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Comparison of Male and Female Psychology - Essay Example

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The presence of these unconscious archetypes of the opposite sex is necessary for becoming complete as a person. Expounding on the teachings of Jung, Robert Johnson proposes to lend a greater understanding to the Jungian archetypes of anima and animus by using ancient myths as an example of how these theories play out in universal literature…
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Comparison of Male and Female Psychology
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Download file to see previous pages The tale of Parsifal and his search for the Holy Grail lends us insight into the male journey from boyhood to adulthood and his coming to terms with his anima, or unconscious feminine personality traits (Jung). In contrast, the myth of Amor and Psyche delves into the female quest for love and the appearance of the animus, or male aspects to the female’s personality (Jung). While both of these tales showcase a different perspective on a similar situation, the way in which the female and male characters handle their changing circumstances differs greatly.
In the myth of Psyche and Amor, the two are portrayed as star-crossed lovers who are torn apart by the woman’s betrayal and the subsequent anger of Amor’s goddess mother, Venus. The two are eventually reunited at the request of Amor by the gods (Ovid). The story points out the weaknesses of the girl, Psyche, as well as demonstrates the changes to her personality as she matures into a woman. Psyche begins the piece showing the frailty of the female, the unwitting innocence and naiveté often presented in the very young or inexperienced, especially while searching for love.
Venus, in this tale, is a stark contrast to the obvious frailty of Psyche as the two women show conflicting sides of the female persona. Venus begins by demonstrating a stronger, more determined side of woman as she mercilessly orders her son to strike down the innocent Psyche to save her own vanity. Amor refuses his mother’s request and marries the unwitting girl instead. So caught up in this love affair is Psyche that she does not question her husband’s bizarre requests, until she is set upon by her vengeful sister’s who wreak havoc on the relationship between Amor and their sister. Amor, demonstrating a softer, more feminine side to his character, the anima, gave in to Psyche’s pleas, which in turn eventually forced him to leave his wife and return to his mother. Psyche does not begin to demonstrate even a hint of the animus, or inherent, unconscious male traits, in her personality except when she tricks her sisters into jumping off a cliff in retaliation for their deception. Instead she exemplifies all that is soft and perceived as weak in the female by falling in love with her phantom-like husband immediately, falling prey to those with stronger personality traits, and relying on others to complete the tasks set out before her. The ways in which she responds to the hurdles set out before her in life are what in the end allows her to find herself (Johnson, She).
Psyche starts out the myth with an almost child-like innocence. Her character does not begin to fully develop until she lays eyes on Amor, discovering her sisters’ deception. When he leaves her for her betrayal, she tries to end her life, but instead decides to trick her sisters down that same dark path (Ovid). In this act, she reveals a cunning not previously associated with her character. After the deaths of her sisters, she sets out ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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