The Shadow Theory

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The Shadow Theory Everyone has a shadow. It is a dark unknown; it is faceless, mindless, and cannot survive without a host. Yet there is more to shadows, more than we can dare to ponder. Carl Jung, a well-distinguished psychiatrist explored the very idea of the shadow. He theorized a landmark idea that would prove to be controversial, but accepted. In many ways Carl Jung’s concept of the shadow can be clearly modeled through the stories/ plots of Beowulf and The Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Both stories accurately portray many of the shadow traits that dwell in human nature. Carl Jung describes the shadow as not being totally evil and filled with all darkness, but a place where everything that is unconscious, repressed, underdeveloped and denied are stored (“Eigen”). It is the unconscious part of our minds and/or ego. Jung believed that whenever we criticized someone, cast them out for their indifference, or simply envied others, these traits of human nature are placed into our shadow side. Carl Jung believed that eventually these traits would manifest in the shadow side, and one day will be used and only then will you find tolerance for that trait which you criticized. “Every one carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it becomes. At all accounts, it forms an unconscious snag, thwarting our most well meant intentions (“Eigen”). It is important to understand that the shadow is not pure evil; it is more like an innocent animal. “An animal can be viscous or tender and lovable, but it chooses to do neither. An animal simply does what it does.” (“Carl Jung”). “Humans see animals as brutal and inhuman; so the shadow becomes something of a garbage can for parts of ourselves that we can’t admit to”(“Carl Jung”). These characteristics of the shadow are accurately portrayed in both Beowulf and
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