DER FISCHER - A poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A lusty anima vision
The poem "The Fisherman" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe describes the magical appearance of a mermaid on a fisherman's jetty.
The Anima - Source of Inspiration
The feminine has always exerted a great fascination on men and especially on artists. This primal or ARCHETYPE of femininity was called ANIMA by C.G. Jung. The anima as the inner female image of the man is muse and inspiration for peak performance, whore or goddess, longing or addiction.
C.G. Jung writes about the mermaid in Goethe's poem "The Fisherman":
The mermaid is an even more instinctive precursor of a magical female being, which we call anima .
The Anima in "The Fisherman" as a Mermaid
In his poem "The Fisherman" , Goethe describes an imaginary encounter with the mythical creature of the mermaid. She speaks to him, stirs something in him and finally draws him down to her in the depths.
The mermaid as an ANIMA figure is a symbol for the man's inner woman, who is not yet very developed. As a being from the WATER, she belongs to the collective unconscious and to the realm of urges . They can lead to a loss of control of the consciousness (seeThe Conscious and the Unconscious).
As a comparison: The Anima in Goethe's Faust
In contrast, Goethe, for example, thematises the attraction of the anima in his Faust in the figure of the innocent Gretchen (as a VIRGIN) and the beautiful Helena as a DIVINE. The sublime idea of femininity inspired him to write the sentence:
"The eternal feminine attracts us."
However, the fisherman is pulled down by the mermaid.