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The JokerA Serious Study of the Clown Prince of Crime$
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Robert Moses Peaslee and Robert G. Weiner

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781628462388

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2016

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628462388.001.0001

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The Joker Plays the King

The Joker Plays the King

Archetypes of the Underworld in Grant Morrison and Dave McKean’s Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth

Chapter:
(p.194) The Joker Plays the King
Source:
The Joker
Author(s):

Hannah Means-Shannon

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781628462388.003.0013

Hannah Means-Shannon takes a Jungian approach to Grant Morrison and Dave McKean’s Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth and suggests that the milestone graphic novel’s confounding symbolic vision suggests a reading of Arkham as the underworld. Moreover, Means-Shannon suggests that “when examining a text replete with psychoanalytical references and mythological motifs, it is appropriate to question the precise mythological role that the Joker plays within this vast psychological metaphor.” That role, Means-Shannon suggests, is obscured by the many archetypal possibilities provided by the Joker’s representation, such as trickster, shadow, and anima. Rather, the Joker is “all of these things inclusively, and therefore a collective representation of the unconscious psyche”: a ruler.

Keywords:   Jungian approach, Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, Psychoanalytical, Mythological, Unconscious psyche

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