Hans Christian Andersen, ‘Skyggen’.

Calm down, listen till the end. I was in the right place. I have had sight of all the truth that is in sight.

Hans Christian Andersen, 'Skyggen'.


“Sooner or later, you will die“   When the shadow said this, the scholar must have heard it as referring to a more distant life span. Not knowing that it was the near future. —   In the hot countries the scholar visited, they tanned like mahogany. Perhaps mahogany is not an easy colour to imagine. It is a deep, beautiful red colour used to paint furniture and so on.   The scholars wrote to study ‘truth, goodness and beauty’. Scholars and ‘shadows’ who could not stand the heat during the day would stretch out and rest when the sun went down. At night, the scholar fell in love at first sight with a woman who grew beautiful music and flowers on the balcony opposite. As his shadow stretched just over the woman’s balcony, he jokingly told the ‘shadow’ to go into her room and look after her. The scholar bowed and moved his shadow into the woman’s room, saying, “Hey, shadow, even you should be that helpful. Then the shadow actually disappeared.   The scholar was impatient when the shadow was gone, but he was still working on his book. There seems to be a ‘precedent’ for the disappearance of shadows in this storyworld, with such stories even in cold countries. One day someone knocked at my door. There was a beautifully dressed man. The scholar did not recognise him at all. The man said. I am the man who was your shadow. I used to be your shadow.

Ⅰ Personality and personas

When Andersen lived, this was before the advent of Jungian and Freudian psychology. Persona is used in almost the same sense, but is sometimes separated from the use of Persona, which is associated with God, whereas normal personality is human and ‘one’. The Latin word ‘persona’, originally a Greek word meaning face, originally referred to the masks worn by actors on stage. It then came to refer not to a mask but to a person playing a ‘role’. It is then easy to imagine the Christian Trinity as having a Father, Son, Holy Spirit and Persona who really come and go and become ‘one’. For Jung, the ‘shadow’ is also Aristotelian, whereas Plato turned the idea outwards. The fact that he continued to observe the truth in form is related to the fact that he was confronted with the patient. The unconscious is, in a word, what one has failed to achieve, and as a work of art it is possible to give this scholar an invisible shadow.  

However, it is also important to note that this ‘shadow’ is not unconscious, but an embodied being. The scholars were intoxicated by the study of the good, the beautiful and the true. Rather than this shadow being unconscious, I focus on Andersen’s youthful experience as an aspiring opera singer. He wanted to stay on stage, if only his voice would change. There is a curious relationship between actors and ‘personality’. Is a role another aspect of the self? A persona is something that, in its normal state, returns to unify as ‘identity’ as ‘one’, but a ‘role’ is different. It is the use of one’s body to create a completely different person. On stage they exist as different names. But there you can’t separate yourself from yourself. Even if you play the role of a ‘scholar’, you form a personality together with something that is inseparable from the ‘personality’ of that actor. 

In this story, one of them always had to be the subject and the shadow. As a ‘thinking thing’ that ‘expands’ the human psyche, the ‘shadow’ had many different meanings, but it seemed that the actor could not return to his original form, and the ‘shadow’ that was the role had achieved happiness. At the same time, it implied that personality was subordinate not only to the judgement of the ‘individual’, but also to the ‘collective’. The shadow belonged to the group far more than the scholar, because the shadow belonged to the group.

Ⅱ  Plato and the ‘shadow’.

What was the ‘shadow’ to the scholar? The fact that shadows are self-supporting and go out reminded me of the allegory of the cave (Plato). In allegory of the cave, prisoners live in a cave, but because they are bound, they do not know that there is a fire behind them. In the cave, the prisoners live in the shadows of puppets lit by the fire, but only one of them has been able to leave the cave. This prisoner knows that the cave was a ‘shadow’ and knows the world outside, where the sun shines. But when he told the rest of the prisoners, they did not believe him.   They were no longer sure whether the shadow that had left the scholar was the scholar’s alter ego or not. Andersen preferred to conceal the similarities between the two. Not only that, but when the scholar returned to the cold land of his homeland, a new shadow had grown. The previous shadow had been freed from its subject, and this shadow had travelled to the outer truth. The shadow then took on a splendid appearance and visited the scholar in the cold land. The scholar generously accepted the shadow as another personality. The reader’s preconception is that there is some kind of connection between the scholar and the shadow, like a dual personality, but this is not the case. It is safe to assume that this is a completely different person.   “The most beautiful thing in the world is poetry,” the shadow said of a woman the scholar fell in love with at first sight in a hot country. The association with the woman awakened the shadow’s ego. He wanted shoes and clothes, and people took pity on him and looked after him. After such a pleasant conversation, the shadow went back on its journey.  

In equating the idea of the Good with the concept of God, Plato’s Pirebos clearly states. Plato equated the ‘good’ with the ‘one’: ‘It would do more harm than good if, having all other knowledge, one lacked knowledge of the most good’. The scholar was such a being. But the ‘shadow’ became another existence for the scholar.

Ⅲ ’Uniqueness’ and monads.

