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Shakespeare and Jung

Cuyler, Grenville (1985)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

I contend that Jung provides insights in keeping with Shakespeare's own intent as in many respects they were "of like mind." It is the attempt of this thesis to demonstrate how this might be so, comparing Jung's own writings with those of Shakespeare. The Introduction provides an overview: what the thesis sets out to do.

The first chapter represents a highly technical treatment for determining an exact location for the Globe Playhouse. It is as if one were an archaeologist requiring as much evidence as possible for determining where the foundations might lie within a given site. But this determination of the Globe's center and the shape of the Globe's groundplan represent a mandala form ("mandala" is the Sanskrit word for "circle"). Jung's work after his departure from Freud (1913-1928) became progressively more concentrated on the significance of mandalas (his first mandala drawing was in 1916). The mandala form represented integration and evidence for it was found not only in the dreams of his patients but in the artifacts of all civilizations - in the groundplans for cities and buildings, and in the art and religious practices of diverse peoples reaching back to Rhodesian cliff-drawings. I relate Hamlet and its use of soliloquy to the central motif of the mandala the protection of the center.

Using his Tavistock Lectures as a point of departure, Chapters 2-3 take up Jung's figure of the Psyche, divided up into ectopsychic, endopsychic, personal unconscious, and collective unconscious "spheres." "Chapter 2: The Four Functions" deals with Hamlet, Othello, The Winter's Tale, and Measure for Measure. "Chapter 3: The Shadow" refers to King Lear, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. After a consideration of King Lear, I relate Joseph Campbell's "journey of the hero" to Jung's figure of the
Psyche with reference to the three plays mentioned above.

Chapter 4 treats Jung's descriptions of "anima" and "animus" in relation to Macbeth. Some attention is then given to the characters of Ophelia, Gertrude, Desdemona, Cordelia, and Hermione, and their depreciation. "Chapter 5: Jungian Criticism" takes up the way in which literature may be viewed from the angle of Jung-oriented criticism with particular reference to Hamlet, Macbeth, Henry IV, Part I, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, and King Lear. The Conclusion is followed by Appendices A-G which summarize
and amplify Jungian thinking treated in this thesis and conclude with a statement about Shakespeare by Peter Brook. The Bibliography Section provides a list of works consulted in relating the Globe Playhouse to its site and works consulted in regarding the Globe and Shakespeare's work in the light of C. G. Jung.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Matheson, Thomas Pendleton
School/Faculty:Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Arts
Department:Shakespeare Institute
Subjects:BF Psychology
PR English literature
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3114
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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