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Jungian Analysis of Hamlet

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Gretha Conrads

on 7 November 2013

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Transcript of Jungian Analysis of Hamlet

Jungian Analysis of Hamlet
Jung's Archetypes
Archetypes can be described as the innate tendency which creates/molds/transforms the individual consciousness

Essentially an archetype is similar to a ‘stereotype’ in that it generalizes a type, though archetypes stem from the generalization of the subconscious drive and intent in any one individual. The archetype does not limit itself to just character. In fact the application of an ‘archetype’ is relevant in character, situations, and symbols/associations.
Characters
Polonius
Wise old man
Fool
Scapegoat
Polonius is a scapegoat when hamlet is fighting with his mother.
This reflects the fate Hamlet will suffer from Laertes.
Gertrude
She is the mother sub-archetype of the anima self
As Gertrude's mother-archetype breaks down so does Hamlet
Gertrude completely shatters Hamlet's almost phantasmagorical view of his mother when she marries Claudius
Gertrude's "betrayal" causes Hamlet to be ripped out of his "perfect" childhood and forces him to leave behind his beliefs and his sanity
The ghost of hamlet is a shadow.
He reflects the man of action the hyperion or hercules that hamlet fears he can never be.
This is the drive that hamlet has to be like his father, he even reapers to “wet his already blunted purpose” which serves only to accentuate the difference between father and son in their actions.
Ghost of Hamlet
Laertes
The anima self represents the feminine sensitivity of all men in the collective unconscious.
His sensitivity comes out in his care for ophelia.
This mirrors Hamlets care for ophelia as Laertes is one of hamlets foils
The self
Fortinbras is one of two characters who live to the end to experience individualization.
He is the fully realized, full potential of hamlet.
Fortinbras
Ophelia is assigned the anima archetype
Her character helps to explain Hamlet's deteriorating mindset
She also represents his weak side
Both went insane because of their father's death: Ophelia- Polonius, Hamlet- Old King Hamlet
Ophelia
Claudius is a shadow archetype of Hamlet
He is cold, calculating and will do anything and everything to get what he wants
Claudius is a mirror for that dark and evil hidden side of Hamlet
He helps us understand Hamlet's want for revenge
Claudius
Self Archetype
Wise Old Man: Horatio is embodies the moral compass of the play
Horatio is one of the only characters to survive
Horatio is the fully realized and idealized version of Hamlet
Horatio
To be or not to be
Conclusion
For the sake of our presentation we’ve looked more so at the character application of archetypes, and how various basic archetypes match characters in hamlet. The simplify the idea of what an archetype is an easy example would be the cast of many people beloved show ‘recess’. On the show we see TJ the leader, Vince the athlete, Spinelli the tough girl, Gretchen the smart girl, Mikey the fool etc. This offers us a very modern look at character archetypes that we see throughout many fictional stories, and archetypes are a narrative tool people use because following Jung’s theory we all fall under archetypes in one way or another.
SELF:
Archetype symbolizing the totality of the personality. It represents the striving for unity, wholeness, and integration.
SHADOW.
The side of our personality which we do not consciously display in public. May have positive or negative qualities. If it remains unconscious, the shadow is often projected onto other individuals or groups.
ANIMA.
Archetype symbolizing the unconscious female component of the male psyche. Tendencies or qualities often thought of as "feminine."
ANIMUS.
Archetype symbolizing the unconscious male component of the female psyche. Tendencies or qualities often thought of as "masculine."
Carl Jung
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