The shadow returned to the scholar. The scholar continued to write stories about ‘truth, goodness and beauty’, but was unable to advance in his career. The Shadow was still friendly at this time, and even suggested that he would like to travel with him. But there was one condition. You will be my shadow’, the scholar refused, saying ‘I don’t want to do that’. He refused, even though he was offered a treat for his travel expenses. The true, good and beautiful that the scholar was talking about was like giving a rose to a cow for most people. So the scholar became very ill. When I suggested again that the shadow travel and that “you be my shadow”, the scholar finally agreed to the terms.

They got on well, but their relationship changed after the Shadow expressed his opinion on how to address the other person. The shadow wanted to say ‘you’ to the scholar. In response, the scholar said,This is ridiculous. He couldn’t contain his irritation: “It’s ridiculous that I have to say ‘buggerlugs’ when he calls me ‘old bean’.   In Japanese alone, this is not clear. So in Danish: “Det er dog vel galt”, tænkte han, “at jeg må sige De og han sige du”, men nu måtte han holde ud.   De (honourific title) Du (personal title)

“Du” is also a language of movement, so the shadow moves and the protagonist is taken over. De is an old polite word, but that’s why the protagonist is angry that the shadow calls him old. Because it means old. It’s like a Lewis Carroll word game here. The humiliation of ‘Du’ for ‘that guy’ who moves around, who is still treated as a master and is still a respectful title, but it is unforgivable. Because I become a shadow.   For a scholar who studies ‘truth, goodness and beauty’, which could be called the Platonic School, it would be unacceptable for a form (eidos) to try to get away from him and gain an advantage over him. For it is the ‘self’ that goes outside the cave to gain perception. Where philosophy is materialistic rather than materialistic mind, it is always the ‘self’ that gets it. And yet, in total separation, the Shadow becomes a success and the Self cannot even write a book. What has the Shadow taken from the hero, or has the hero inadvertently given to the Shadow, whom Andersen conceals to the very end? At a holiday resort they visit, they meet a beautiful princess. The princess suffers from an illness that makes her “see things too well”. The princess is interested in the shadow, who has a charm that no one else has, and when they dance together, they fall in love. The shadow introduced the scholar to the princess as “the shadow who knows everything”. When the princess was told, “When you ask this man questions, treat him like a human being”, she agreed and asked the scholar many questions. The princess decided to marry the man who had such a wonderful ‘shadow’ (scholar).  The shadow said to the scholar, “From now on, you will be my shadow”, but the scholar refused. Then, at their wedding, the ‘scholar’ was killed.

The principle of sufficient reason tries to live out why there is only one person, and the principle of sufficient reason also means reasons, as seen in (ratio: Latin). Leibniz responds to the monad on ‘unity’ by saying. It is the presence or absence of self-consciousness, of conscious representation. One’s ‘uniqueness’ is first of all to have self-consciousness. I don’t know why Leibniz was so obsessed with ‘uniqueness’, so Probably because he was a scientist. An observer and an object must be certain. The observation of such a being, where there may be not one but two people to verify and prove it, cannot be trusted. Only by being the only being and the only object can one ‘presuppose’.

The scholar and the shadow, why couldn’t they live separately? It is a much later psychological story that a shadow can be a repressed self. In fact, as mentioned above, Andersen has hidden the common denominator between the scholar and the shadow. However, the shadow’s existence transcended the eidos and required time to become ‘one’ with the surrounding cognition, soul and persona. It is interesting to note that this was the time of marriage to the princess. This is because Christian marriages are always monogamous.    There is a similar story to that of Andersen. “The Goloshes of fortune” (Lykkens Kalosker). Again there are cold and hot countries, but in this story the name of the country is given. The cold land is Switzerland and the hot land is Italy. There was a young servant called ‘Happiness’ and an old fairy called ‘Sorrow’; Happiness was a servant available to the goddess and carried happiness with her. Sorrow was a fairy who worked alone. Happiness was given a pair of boots as a birthday present. Whoever wore the boots could make any wish come true and be happy. When ‘Sorrow’ found out, she objected, saying that whoever wore the boots would be unhappy.

The Lucky Fairy places a pair of “lucky boots” for someone to pick up. The boots were picked up by the legal adviser , the night watchman and the scribe, but although the wish was granted, it was a tragedy. Finally, the boots reached the ‘seminarian’. The seminarian first wished to go from a cold country to a hot one. Then he could fly from Switzerland to Italy. Then the seminarian got tired of travelling and thought it was because of his physical body. Then he wished that he could even lose this body.   The seminarian’s soul was free and he died. Two figures moved around the room and the Fairy of Sorrow said to the Servant of Happiness. What happiness have you given him? And Happiness said, ‘I suppose I gave him eternal happiness, because he could sleep like that. Then Sorrow said, ‘Not at all. He died of his own accord, so he was not summoned,’ he replied.

