Examples of the Shadow Archetype in Famous Literature Essay

Examples of the Shadow Archetype in Famous Literature Essay

Length: 3022 words (8.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Anger, selfishness, violent tendencies, the quest for uncontrollable power, and sexual desires are all undesirable traits which are frowned upon by society, and are concealed to avoid scrutiny. These traits can be referred to as one's shadow. The shadow is the repressed unconscious side of a personality (The Shadow Archetype). The shadow is considered to be a dark force because it consists of all the negative emotions and behaviors of an individual that they choose to hide in order to avoid society’s pressing judgment. In literature, the shadow can carry negative or evil qualities, as seen in many texts that revolve around a character’s struggle with some form of a shadow. The shadow, whether a physical being or a darkness within, grows in response to knowledge of culture and experience; it sees the evil in society and uses that information to grow as a threat to goodness. When the shadow builds it is usually repressed because of its threat to humanity. Even though the shadow is usually repressed, fought against, undeveloped and denied, the shadow should be confronted in order to know and understand one's true self. One must be self-aware of his/her physical or inner shadow, learn how to fight against it or deal with it, be prepared to struggle against it’s darkness or prevail against it by finding light, and ultimately find a resolution between himself/herself and his evil side.
Shadows can be a threat because they are opposite representations of an individual’s ideals of himself/herself. Because of this trait, a physical shadow will be the representation of an individual’s concealed evil traits with an actual form. Many people fear what the physical representation of their shadow may be. When concealed within oneself the shado...

... middle of paper ...

...d of Earthsea. New York: Bantam, 2004.

“The Child and the Shadow”. The Language of the Night. Ed. and
with an introduction by Susan Wood. New York: G.P Putnam, 1979.

"Meeting the Shadow in Beowulf." 123Helpme.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2014.

"The Shadow." Myths-Dreams-Symbols. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2014.

"The Shadow Archetype." WiseGeek. Conjecture Corporation, n.d. Web. 1 May 2014.

Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of King Richard the Third. Ed. Thomas Cartelli.

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Ed. J. Paul Hunter. 2nd ed. New Yorl: Norton, 2012.

Stevenson, Robert Louis. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Ed. Katherine Linehan. New York: Norton, 2003.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Epic Hero Archetype in Films, and Literature Essay

- As Beowulf possessed incredible the strength of 30 men, Luke Skywalker the force, and Harry Potter magic, epic heroes continue in every form of today’s entertainment and storytelling. Every culture from the beginning has had their own tales of heroes accomplishing great feats that no one else could. An epic hero is an icon for everyone to relate to, they symbolize different lessons to learn. The epic hero archetype exists as a source of entertainment but also as a demonstrative tool. Their morals and actions are there to help shape our own actions in life....   [tags: heroes]

Strong Essays
844 words (2.4 pages)

Civil Disobedience in Famous Literature Essay

- Civil Disobedience in Famous Literature A society or a people cannot let a government lead them blindly. With misrepresentation comes a whole new form of unjustness. The strong are the ones who do not give into demands placed upon them if they do not agree; those who refuse to conform to society; those who stick to their beliefs, no matter the cost. In many cases, those people are the ones who practice civil disobedience. Martin Luther King, Henry Thoreau, Socrates… All advocated that they should not be denied their freedom, and all were considered disobedient....   [tags: Plato Socrates Philosophy Literature Essays]

Strong Essays
752 words (2.1 pages)

The Wise Old Man Archetype Essay

- To understand a specific archetype, one must first understand what a Jungian archetype is. The two questions that are the most important to understand are the what and the where. What is an archetype and where do archetypes come from. First for the what, Jung believed that all humans possess a "preconscious psychic disposition that enables a (man) to react in a human manner." These prospectives for creation are defined when they enter the conscious mind as images. The archetype may emerge in the mind in many ways and forms....   [tags: World Literature]

Strong Essays
2165 words (6.2 pages)

