedy by conquering tragic fear before he can reach metastance. When fear and the fearful ego’s narrow, defensive rationalism dissolve, the creative imagination is free to draw upon the wisdom of the whole self-grounded in unus mundus.103 Thus, the conscious ego104, as Jung defined it, cannot possess the entire truth about the reality because the Self exceeds the ego105, and imagination makes the ego aware of it. The transformation through creative imagination shows why Shakespeare uses dramas and the stage not as metaphors for the world and life but for our knowledge of the world.106 Garber noticed something along these lines when she stated that “[t]he availability of art as an ultimate form of transformation, a palpable marriage of dream and reason, emerges as a logical extension of the recognized dream state.”107

In his plays Shakespeare dramatized the struggle for psychic balance in which the contents of the unconscious are of utmost importance, thereby making us aware, just as Jung does, of the significance of that balance:

“[W]hen an individual or a social group deviates too far from their instinctual foundations, they then experience the full impact of unconscious forces. The collaboration of the unconscious is intelligent and purposive, and even when it acts in opposition to consciousness its expression is still compensatory in an intelligent way, as if it were trying to restore the lost balance.”108

Apart from imagination, Jung considers dream and vision the means which enable contact with the unconscious. These three concepts are constantly present in Shakespeare’s opus. Jung also linked art to dream, although dream lacks the logic, morality, form, consistency, and sense of great art, says Rogers-Gardner.109 Marjorie Garber summed up the meaning of dreams in Shakespeare’s plays:

“Dreams could reflect the present or the past or they could predict the future. They could be signs of guilt or of a guilty conscience, or they could be caused by demons or bewitchment. It’s notable that every one of these types of dreams and dream interpretations shows up somewhere in Shakespeare’s plays.”110

Garber noticed that Shakespeare’s dream-world reflects the antinomy of dream and reason. Since the phantasies of dreams, the hallucinations of the insane and the illusions of the waking all come from the same source, i.e. the unconscious, the world of dreams is acknowledged as considerably broader than the ratio sphere. Thus the ambiguity of individual dream symbols – they may mean a number of things depending on the character himself as well as the situation in the play.111 This means that a dream cannot have an objective meaning, i.e. a meaning defined in advance, valid at all times for everyone, but that it always has a subjective meaning which relates to that specific dreamer and his specific life situation. As Jung said:

“[Even though there are dreams and symbols that are typical, i.e. that repeat themselves frequently] it is plain foolishness to believe in ready-made systematic guides to dream interpretation, as if one could simply buy a reference book and look up a particular symbol. No dream symbol can be separated from the individual who dreams it, and there is no definite or straightforward interpretation in any dream. Each individual varies so much in the way that his unconscious complements or compensates his conscious mind that it is impossible to be sure how far dreams and their symbols can be classified at all.”112

Thus, symbols are the language of dreams, and that language our consciousness does not understand. Dreams, however, do not deliberately disguise themselves, says Jung, but simply reflect “the deficiencies in our understanding of emotionally charged pictorial language. For in our daily experience, we need to state things as accurately as possible, and we have learned to discard the trimmings of fantasy both in our language and in our thoughts - thus losing a quality that is still characteristic of the primitive mind.”113 Unlike Freud, Jung was of the opinion that dreams neither lie nor disguise anything but merely express what is unknown to the ego-consciousness: “To me dreams are part of nature which harbors no intention to deceive but expresses something as best it can”114 ; they “do not conceal something already known, or express it under a disguise, but try rather to formulate an as yet unconscious fact as clearly as possible.”115


1 Jung. The Spirit in Man, Art and Literature. CW 15. Translated by R.F.C. Hull. Ed. Sir Herbert Read, Michael Fordham, and Gerhard Adler. Bollingen Series XX, Princeton University Press, 1971, par. 133

2 Jung discussed the relation between psychology and art in general saying that the connection between the two “arise from the fact that the practice of art is a psychological activity and, as such, can be approached from a psychological angle. Considered in this light, art, like any other human activity deriving from psychic motives, is a proper subject for psychology. (…) Only that aspect of art which consists in the process of artistic creation can be a subject for psychological study, but not that which constitutes its essential nature. The question of what art is in itself can never be answered by a psychologist, but must be approached from the side of aesthetics.” The Spirit in Man, Art and Literature. CW 15, par. 97

