The theory archetypes were first created by Carl Jung, a Swiss psychologist. Carl Jung created his theory through Freud’s concept of the unconscious mind. Although Jung believed Freud’s theory, he also added that memories and other historical aspects of the person are what influenced their writings. Archetypes have been around ever since man learned the ability of speech.
It is universal in every language on this Earth. Every story, every literary and every work of art is somehow related to archetypes. The archetype in this poem is the real-world and the super-natural world. Pope’s two poems that show the relationship between the real-world and the super-natural world are “The Dying Christian in his Soul” and “On a Certain Lady at Court”. These two poems clearly show how Pope relates the super-natural world to the real world through his excellent poetry.
“On a Certain Lady at Court” Jung’s theory does apply to this poem. Many literary works were written on the super-natural and the real world and how they relate to each other. For example, the speaker of this poem seems to be in a dream world, since Envy is personified as another thought or person. “(Envy, be silent and attend!)” (Pope, line 2) explains this.
I know the thing that’s most uncommon
(Envy, be silent, and attend!);
I know a reasonable woman,
Handsome and witty, yet a friend.
Not warped by passion, awed by rumor.
Not grave through pride, or gay through folly,
An equal mixture of good humor,
And sensible soft melancholy.
“Has she no faults the (Envy says), Sir?”
Yes, she has one, I must aver;
When all the world conspires to praise her,
The woman’s deaf, and does not hear.
Throughout the poem the blocks for building the super-natural and real world link are found. Envy, which is personified, often speaks to the speaker and questions what the speaker has to say. This shows how the super-natural world can reach to the real-world. The speaker also seems to be dreaming, in that there is a perfect woman out there that is just waiting for him. He ventures into the super-natural world and visualizes how this perfect woman would be, with Envy questioning his every thought. Also, as the speaker rambles on about how perfect the woman is, his dream does eventually come to an end at the end of the poem where the last line states that she is deaf and cannot hear the praise the world gives her. This shows how the archetype can be found in this poem, how a person go can from the real world, to the super-natural world, and back to the real world.
“The Dying Christian in his Soul” also explains the link between the real world and the super-natural world.
Vital spark of heav’nly flame!
Quit, O quit this mortal frame:
Trembling, hoping, ling’ring, flying,
O the pain, the bliss of dying!
Cease, fond Nature, cease thy life.
Hark I they whisper; angels say,
Sister Spirit, come away!
What is this absorbs me quite?
Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirits, draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul, can this be death?
The world recedes; it disappears!
Heav’n opens on my eyes! My ears
With sounds seraphic ring!
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O Grave! Where is thy victory?
O Death! Where is thy sting?
Through out this poem, the archetype of the real world and the super-natural world is linked many times. For example, the central theme of the poem is “death”. Death is part of the super-natural world. The speaker in this poem has just died and is now moving on to the super natural world. The real world slowly disappears for the speaker until he finally sees some angels. The speaker realizes that the real world is no longer the world that is real, but it is the super-natural world that is now the reality of the speaker. As the poem progresses the link between the speaker and the real world weakens while the link to the super-natural world strengthens. The link between the super-natural and real worlds are shown in this poem through the central theme of death because when one dies, it is the process of moving from the real world to the super-natural one, and the poem clearly depicts how this process takes place.
Archetypes have been used in many stories and pomes throughout mankind’s history. It is no different today then it was thousands of years ago. Every story can be related to an archetype no matter how hard the author tries not to relate it to one. Carl Jung, the psychologist who theorized about archetypes knew that there was always a universal theme that every story could relate to. From the damsel in distress, to ninjas and samurais there is always an archetype with everything. No matter what literary work a reader will read, it will always be related to an archetype and it will always be that way as long as mankind exists and writes more literary art.