Late Review; Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber on Fleet Street using Jungians Analysis.

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Late Review; Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber on Fleet Street using Jungians Analysis.

Post  christophermello on Sun Feb 06, 2011 2:52 pm

Christopher Mello
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber on Fleet Street
Jungians Archetypes


The movie Sweeney Todd; The Demon Barber on Fleet Street, is based off a true event in historic moments, that occurred around the 1800’s. The story illustrates the life of a peasant man who found love with the most beautiful women of London. A jealous man saw this beauty and wanted her for himself. This man being the high judge at the time had power to do with what he pleased, in doing so he hand Mr. Todd (Benjamin Barker) is banished from London for eternity, leaving his wife and daughter behind. Years later Mr. Todd came back to London at attempts to find his love and daughter again, only to be heart broken that his wife had poisoned herself, while his daughter was under the watch of the judge. Mr. Todd soon partners up with a mistress named Ms. Lovett. They later on open a barbershop and meat shop together. Mr. Todd kills people practicing on less honorable throats until the unforgiving judge (judge Turpin) comes along one day. While Ms. Lovett, uses the corps, of the innocent for stuffing in the meat pies. Mr. Todd later on kills his wife by mistaken, finding out that Ms. Lovett had lied to him as well, and in doing so Mr. Todd kills Ms. Lovett. A change of tables happens where Mr. Todd is murdered by a young boy (Toby) whom loved Ms. Lovett.

Symbolic Archetypes

The most recent interpretation of Sweeney Todd in a movie using musical adaptations, has many symbolic archetypes, the most dominant through out the film would be light vs. dark. In the movie characters are constantly switching roles of how they portray their symbolism. Mr. Todd returning to London after over a decade of being banished, floating through out the world, would symbolize the nature of light. This is said because after being alone in the world for so any years, he would be returning to his loving wife and daughter, with open arms and a warm smile demonstrating a renewal of spirit, of hope. A form of darkness can be the fact that Judge Turpin banished Mr. Todd of London in hopes of stealing his beloved wife for himself, proving to the women that he is the alpha male. This act can be looked upon as ignorance, jealousy and to a certain extent being cowardly by having the soldiers doing all the dirty work. Another symbolic archetype that stands out in the movie is the water vs. dessert. Forms of water being Mr. Pirelli’ss miracle elixir, this magical potion is said to be able to replace hair loss in any form, this representing the rebirth of life on ones body. Another form of water representation could be the blood dripping from Mr. Todd’s razors, in choosing this representation would be the reason that earth is frowned upon because its dirty, filled with unhappiness, sorrow, etc which can represent a dessert since its so dry of emotions. Once Mr. Todd slices your throat you are relieved of your duty on earth, letting the blood drip from the razors shows new life in heaven, etc.

Situational Archetypes

The situational archetype of Sweeney Todd; The Demon Barber on Fleet Street are the unhealable wound, and the magic weapon. The unhealable wound being Mr. Todd’s psychological depression and insanity when he finds out that his wife kills herself after she gets raped by Judge Turpin, and the fact that the Judge now has custody over his daughter Johanna. This wound can only be healed once Mr. Todd kills the judge and his negligent assistant Beadle himself and gains custody over his daughter again; Mr. Todd drives everyone around him mad, they constantly watch his every move not knowing what he will do next. At one point Toby sings to Ms. Lovett say “ Not to worry, not to worry. I may not be smart, but I aint dumb. I can do it, put me to it. Show me something I can overcome. Not to worry, mum.” Toddy fears for Ms. Lovett’s safety with Mr. Todd around. The second situational being Mr. Todd’s seven silver razors, Mr. Todd is the best barber there is in all of London, at one point he enters a bet with Mr. Pierlli betting his razors, of course Mr. Todd wins. Towards the end of the movie after Toby discovers the truth of Ms. Lovett and Mr. Todd’s scheme he hides, only later to creep up behind Mr. Todd, slicing Mr. Todd’s throat with his own weapon of destruction. In doing this action, Toddy because the hero, after watching Mr. Todd shave so many faces with the razors, Toby, learns very quickly how to become a master at slicing. Mr. Todd is Toby’s trainer and or mentor to a certain extent, even without knowing so.

Character Archetypes

Judge Turpin has the power of casting all his sins upon those he sentences guilty to death or to jail, in the movie Judge Turpin sentences a young boy, whose name is not stated, roughly around the age of five to seven, to death due to his inconsiderate behavior as a boy whom does not behave. Such and act is frowned upon due to his age, none can deny this act due to the reason of Mr. Turpin being the judge. As the boy is sent to death, all of the houses sins, pains, etc are thrown upon his shoulders. The young boy is a scapegoat, of which he pays for the price by others. In the bible a child is innocent and can be taken under the wings of a mother until they reach the age of seven, there fore the child was released, with a warning.

• The women figure

There are two main figures of women in the movie one being Johanna being lock her room in the judges house. Johanna is a damsel in distress until her shinning prince comes to rescue her. Her room is above the streets of London, making her not as the other peasants who walk the streets, being her castle as Rapunzel. Mrs. Lovett not being your typical women of the century, she’s not married, has no children, etc. although she has none of these she has a beautiful body, voice, etc. Mrs. Lovett continuously temps Mr. Todd to marry her, she flirts with him, etc. for this reason Mrs. Lovett is a temptress.


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Post  Mr. C on Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:01 pm

Chris - very good analysis! I haven't seen the film interpretation, but I'm familiar with the musical. I particularly liked your observation about the Water vs. Desert archetype with the elixir and the blood being a suitable (and sometimes demonic representation) of the water. Although I think there is debate about whether it is based on a real person/events or not. I also think Mr. Todd has elements of the Hero due to his restless wandering for a decade and return.
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female archetypes

Post  Chelsea Norgrove on Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:29 pm

Hey Chris, great review
I was thinking while reading your review Mrs. Lovett being the temptress and if I'm not mistaken, Mr. Todd never really sees her as a sexual object but more as an inspiration on which the entire musical and film are based on. She was the one that got him thinking about using the bodies that he killed in the pies that she made which would benefit both of them in the process. It is clear throughout the film and musical that Mrs. Lovett wants Mr. Todd to become her husband but due to the reason that he coul and wwould never see her that way because of the love that he still holds for his wife, I feel that Mrs. Lovett is not the temptress but the Platonic Ideal. Food for thought Very Happy

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