3 Paris, Bernard J. Imagined Human Beings: A Psychological Approach to Character and Conflict in Literature. New York University Press, New York, 1997, p. 6

4 Ibid, p. 6

5 Jung. Psychology and Literature in The Spirit in Man, Art and Literature. Translated by R.F.C. Hull, Routledge, 2003, p. 99

6 Maguire, Laurie. Where There's a Will There's a Way: Or, All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Shakespeare. A Perigee Book. Published by Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2006, p. 2

7 Paris. Imagined Human Beings: A Psychological Approach to Character and Conflict in Literature, p. 5-6

8 Ibid , p. 3

9 Ibid, p. 2

10 Maguire. Where There's a Will There's a Way: Or, All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Shakespeare, p. 3

11 Jung. The Spirit in Man, Art and Literature. CW 15, par. 135

12 Mattoon, Mary Ann. Jung and the Human Psyche: An Understandable Introduction. Routledge, London and New York, 2005, p. 12

13 Ibid, Preface, p. x

14 Serrano quoted Jung in Nos: Book of the Resurrection. Trans. Gela Jacobson in collaboration with the author. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1984, p. 65

15 Jung. Psychology and Literature in The Spirit in Man, Art and Literature, p. 100-103

16 Hillman, James. Healing Fiction. Woodstock: Spring Publication, 1983, p. 53

17 Jung elaborates this standpoint in his essay On the Relation of Analytical Psychology to Poetry

18 The Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere, Sir Frances Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, to name a few mentioned in No Fear Shakespeare: A Companion, Spark Publishing, New York, 2007, p. 31-37

19 Paris, Bernard J. Bargains with Fate, Psychological Crises and Conflicts in Shakespeare and His Plays. Insight Books, Springer Science - Business Media, LLC, New York, 1991, p. 9

20 Russo, Joseph. A Jungian analysis of Homer’s Odysseus in The Cambridge Companion to Jung. Cambridge University Press, 2008, p. 254

21 Jung. Psychology and Literature in The Spirit in Man, Art and Literature, p. 103-117

22 Soellner, Rolf . Shakespeare's Patterns of Self-Knowledge.Ohio State University Press, 1972, p. 258

23 Paris. Imagined Human Beings: A Psychological Approach to Character and Conflict in Literature, p. 6

24 Vyvyan, John. The Shakespearean Ethic. Shepheard – Walwyn (Publishers) Ltd., 2013, p. 155

25 Driscoll, James P. Identity in Shakespearean Drama. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 1983, p. 182

26 Tacey, David. Ed. The Jung Reader. Routledge, London and New York, 2012, par. 161

27 Vyvyan, John. The Shakespearean Ethic. Shepheard – Walwyn (Publishers) Ltd., 2013, p. 156

28 Driscoll, James P. Identity in Shakespearean Drama. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 1983, p. 183

29 Khan, Mohammad Ehsanul Islam. Vividness of human nature in Shakespeare: An Introduction, International Journal of Applied Research. 2015; 1(2): 21-24, p.22

30 Kahn, Coppelia. Man's Estate: Masculine Identity in Shakespeare. University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California, 1981, p. 1

31 “[Shakespeare’s] dramas are innermost plays which mean ‘psychodramas’ with much of the momentous action stirring within the souls of the characters. And he looks at the human mind in the round; not merely ordinary rational waking consciousness, but also reverie, insanity, apparition, convulsions, and intensity of passion. He is concerned in nonstandard psychology (so-called) as much as the normal kind”, says Khan in Vividness of human nature in Shakespeare: An Introduction, p. 24

32 Paris, Bernard J. Bargains with Fate, Psychological Crises and Conflicts in Shakespeare and His Plays. Insight Books, Springer Science - Business Media, LLC, New York, 1991 , p. 5

33 Ibid , p. 6

34 Tjeu van den Berk quoted Jung in Jung on Art: The Autonomy of the Creative Drive. Psychology Press. Hove and New York, 2012, p. 30-31

35 Fike, Matthew A. A Jungian Study of Shakespeare, The Visionary Mode. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2009, p. 15, emphasise mine

36 Jung. The Spirit in Man, Art and Literature. CW 15. Translated by R.F.C. Hull. Ed. Sir Herbert Read, Michael Fordham, and Gerhard Adler. Bollingen Series XX, Princeton University Press, 1971, par. 109

