Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Minnis SJ Delta College

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Minnis SJ Delta College"— Presentation transcript:

1 Minnis SJ Delta College
Archetypal Criticism Minnis SJ Delta College

2 Definition Archetypal literary criticism
(from the Greek archē, or beginning, and typos, or imprint)

3 It is a type of critical theory that interprets a text by focusing on recurring myths and archetypes in the narrative, symbols, images, and character types in a literary work.

4 According to Carl Jung, these patterns are embedded deep in the "collective unconscious" and involve "racial memories" of situations, events, relationships from time immemorial

5 Explanation The archetypal patterns will help clarify the individual text by connecting it to more universal patterns that often transcend literature itself

6 The “collective unconscious” is a set of primal memories common to the human race, existing below each person's conscious mind. Archetypal criticism assumes that there is a collection of symbols, images, characters, and motifs that suggest basically the same response in all people.  

7 1. The hero begins life in a paradise (such as a garden)
The basis of archetypal criticism is that all literature consists of variations on a great mythic cycle within the following pattern: 1.  The hero begins life in a paradise (such as a garden) 2.  The hero is displaced from paradise (alienation) 3.  The hero endures time of trial and tribulation, usually a wandering (a journey) 4.  The hero achieves self-discovery as a result of the struggles on that journey 5.  The hero returns to paradise (either the original or a new and improved one)

8 They believe that these archetypes are the source of much of literature's power.
archetypal women - the Good Mother, the Terrible Mother, and the Soul Mate (such as the Virgin Mary) water - creation, birth-death-resurrection, purification, redemption, fertility, growth garden - paradise (Eden), innocence, fertility desert - spiritual emptiness, death, hopelessness red - blood, sacrifice, passion, disorder green - growth, fertility black - chaos, death, evil serpent - evil, sensuality, mystery, wisdom, destruction seven - perfection shadow- the darker, unconscious self, persona- a man's social personality (usually the hero), and anima or "soul image" (usually the heroine).  neurosis occurs when someone fails to integrate one of these unconscious components into his conscious and projects it on someone else. Hero archetype - The hero is involved in a quest (in which he overcomes obstacles). He experiences initiation (involving a separation, transformation, and return

9 Proponents Carl Jung Jung addresses the relevance of archetypal theory in literature and the arts most clearly in The Spirit in Man, Art, and Literature (1966) which contains two significant essays on literature and poetry (first published 1922 and 1930).

10 In Jung’s archetypal theory, the unconscious mind plays a profound role, and it has a purpose, which is to assist individuals in maintaining a balanced psychological state.

11 Northrop Frye ( ) Canadian literary critic, best known as a major proponent of archetypal criticism. In this branch of literary criticism, literature and other art forms are seen as manifestations of universal myths and archetypes (largely unconscious image patterns that cross cultural boundaries). Frye’s most important work, AnatomyofCriticism (1957), introduced archetypal criticism, identifying and discussing basic archetypal patterns as found in myths, literary genres, and the reader’s imagination.

12 Frye’s works combine a formidable breadth of knowledge with clarity of thought and an accessible style. He was committed to literary criticism as a vital component of cultural life rather than an intellectual hobby. Frye frequently addressed the pervasive influence of the New Testament on Western thought and writing, most notably in The Great Code: The Bible and Literature (1982). His other works include Fables of Identity: Studies in Poetic Mythology (1963); A Natural Perspective (1965), a study of the comedies of English poet and playwright William Shakespeare; The Return of Eden (1965), a study of the works of English poet John Milton; Fools of Time (1967), a study of Shakespeare’s tragedies; and The Bush Garden: Essays on the Canadian Imagination (1971), a study of 20th-century Canadian poetry. Frye’s writings on literary criticism are collected in The Well-Tempered Critic (1963), The Educated Imagination (1964), The Secular Scripture (1971), and Words with Power (1990).

13 In literature, characters, images, and themes that symbolically embody universal meanings and basic human experiences, regardless of when or where they live, are considered archetypes. Common literary archetypes include stories of quests, initiations, scapegoats, descents to the underworld, and ascents to heaven.

14 A symbol which recurs often enough in literature to be recognizable as an element of one's experience devises an elaborate classification of modes, symbols, myths, and genres. It establishes a comprehensive correspondence between the basic genres- comedy, romance, tragedy, and irony. And the myths and archetypal patterns associated with the seasonal cycle of spring, summer, fall, and winter.

15 Effect on Readers The death-rebirth theme is a pattern wherein it starts with the quest by the protagonist who must leave her/his home, travel into unfamiliar territory, meet a guide, endure dangerous situations and adventures, reach the object of his goal, gain important knowledge, and return home with that knowledge to share with others. The readers are able to recognize story patterns and symbolic associations. Somehow, they are able to form assumptions and expectations from the encounters.

16 Archetypal criticism is an attempt to bring psychological analysis and reflection to bear upon the imaginative experience communicated by literature, and to examine those forms or patterns in which the universal forces of human nature find objectification.

17 Archetypal images and story patterns can encourage readers to participate in basic beliefs, fears, and anxieties of their age. These archetypes constitute the clearness of the text but also tap into a level of desires and anxieties of people. Archetypal criticism helps in the deepening of events into experiences. It provides a universalistic approach to literature. It works well with works that are highly symbolic.


Download ppt "Minnis SJ Delta College"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google