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Paradigm Shift, Then and Now: The Shakespearean Winter’s Tale and Renewal Through the Feminine

Author(s): Judy Schavrien

Journal: International Journal of Transpersonal Studies
ISSN 1321-0122

Volume: 28;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 25;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Shakespeare | Masculine | Feminine | The Winter’s Tale

This paper explores postmodern and Shakespearean-baroque parallels in asking, “Can we make a New World?” In Shakespeare’s case, paradigm shift was occurring willy-nilly—a New World hoving into view, geographically, socio-politically, spiritually, and through a science that shifted views of earth and heaven. This inquiry into The Winter’s Tale, in search of a new coherence then and now, discovers that Shakespeare envisioned a rebalancing of hypermasculine internal and external life by way of the Feminine, both youthful and mature.Portraying the tragic ruler at the center of his tale as part puer and part jealous tyrant, Shakespeare established what is almost a case history, one that serves to type the Masculine that lacks balance. He viewed the Feminine in vividly drawn characters, but also as archetypes; as to the youthful and mature Feminine, he matched these respectively—although not exclusively— with virtues of fertile natural renewal and compassionate advocacy of social justice.

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