37 Ibid, par. 140

38 Ibid, par. 110

39 Terence Dawson also dealth breafly with this distinction: „In ‘Psychology and Literature’ (1930), Jung expands on his distinction between two modes of artistic creation: between “psychological” works, whose psychological implications are fully explained by the author, and “visionary” works that are not under the author’s conscious control, but have been dictated by an “alien will” (CW 15, p. 84) and thus, somewhat confusingly, “demand” a psychological commentary (CW 15, p. 91). He has no interest in the former; he does not think that analytical psychology can add anything to an understanding of such works. It is only “visionary” works, which arise from the “timeless depths” of the psyche and “[burst] asunder our human standards of value and aesthetic form” (CW 15,p. 90) that merit psychological interpretation.“, The Cambridge Companion to Jung. Literary criticism and analytical psychology. Cambridge University Press, 2008, p. 271-272

40 The origin of „the visionary literature“ Jung defined in the following manner: „The experience that furnishes the material for artistic expression is no longer familiar. It is something strange that derives its existence from the hinterland of man’s mind, as if it had emerged from the abyss of prehuman ages, or from a superhuman world of contrasting light and darkness. It is a primordial experience of the unconscious which surpasses man’s understanding and to which in his weakness he may easily succumb. (...) Sublime, pregnant with meaning, yet chilling the blood with its strangeness, it arises from timeless depths; glamourous, daemonic, and grotesque, it bursts asunder our human standards of value and aesthetic form, a terrifying tangle of eternal chaos (...). On the other hand, it can be a revelation whose heights and depths are beyond our fathoming, or a vision of beauty which we can never put into words. (...) [T]he primordial experiences rend from top to bottom the curtain upon which is painted the picture of an ordered world, and allow a glimpse into the unfathomable abyss of [the unconscious] the unborn and of things yet to be. Is it a vision of other worlds, or of the darknesses of the spirit, or of the primal beginnings of the human psyche? We cannot say that it is any or none of these.“ , Jung. The Spirit in Man, Art and Literature. CW 15, par. 141

41 Ibid, par. 134 & par. 156

42 Ibid , par. 162

43 „The personal unconscious contains lost memories, painful ideas that are repressed (i.e., forgotten on purpose), subliminal perceptions, by which are meant sense-perceptions that were not strong enough to reach consciousness, and finally, contents that are not yet ripe for consciousness.“, Jung. On the Psychology of the Unconscious in Two eaasys on Analytical Psychology, Second edition. Translated by R.F.C. Hull, Routledge, London, 1999, p. 66.

44 „In contrast to the personal unconscious, which is a relatively thin layer immediately below the threshold of consciousness, the collective unconscious shows no tendency to become conscious under normal conditions, nor can it be brought back to recollection by any analytical technique, since it was never repressed or forgotten. The collective unconscious is not to be thought of as a self-subsistent entity; it is no more than a potentiality handed down to us from primordial times in the specific form of mnemonic images or inherited in the anatomical structure of the brain. There are no inborn ideas, but there are inborn possibilities of ideas that set bounds to even the boldest fantasy and keep our fantasy activity within certain categories: a priori ideas, as it were, the existence of which cannot be ascertained except from their effects.“ , Jung. The Spirit in Man, Art and Literature. CW 15, par. 126

45 Lucy Loraine Tubbs quotes James Kirsch in Responses to the Jungian Archetypal Feminine in King Lear, Hamlet, Othello, and Romeo and Juliet. Baylor University, 2010, p. 190

46 Tacey, David. The Darkening Spirit: Jung, spirituality, religion. Routledge. London and New York. 2013. Chapter 3 – Jung's conception of God

47 Shelburne, Walter A. Mythos and Logos in the Thought of Carl Jung . The Theory of the Collective Unconscious in Scientific Perspective. State University of New York Press, Albany,1988, p. 77

48 Ibid, p. 77

49 C.G. Jung. Letters, Vol. I 1906-1950. Ed. G. Adler in collaboration with A. Jaffe. Trans. R. Hull. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973, p. 294

50 Shelburne quoted Jung in Mythos and Logos in the Thought of Carl Jung. The Theory of the Collective Unconscious in Scientific Perspective, p. 77

