chapter  14
15 Pages

Kabuki: Signs, Symbols, and the Hieroglyphic Actor

WithLeonard C. Pronko 238

When we speak of symbols in theatrical production, we are most often refer­ ring to what Jung called signs. In his Symbols ofTransformation he made the classic distinction between the two: "A symbol is an indefinite expression with many meanings, pointing to something not easily defmed and therefore not fully known. But the sign always has a fixed meaning, because it is a conventional abbreviation for, or a commonly accepted indication of some­ thing known."1