Archetype and Selfhood in Strindberg's Post-Inferno Plays
|關鍵字:||史特林堡;後地獄劇作;原型;自傳性;自我放大;自我救贖;夢劇;August Strindberg;post-Inferno plays;archetype;autobiography;self-aggrandizement;self-redemption;dream plays||公開日期:||2007||摘要:||史特林堡歷經地獄危機後，劇作重心大不同於早期劇作強調社會環境與人的衝突、或腦力較勁等主題，後地獄劇作開始朝人的內心探索，更重要的是它們普遍瀰漫了夢境氛圍。後地獄劇作的夢境元素並非如《夢幻劇》直接把夢境搬上舞台，而是劇中世界呈現了如夢的現實狀態。其中不合邏輯的時空存在感、突轉迅速的的情節和隱喻性角色，構成了劇作的夢境特徵。
After the Inferno crisis, the subject of Strindberg’s post-Inferno plays greatly differs from that of his earlier plays. It no longer emphasizes the conflict between men and their social environment or “battle of brains”, but begins to explore the inner world of human beings in an all-pervading atmosphere of dreams. Unlike A Dream Play that puts the dream directly on the stage, the element of dreams in most post-Inferno plays is presented with the design of a dream-like reality through an illogical sense of time and space, sudden changes in the plot, and metaphorical characters. The mythological and medieval images in post-Inferno plays are reminiscent of the Jungian archaic mood and Jung’s archetypal search in cultural foundation, yet it is more effective to use Northorp Frye’s literary criticism of archetype when it comes to literary works as dream plays. With Frye’s definition of archetype, there are different modes of archetype manipulated in post-Inferno plays, in particular the characters and theme. Each character often contains polyphonic images. The characters get trapped in the fate of sins, with God giving no hands on the sidelines and watching coldly at their sufferings. Moreover, the spirit characters from the evil power keep disturbing people and control their actions, so much so that the evil ones nearly replace the authority of God. After being tormented time after time, the main characters can still not be released through death, since death has already existed and perpetuated throughout the play, and is a state that keens to continue. The characters in post-Inferno plays can not obtain any chance of salvation; however, Strindberg saves himself by writing the stories about himself. Most of his works are nothing but autobiographical, and the theme and characters are often about himself. We see in his post-Inferno plays the contradictory complex toward women, the disagreement toward the society, and how illusion serves as the ultimate truth in the plays, all of which point to the philosophy and world view of the playwright. By writing about himself, Strindberg surveys himself, aggrandizes himself, and finally through creating the roles acts out the different dimensions of himself. This enables him to interpret his own sufferings and thus gains consolation. The archetypes serve as tools for Strindberg to express himself. Strindberg uses the displacement and transformation of the archetypes to enlarge and extend the autobiography into legend in his works; he identifies himself with the archetypal personages in order to release his own guilt, and also experience the repetitive new lives in them. By combining archetypes with his own life events as a strategy for writing, Strindberg finds the way to self-redemption. Furthermore, writing dream plays create relaxing moments as he awakens from the crafted dreams and gains pleasure in realizing the reality is nothing but like illusionary dreams. Kierkegaard’s idea of repetition also refreshes Strindberg’s mind. As he repeats writing autobiographical works, he repeats seeing himself as different from what he used to be. It is in this way that he reaches catharsis through his play writing.
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