Writing about War:

Jung, Much Ado About Nothing, and the Troy novels of Lindsay Clarke


  • Susan Rowland University of Greenwich




Arguably, in a time of war literature, and indeed all writing, is saturated with deep psychic responses to conflict. So that not only in literary genres such as epic and tragedy, but also in the novel and comedy, can writing about war be discerned. C.G. Jung,  Shakespeare and Lindsay Clarke are fundamentally writers of war who share allied literary strategies. Moreover, they diagnose similar origins to the malaise of a culture tending to war in the neglect of aspects of the feminine that patriarchy prefers to ignore. In repressing or evading the dark feminine, cultures as dissimilar as ancient Greece, the 21st century, Shakespeare's England and Jung's Europe prevent the healing energies of the conjunctio of masculine and feminine from stabilising an increasingly fragile consciousness. In the Troy novels of Clarke, Answer to Job by Jung and Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespeare, some attempt at spiritual nourishment is made through the writing.