The word persona comes from Latin (from the verb personare, per-sonare: to speak through ) where it designated the mask worn by theater actors . The function of this mask was both to give the actor the appearance of the character he was playing, but also to allow his voice to carry far enough to be audible to the spectators.
In his analytical psychology , Carl Jung used this word to designate an archtype who is the part of the personality which organizes the relationship of the individual to society, the way in which each one must more or less fit into a socially predefined character in order to hold his own. social role. The ego can easily identify with the persona, leading the individual to think he is who he is in the eyes of others and no longer know who he really is. In this case, Jung's persona is close to Donald W. Winnicott's concept of false self.. We must therefore understand the persona as a "social mask", an image, created by the ego, which can end up usurping the real identity of the individual. Alfred de Musset explored this somewhat in Lorenzaccio .
Back to: list of Jungian Archetypes