51 The Quotable Jung. Collected and Edited by Judith R. Harris. With the collaboration of Tony Wolfson. Princeton University Press. Princeton New Jersey, 2016, p. 15-16

52 Coward, Harold G. Jung and Eastern Thought. State University of New York Press. Albany, 1985, p. 180

53 Michael Palmer summed up Jung’s notion of ‘God’ in the following manner: “God exists, therefore, as a psychic reality, as a fundamental and psychologically demonstrable factor in human experience; and all that Jung is concerned with is the fact of this phenomenon, with the undeniable reality of this psychological condition.”, Freud and Jung on Religion. Routledge London and New York, 1997, p. 127

54 Jung. Two Essays in Analytical Psychology. CW 7. Second Edition. Translated by R. F. C. Hull. Princeton University Press. 1966, par. 110

55 Shakespeare . Henry V,

56 Shakespeare. Henry VI, Part 2,

57 Jung. Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. CW 9. Part 1. Second Edition. Translated by R.F.C. Hull. Ed. Sir Herbert Read, Michael Fordham, and Gerhard Adler. Bollingen Series XX, Princeton University Press, 1968, par. 62

58 Jung. Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self. CW 9. Part 2. Second Edition.Translated by R. F. C. Hull. Ed. Sir Herbert Read, Michael Fordham, and Gerhard Adler. Bollingen Series XX, Princeton University Press, 1968, par. 126

59 Shakespeare. Julius Caesar,

60 Shakespeare . Hamlet,

61 Shakespeare . Hamlet,

62 Shakespeare . Macbeth,

63 Shakespeare . Romeo and Juliet,

64 Shakespeare . King Lear,

65 Shakespeare . King Lear,

66 Shakespeare . Twelfth Night,

67 Shakespeare . Hamlet,

68 Shakespeare . Henry V,

69 “By consciousness I understand the relation of psychic contents to the ego … in so far as this relation is perceived as such by the ego. Relations to the ego that are not perceived as such are unconscious. … Consciousness is the function or activity which maintains the relation of psychic contents to the ego. Consciousness is not identical with the psyche (v. Soul), because the psyche represents the totality of all psychic contents, and these are not necessarily all directly connected with the ego, i.e., related to it in such a way that they take on the quality of consciousness. A great many psychic complexes exist which are not all necessarily connected with the ego.” Jung. Psychological Types. CW 6. Translated by H. G. Baynes. Revised by R. F. C. Hull. Ed. Sir Herbert Read, Michael Fordham, and Gerhard Adler. Bollingen Series XX, Princeton University Press, 1976, par. 700 Mary Ann Mattoon defines the ego as “the center of consciousness – initiator, director and observer of one’s conscious experiences. (…) As the center of consciousness, a well-functioning ego perceives reality accurately and differentiates the outer world from the inner images. (…) The true ego is not the “big” ego: arrogant, self-absorbed. (…) Such an ego is often unable to deal with such challenges in a constructive manner. (…) In contrast, healthy ego can be modest, tolerate criticism and function well.” Jung and the Human Psyche: An Understandable Introduction. Routledge, London and New York, 2005, p. 19-20

70 Jung. The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious. CW 9. Part 1, par. 504

71 Edward Edinger quoted Jung in The New God-image: A Study of Jung's Key Letters Concerning the Evolution of the Western God Image. Chiron Publications. 1996, p. 136-137

72 Shakespeare . All's Well that Ends Well,

73 Shakespeare . Othello,

74 Bloom, Harold. Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. New York: Riverhead Books, 1988, p. 56

75 Tubbs quoted Kirsch in Responses to the Jungian Archetypal Feminine in King Lear, Hamlet, Othello, and Romeo and Juliet, p. 191

76 Rene Wellek and Austen Warren. Theory of Literature. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976, p. 85

77 Jung. The Spirit in Man, Art and Literature. CW 15, par. 130

78 Driscoll. Identity in Shakespearean Drama. Lewisburg, p. 176

79 Jung. The Spirit in Man, Art and Literature. CW 15, par. 143

80 Rogers-Gardner, Barbara. Jung and Shakespeare: Hamlet, Othello, and The Tempest. Wilmette, IL: Chiron Publications, 1992, p. 1

