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Shadow Archetypes in Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and The Hulk: A Jungian Perspective

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Ang Lee’s two most recent films, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) and The Hulk (2003) explore a common motif: the internal confrontation of the central characters with the unconscious shadows embedded in their psyches. In the earlier film, the young heroine Yu Jen, with the aid of her two warrior spiritual guides, struggles to free herself from Jade Fox, the personification of her dark shadow. In the more recent film, the brilliant young scientist, Bruce Banner, has to contend with The Incredible Hulk, the green monster that emerges from the young hero’s unconscious self whenever he becomes angry. Both characters have to confront shadow archetypes shaped by evil, manipulative parent figures. The following article examines the manifestation of the evil, second persona that features in these two films
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Keywords: Alternative persona; Crouching Tiger; Hidden Dragon; The Hulk; archetypal figure; unconscious self

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2004

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  • Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.
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