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Mythological and Archetypal Approaches. Definitions and Misconceptions The myth critics study the so-called archetypes or archetypal patterns. They wish.

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Presentation on theme: "Mythological and Archetypal Approaches. Definitions and Misconceptions The myth critics study the so-called archetypes or archetypal patterns. They wish."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mythological and Archetypal Approaches

2 Definitions and Misconceptions The myth critics study the so-called archetypes or archetypal patterns. They wish to reveal about the people ’ s mind and character. Myth is the symbolic projection of the people’s hopes, values, fears, and aspirations. The illustration is Pandora’s Box. According to mythology, Pandora’s Box is the source of all misfortune but also hope.

3 Both mythological criticism and the psychological approach are concerned with the motives that underlie human behavior. Comparisons between these two approaches

4 Psychology tends to be experimental and diagnostic; it is related to biological science. Mythology tends to be speculative and philosophical; its affinities are with religion, anthropology, and cultural history.

5 Examples of Archetypes: Images 1. Water: a. The sea b. Rivers (cf. The Mississippi River in Huckleberry Finn) 2. Sun a. Rising sun b. Setting sun 3. Colors Archetypes are universal symbol. This is Ouroboros.

6 4. Circle: wholeness, unity a. Mandala b. Egg (oval) c. Yin-Yang d. Ouroboros 5. Serpent (snake, worm) 6. Numbers Mandala Yang-yin

7 7. The archetypal woman a. The Good Mother (cf. The Widow Douglas in Huckleberry Finn) b. The Terrible Mother (cf. Miss Watson in Huckleberry Finn) c. The Soul Mate (cf. Mary Jane Wilks in Huckleberry Finn) Miss Watson

8 8. The demon lover (cf. Blake ’ s “ The Sick Rose ” and the Jungian animus) 9. The Wise Old Man (cf. Jim in Huckleberry Finn) 10. The Trickster ( “ con man ”— King and Duke in Huckleberry Finn) 11. Garden 12. Tree 13. Desert 14. Mountain

9 B. Archetypal Motifs or Patterns 1.Creation: perhaps the most fundamental of all archetypal motifs 2.Immortality (cf. “ To His Coy Mistress ” ) a. Escape from time b. Mystical submersion into cyclical time Andrew Marvell

10 3. Hero archetypes a. The quest (cf. Oedipus) b. Initiation (cf. Huck) c. The sacrificial scapegoat (cf. Oedipus and Hamlet) The dueling match in Hamlet is a pattern of sacrifice- atonement-Catharsis Oedipus the Rex

11 Northrop Frye, in his Anatomy of Criticism, indicates the correspondent genres for the four seasons: 1. Spring: comedy 2. Summer: romance 3. Fall: tragedy (cf. Hamlet) 4. Winter: irony C. Archetypes as Genres Louis Bouwmeester ( ) as Oedipus

12 Myth Criticism in Practice : A. Anthropology and Its Uses Sir James G. Frazer, in his monumental The Golden Bough, demonstrates the “ essential similarity of mans ’ chief wants everywhere and at all times. ” Photo from 1990 Main Stage Production of Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

13 The central motif with which Frazer deals is the archetype of resurrection, specifically the myths describing the “ killing of the divine king. ” Corollary to the rite was the scapegoat archetype. The book cover of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery

14 B. Jungian Psychology C.G. Jung ’ s “ myth forming ” elements are in the unconscious psyche; he refers them as “ motifs, ” “ primordial images, ” or “ archetypes. ” He also detected the relationship between dreams, myths, and art through which archetypes come into consciousness. Carl Gustav Jung is known as one of the foremost psychological thinkers of the 20th century.

15 Individuation is a psychological growing up, the process of discovering those aspects of one ’ s self that make one an individual different from other members of the species. Individuation: Shadows, Persona, and Anima Process of individuation: 1. acknowledging that these unconscious tendencies are part of oneself, of one's personality

16 Shadow The shadow is the darker aspects of our unconscious self, the inferior and less pleasing aspects of the personality, which we wish to suppress. (cf. Shakespeare ’ s Iago, Milton ’ s Satan, Goethe ’ s Mephistopheles, and Conrad ’ s Kurtz) 2. refusing to allow one's personality to be compelled by these tendencies through possession or projection

17 Anima The anima is the “ soul-image. ” It is the contrasexual part of a man ’ s psyche, the image of the opposite sex that he carries in both his personal and collective unconscious. (cf. Helen of Troy, Dante ’ s Beatrice, Milton ’ s Eve)

18 Persona If the anima is a kind of mediator between the ego and the unconscious, the persona is the mediator between our ego and the external world. It is the actor ’ s mask that we show to the world.

19 Related works and links about mythological approaches Jung, Carl Gustav. Four Archetypes: Mother, Rebirth, Spirit, Trickster. Trans. R. F. C. Hull. London: Routledge, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. Trans. R.F.C. Hull. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton U P,1980. Frye, Northrop. Anatomy of Criticism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, Grazer, James G. The Golden Bough. Abridged ed. New York: Macmillan, Introduction to Individuation. Personality and Consciousness – Major Archetypes and Individuation.http://pandc.ca/?cat=car_jung&page=major_archetypes_a nd_individuationhttp://pandc.ca/?cat=car_jung&page=major_archetypes_a nd_individuation The Individuation Process


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