Essay on Compare how Shakespeare and Hardy present the role of their tragic

- Compare how Shakespeare and Hardy present the role of their tragic heroines within society in Romeo and Juliet and Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Shakespeare’s Juliet, of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and Hardy’s ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ share many characteristics which make them tragic heroines. Their individual battles with their societies, and their distorted moral codes and prejudices, toughens their spirits and reinforces their determination to succeed and reach their personal goals. In their contemporary societies, where women were generally oppressed and marginalised within literature, these strong female characters were seen as controversial and divisive....   [tags: English Literature]

Strong Essays
1754 words (5 pages)

On the Battlefield with Good and Evil and Examples in Literature Essay

- ... evil disputes. In example, is after Cathy has the twins, and she tries to shoot Adam; Adam defended Cathy to the police and said, “I was cleaning my gun, and it went off” (Steinbeck 203). Adam showed how purely good he was by protecting Cathy even though she attacked him. Later in the book, Adam finds Cathy and realizes that she is no longer the woman he fell in love with: not only is she fat, but she had grown uglier with time. Finally, as we can see in the story of Cathy and Adam, “evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal” (Steinbeck 413)....   [tags: Procrastination, Antagonist]

Strong Essays
544 words (1.6 pages)

Medieval world reflected in Japanese literature: Examples of Changes and Innovations in Literature (Poetry and Prose)

- Even without knowledge of the history in Medieval Japan, one can easily learn that Kamakura era was right in the transition period of the government and that of worldviews among people. The warrior class was gradually and surely coming to power, only by looking into the literature works of the era. Perhaps Emperor Gotoba was one of the aristocrats who were threatened with declination of their status and culture, which could have been his motives to command of the anthology: Shinkokinshū. This power rotation was vividly described in Heike monogatari....   [tags: Japanese Literature]

Strong Essays
1459 words (4.2 pages)

The Relation of Literature and Life Essay

- When I think of a work of literature and compare it to a relation with life, the Bible is the first piece to come to mind. The Bible is abundantly full of literary technique. It can be read historically, theologically, or leisurely, in which the reader can relate to human experience. The Bible as an anthology of literature, meaning a collection of literary pieces, tells the story of humankind; it is a story of tradition revealing the present. This is the view from the Christians’ eyes, and a relation to human experience....   [tags: Archetypes, the Bible]

Strong Essays
727 words (2.1 pages)

Danny Santiago's Famous All Over Town Essay

- Danny Santiago's Famous All Over Town           When I was little I remember driving across country, going to Florida, and past neighborhoods that were anything but mine. They had old houses that looked like they were going to fall down any minute, real trashy looking. In Colorado, my house was nice and always kept up. I sat in the car wondering what kind of people lived in those run down places and what they were like. The answers came to me years later when I read the book, Famous All Over Town, by Danny Santiago....   [tags: Famous All Over Town]

Free Essays
654 words (1.9 pages)

The Archetype of Lilith Essay

- The Archetype of Lilith The question “Who is Lilith?” has no one answer. Lilith is a demon temptress of the night . Lilith is the first wife of Adam, the first man according to Abrahamic tradition. Lilith is an archetype for independent, obstinate women . She is present in the mythological folklore of almost every Middle-Eastern and European culture to have developed since she first appeared in Sumerian mythology. Some scholars have placed her origin within a set of Sumerian wind and storm demons called Lilitu around 3000 B.C....   [tags: Early Religion Eve Bible Islam]

Free Essays
1891 words (5.4 pages)

Archetypes Essay

- 4tH Quarter Paper There are many archetypical symbols used in hundreds of works, new and old. Some of these symbols include: war, peace, love, nature, birds, mountains, and darkness. These symbols have deep meaning which help embellish a certain work. They also help the reader to better understand the theme or plot of a work. They are used freely and abundantly in most modern and pre-modern works. The archetypical symbol of war is used symbolically as a sense of conflict or tension....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Strong Essays
581 words (1.7 pages)