Essay Title: 

Jungian Archetypes

April 3, 2016 | Author: | Posted in social sciences

Jungian Archetypes in Rosemary Sutcliff ‘s Trilogy

This will analyze Rosemary Sutcliff ‘s trilogy – The Sword and the Circle , The Light Beyond the Forest and The Road to Camlann – in light of the Jungian archetypes embedded in the text : the mother , the old wise man , the shadow , and the mandala archetypes

In her trilogy , Sutcliff employed the Jungian archetypes in to provide a new configuration of the legend of King Arthur , interweaving myth and fantasy with psychological traits . From this perspective , the Arthurian legend appears in a new light , in which the [banner_entry_middle]

story and the secondary narratives come to represent a particular mise-en-scine of figures of the subconscious . In Sutcliff ‘s trilogy , King Arthur and many characters achieve a symbolic significance . The author ‘s main interest is in King Arthur , around whom she constructs a whole series of archetypal motifs , which account for many of the peculiar and otherwise hard to explain characteristics of the story . Traditionally , all the fantastic motifs have been interpreted as subordinated to the fairy-tale logic and such motifs as witchcraft or transgression of taboos have been attributed to the pre-Christian Celtic subtext . However , this will argue that the overwhelming presence of archetypal images in Sutcliff ‘s texts brings a symbolic context to our interpretation of the legend

The Great Mother Archetype

In Jung ‘s definitions , the mother archetype is ambivalent , in that it can both evoke a benign and benevolent figure , but also an evil witch-like attribute

The qualities associated with it are maternal solicitude and sympathy the magic authority of the female the wisdom and spiritual transformation that transcend reason any helpful instinct or impulse all that is benign , all that cherishes and sustains , that fosters growth and fertility . The place of magic transformation and rebirth , together with the underworld and its inhabitants , are presided over by the mother . On the negative side the mother archetype may connote anything secret , hidden , dark the abyss , the world of the dead , anything that devours , seduces , and poisons , that is terrifying and inescapable like fate

The mother archetype can take the shape of a plethora of symbols and can become actualized either as an image of plenitude and abundance , or as a token of dark forces in man . Both meanings appear in Sutcliff ‘s trilogy . Significantly , Arthur is deprived of a real mother figure from the beginning . His father ‘s vow to Merlin , which had granted that the latter would be entrusted the child the night he would be born , set Arthur away of his real mother . Moreover , in his foster family , Sutcliff makes little to no reference to a mother figure , focusing on the male side , who was there to rear the future great king of Britain . In this context , the mother figures that appear in Arthur ‘s life also have the significance of a repressed longing for a mother but , most significantly , serve to inscribe the character in a supernatural lineage

The solar and benevolent mother figure appears in the guise of… [banner_entry_footer]


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