81 Susan Rowland quoted Jung in Jung as a Writer. London: Routledge, 2005, p.11

82 White, Victor. God and the Unconscious. Foreword by C.G. Jung. Henry Regnery Company. Chicago. 1953

83 Jung. Psychology and Religion: West and East. CW 11. Second Edition. Translated by R. F. C. Hull. Ed. Sir Herbert Read, Michael Fordham, and Gerhard Adler. Bollingen Series XX, Princeton University Press, 1969, footnote explanation of par. 222; “Every archetype contains the lowest and the highest, evil and good, and is therefore capable of producing diametrically opposite results.” Jung. Civilization in Transition. CW 10. Second Edition. Translated by R.F.C. Hull. Routledge Taylor and Frances Group, New York, 1970, par. 474

84 Aronson, Alex. Psyche & Symbol in Shakespeare. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 1972, p. 22

85 Vannoy Adams, Michael. The Cambridge Companion to Jung. Cambridge University Press, 2008, p. 107 – 108, emphasis mine

86 Fike. A Jungian Study of Shakespeare, The Visionary Mode, p. 5

87 „We must, however, constantly bear in mind that what we mean by “archetype” is in itself irrepresentable, but has effects which make visualizations of it possible, namely, the archetypal images and ideas“, says Jung in The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. CW 8. Translated by R.F.C. Hull. Ed. Sir Herbert Read, Michael Fordham, and Gerhard Adler. Bollingen Series XX, Princeton University Press, 1960, par. 417

88 Fike. A Jungian Study of Shakespeare, The Visionary Mode, p.18; Also, Ko was helpful in the clarification of the concept: „Jung maintains that archetype refers to the symbolic phase of the pre-ego status, which is unknown to human consciousness. Through the example of the uroboros, Jung defines archetype as the non-differential feature and the wholistic image of the universe before the emergence of the ego. This means that archetype is not a certain stage of the ego-development but affects its whole stages. By way of this, archetype refers to the united form between individual and the collective, the psyche and the physical event, the subject and the object, the human being and nature. These opposite characters can become antagonistic in their separation by the emergence of the ego-consciousness but paradoxically united and undifferentiated in the archetype. According to Jung, the archetype itself is distinguished from archetypal representations. (...) Archetype itself indicates the realm beyond our knowledge and understanding. On the other hand, archetypal images and ideas refer to the various features of the archetype represented through the mediation of the unconscious. “, Ko, Young Woon. Jung on Synchronicity and Yijing: A Critical Approach. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK, 2011, p. 7-8

89 Fike. A Jungian Study of Shakespeare, The Visionary Mode, p. 3

90 „We call the unconscious “nothing,” and yet it is a reality in potentia. The thought we shall think, the deed we shall do, even the fate we shall lament tomorrow, all lie unconscious in our today. The unknown in us which the affect uncovers was always there and sooner or later would have presented itself to consciousness. Hence, we must always reckon with the presence of things not yet discovered. These, as I have said, may be unknown quirks of character. But possibilities of future development may also come to light in this way, perhaps in just such an outburst of affect which sometimes radically alters the whole situation. The unconscious has a Janus-face: on one side its contents point back to a preconscious, prehistoric world of instinct, while on the other side it potentially anticipates the future - precisely because of the instinctive readiness for action of the factors that determine man’s fate. If we had complete knowledge of the ground plan lying dormant in an individual from the beginning, his fate would be in large measure predictable. “, Jung. Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. CW 9. Part 1, par. 498

91 „To the extent that the archetypes intervene in the shaping of conscious contents by regulating, modifying, and motivating them, they act like instincts. It is therefore very natural to suppose that these factors are connected with the instincts and to enquire whether the typical situational patterns which these collective form-principles apparently represent are not in the end identical with the instinctual patterns, namely, with the patterns of behavior.“, says Jung The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. CW 8, par. 404

92 Jung mentions „the autonomous life of archetypes behind the scenes of consciousness “in The Quotable Jung, p. 15; He also states: „ [A]rchetypes are not whimsical inventions but autonomous elements of the unconscious psyche which were there before any invention was thought of. They represent the unalterable structure of a psychic world whose “reality” is attested by the determining effects it has upon the conscious mind. “, Jung. Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, par. 451