And ‘sorrow’ went on to say. This man was not wise enough to discover the gifts destined for his destiny. But I will give him grace.   Sorrow took off the seminarian’s boots. The seminarian came to life and stood up. At the same time. The Fairy of Sorrow disappeared with the boot. The Boots of Happiness may have ended up belonging to Sorrow. The reason for the scholar’s death in another work, The Shadow, is related to what the Fairy of Sorrow said to the dead theology student: ‘I was not wise enough to find my gifts’. This is the ‘persona’ that Andersen has, and it is the story of another persona. In his work The Shadow, there are no words that try to explore people’s experiences, such as ‘sorrow’ or ‘happiness’.   The lesson of The Shadow, and what makes it a puzzle, is that the polysemy of the shadow is not settled. It could be a confession, describing another inner life of the author, or it could simply be a ‘story’. Leibniz believed that not everything that is possible is realised. What is possible exists as possible without being realised. Reality is born of innumerable possibilities that cannot be born. Borrowing from Leibniz’s rule of reason and indiscrimination, the death of the ‘scholar’ can then be seen as.  

Nothing is without reason, but if there is such a thing as the result of indiscrimination, it is merely a creation of human ignorance. This is the same as what the Greeks called ‘luck’. The death of a scholar is an accident caused by ignorance.   Leibniz and Plato had something in common with regard to ‘ideas’. However, Leibniz started from the point where Descartes’ ‘idea’ was only subjective, and his ‘idea’ was something similar to Plato’s idea, but the crucial difference was that Leibniz’s idea was that ‘the essence of ideas is representation’. Scholars studied ‘truth, goodness and beauty’. So his idea should have been ‘truth, goodness and beauty’.Just as there is an ideal ‘good’ in the idea of the good. Leibniz did not. There is an idea that cannot be known subjectively. But he never got there. At least he did not get there during his lifetime. What was the ‘expression’ that he neglected? He never questioned the fact that he was in a dipterocarp relationship with himself and his ‘shadow’. A dipterocarp is not two plants with branches. It is one being, one uniqueness. But the scholar did not try to find his ‘gift’ as a ‘will’ until the end.  

The fact that it is not even possible to say that the shadow was the ‘opposite of good’ is what makes this story so fascinating. For it brings us into contact with later psychological ‘shadows’, personas.

Last Lazarus of Bethany

The Shadow was released from the cave as a prisoner and saw many truths. It must have been a journey to become ‘one’ without being known. It was another persona of the author who was concerned with ‘marriage’, as in other fairy tales, etc., and that the two men could not coexist as ‘Eidos’. The Shadow told the scholars that this was his best chance, but they didn’t believe him. Andersen wrote a story about how he wanted to be on stage, but if we take the actor’s point of view, maybe there really was no ‘Shadow’. We assume that the scholar played everything, not a double personality. This is not some kind of mental illness. A man just wanted to know about the world and travelled all the time. This would easily explain why the scholar could not get the manuscript of Truth, Goodness and Beauty right. Nobody lived in the room and he neglected the manuscript. Perhaps the tomb is empty and no one has married the princess. But no, for Andersen ‘death’ could not be empty. Death had to be there. The actor must end the play and return to the One. After the death of cruelty, which persona of oneself bows on the stage curtain?

First, The Seminarian in the boots of happiness was accompanied by the fairy of Sorgen(sorrows) The scholar, on the other hand, was not. Why didn’t the scholar have a ‘Sorrow’ fairy? Focus on the ‘coincidence’ of this. What did it mean, and think about Andersen’s character, who wrote a similar story. Was it fear of the absence of a grieving being, or perhaps not only that? Who was it that did not mourn his own death, perhaps it was unmistakably ‘himself’? Next, Andersen was always thinking about the ‘death’ of the poor in his stories. Not only that, but he himself was sensitive to ‘death’.The projection onto the seminarians may have reflected the author’s own fears as well as his hopes, so that the seminarians came to life. And the death of the scholar may have been a way of accepting the values of ‘death’ as they were. As to why the story of the “shadow” is sad, I will summarise by saying that Jesus was indignant at the death of Lazarus. Andersen’s ‘shadow’ is unique compared to other fairy tales. It is as if there were no divine prayer, no miracle. But perhaps those who have read his fairy tales will recognise his hidden personality. What he meant when he said that the poor can only be happy through ‘death’. Indeed, the scholar may have neglected many things before his death. And finally, In the face of cruelty, he may have wanted people to feel indignation, as Jesus shed tears. This is where I find the consistency of ‘sanctity of life’ as the author’s persona. I cannot help but think that this is what the author looks like when he has fulfilled his role. Remember that Jesus is always mourning ‘your death’. Whenever you feel that you are losing your own self-worth, whenever you think that your death will make no difference, please remember that there is someone who loves you enough to mourn your death.

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”‐John 11:4

My persona, when it cannot return to one,

I pray that when the stage curtain comes down, I can come back to this heart.

*The English translations of the quotations are original.

Lykkens Kalosker       http://wayback-01.kb.dk/wayback/20101108104438/http://www2.kb.dk/elib/lit/dan/andersen/eventyr.dsl/hcaev021.htm


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