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Origins of light and dark imagery (mythological/archetypal lens)

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Jessica Momich

on 20 November 2014

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Transcript of Origins of light and dark imagery (mythological/archetypal lens)

Macbeth replies to the news of Lady Macbeth's suicide by declaring "out, out brief candle."
The candle's flame transforms into a metaphor for her short and sudden death
Origins of Light and Dark Imagery (Mythological/Archetypal Lens)
Light and Dark Imagery in Greek Mythology
Light and Dark Imagery in Christianity
Biblical writers used symbols of light to represent goodness, Jesus, and God; and symbols of dark to represent evil and the devil
Light and Dark Imagery in Shakespeare:Romeo and Juilet
Love and hope (light) and Hatred and conflict (Dark)
Works Cited
What is Light and
Dark Imagery?
Michelle Hahn, Natalie Jenkins, Jessica Momich, and Zack Ortiz
Overview of Mythological/Archetypal Lens
Light Imagery in the Bible
Dark Imagery in the Bible
Mythological / Archetypal Criticism- Carl Jung
Juilet: Proper, pure Capulet daughter
Represents Light

Romeo: Rebellious Montegue son, falls in love with Juilet which the Capulets do not approve of
Represents Dark
Psychiatrist Carl Jung states, "'There exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals"' (McManus).

According to Christian beliefs, the world was dark and God created light. Therefore, light is good and is associated with God.
Light and Dark Imagery in Shakespeare: Midsummer Nights Dream
The Story of Prometheus
Fire is given to man
This light allows humanity progress as a civilization
The Story Pandora
Man is punished with Pandora's Box
The box releases greed, famine, vanity, slander, envy, all the evils known to mankind
Hope is the light in the dark
The serpent is a frequent symbol of the devil within the Christian faith (Genesis)
Forest night time setting
Usage of fairies, magic and mythology
Scene 9 Page 117
Tale of Eros ; Blanche's Love Life
Dark and light imagery can be seen in ancient culture and religion.
It's also relevant in modern day songs.
Does this archetype of light and dark imagery in literature prematurely effect our perception of characters in a story?
Scene 9 Page 116-117
Blanche describes how after her husband's suicide, "the searchlight which had been turned on the world was turned off again and never for one moment since has there been any light that's stronger than-this-kitchen-candle" (Williams 96).
Mitch: "It's dark in here."
Blanche: "I like it dark. The dark is comforting to me."
Mitch: "I don't think I've ever seen you in the light. [Blanche laughs breathlessly] That's a fact!"
Story of Eros & Psyche
Eros was the Greek God of Love
He had a beautiful mortal wife, but she was not allowed to look at him in the sunlight
She could not restrain herself from looking and he abandoned her
When Mitch visits Blanche...
Blanche & Mitch
Blanche was a bit older than Mitch, and didn't want him to know, so she didn't let him see her in bright light
Scene 6 Page 96
"Magic, yes, magic! I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them. I don't tell the truth, I tell what ought to be the truth. And if its sinful, let me be damned for it! Don't turn the light on!" (Williams 117).
Common associations with dark:
the unknown
Common associations with light:
Light and dark are common archetypes found throughout history
They can be seen as binaries (heaven vs hell)
Represent aspects of personality (good vs evil)
Used in movies, plays and novels
Heaven (Judaism)
Elysium (Greek)
Valhalla (Norse)
Paradise (Islam)
Moksha (Hinduism)
Nirvana (Buddhism)
Hell (Judaism)
Tartarus (Greek)
Hifel (Norse)
Purgatory (Christianity)
Outer Darkness (Mormonism)
McManus, Barbara. "Jungian Approach." Jungian Approach. The College of New Rochelle, Feb. 1990. Web. 16 Nov. 2014. <http://www2.cnr.edu/home/bmcmanus/approach.html>.
Myss, Caroline. Archetypes. N.p.: Hay House, Incorporated, 2013. Hillsborough Community College. Web. 16 Nov. 2014. <http://www.hccfl.edu/media/724354/archetypesforliteraryanalysis.pdf>.
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Allan's Suicide

In scene three Blanche asks Mitch to do something for her, "I bought this adorable little colored paper lantern at a Chinese shop on Bourbon. Put it over the light bulb! Will you, please?" (Williams 55).
Scene 3 Page 55
"She opened the lid a very little, just to peep inside. ... out flew ten thousand strange creatures with death-like faces and gaunt and dreadful forms," (Baldwin).
Baldwin, James. "Old Greek Stories." Old Greek Stories. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2014. <http://www.authorama.com/old-greek-stories-5.html>.
What does this lens imply?
There are recurring themes, symbols, characters represented in all literary work
Gain a deeper understanding of the text by understanding archetypes/myths

What is an
ALWAYS unconscious and can only be hypothesized through the effects they produce (McManus)
Consists of innate, predispositions which symbolize reality and form our collective unconscious
As Eric Pettifor describes, “It was like an edition of a book of which we each had our own copy" (McManus).
Culturally and personally influenced
What is a
Story passed through the generations, usually involving a supernatural being

Perpetuated Archetypes
Carl Jung had developed the concept of the"collective unconscious"
Assume that our unconscious formulates our current understanding of literature and art
Our collective unconscious is made up of archetypes
Genetically inherited/common in all
Similar to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Nights Dream
Setting of night time is a repeated idea of dark imagery
Represents peace and serenity
Archetypes consist of
images, character types, symbols, and plot patterns
Full transcript