93 Jung. Spirit in Art, Man and Literature, par. 132 & 159

94 Harold C. Goddard said the same thing: “[t]his world of sense in which we live is but the surface of a vaster unseen world by which the actions of men are affected or overruled” in The Meaning of Shakespeare. Vol. 1, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951, p. 74

95 Shakespeare . A Midsummer Night’s Dream,

96 Garber, Marjorie. Dream in Shakespeare – From Metaphor to Metamorphosis. Yale University Press, 1974, p. 86

97 Driscoll. Identity in Shakespearean Drama, p. 10

98 Kirsch, James. Shakespeare’s Royal Self, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, for the C. G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology, 1966, p. 11

99 Coursen, H.R. The Compensatory Psyche. A Jungian Approach to Shakespeare. Lanham, MD: UP of America, 1986, p. 9-10

100 “[ A ] ctive imagination (…) is a method (devised by myself) of introspection for observing the stream of interior images. One concentrates one’s attention on some impressive but unintelligible dream-image, or on a spontaneous visual impression, and observes the changes taking place in it. Meanwhile, of course, all criticism must be suspended [by the] ego-consciousness which brooks no master besides itself in its own house. In other words, it is the inhibition exerted by the conscious mind on the unconscious. (…) The advantage of this method is that it brings a mass of unconscious material to light. (…) [The method] is based on a deliberate weakening of the conscious mind and its inhibiting effect, which either limits or suppresses the unconscious. The aim of the method is naturally therapeutic in the first place, while in the second it also furnishes rich empirical material. [This material] differ[s] from dreams only by reason of their better form, which comes from the fact that the contents were perceived not by a dreaming but by a waking consciousness.” Jung. Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. CW 9. Part 1, par. 319-320 He further states: “Once the unconscious content has been given form and the meaning of the formulation is understood, the question arises as to how the ego will relate to this position, and how the ego and the unconscious are to come to terms. This is the second and more important stage of the procedure, the bringing together of opposites for the production of a third: the transcendent function. At this stage it is no longer the unconscious that takes the lead, but the ego.” Jung. The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. CW 8, par. 181

101 Kirsch. Shakespeare’s Royal Self, p. 7

102 Shakespeare . A Midsummer Night’s Dream,

103 Driscoll. Identity in Shakespearean Drama, p. 173-180

104 „We understand the ego as the complex factor to which all conscious contents are related. It forms, as it were, the center of the field of consciousness; and, in so far as this comprises the empirical personality, the ego is the subject of all personal acts of consciousness. The relation of a psychic content to the ego forms the criterion of its consciousness, for no content can be conscious unless it is represented to a subject”, Jung. Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self. CW 9. Part 2, par. 1

105 In Jung's words in Comments to The Secret of the Golden Flower: „But if the unconscious can be recognized as a co-determining quantity along with theconscious, and if we can live in such a way that conscious and unconscious, or instinctive demands, are given recognition as far as possible, the centre of gravity of the total personality shifts its position. It ceases to be in the ego, which is merely the centre of consciousness, and instead is located in a hypothetical point between the conscious and the unconscious, which might be called the self. “, p. 32

106 Driscoll. Identity in Shakespearean Drama, p. 181

107 Garber. Dream in Shakespeare – From Metaphor to Metamorphosis, p. 77

108 Jung. Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. CW 9. Part 1, par. 505

109 Rogers-Gardner. Jung and Shakespeare: Hamlet, Othello, and The Tempest, p. 2

110 Garber. Dream in Shakespeare – From Metaphor to Metamorphosis, p. xiv

111 Ibid, p. 5 - 7

112 Jung. Man and his Symbols. Anchor Press. Doubleday. New York, 1964, p. 53

113 Ibid, p. 43

114 Kelly Bulkeley and Patricia M. Bulkley quoted Jung in Children's Dreams: Understanding the Most Memorable Dreams and Nightmares of Childhood. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc, UK, 2012, p. 23

115 Jung. Alchemical Studies. CW 13. Translated by R. F. C. Hull. Ed. Herbert Read, Michael Fordham, and Gerhard Adler. Bollingen Series XX, Princeton University Press, 1970, par. 395

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The Jungian Art. The Jungian Persona in Shakespeare's works
"Thou Must be Thyself". A Jungian Shakespeare
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Aleksandra Vujovic (Author), 2021, The Jungian Art. The Jungian Persona in Shakespeare's works, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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