archetypal literary criticism

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archetypal literary criticism overview


  • 1. Archetypal Literary Criticism

2. Historical Context Based on works of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell (and myth itself) Popular in 1950s and 60s due to Canadian, Northrop Frye 3. Definition Archetypal critics believe that literature is based on recurring images, characters, narrative designs and themes. Origins of western literature in Judeo- Christian scripture and Greco-Roman mythology 4. What is an archetype? Arche first and typos form An original model or pattern from which copies are made 5. Fundamental Plot Archetype THE JOURNEY Protagonist moves from innocence to experience Begins in familiar environment Descent into danger Battle monsters in underworld (task) Return home (reunion, marriage) 6. Key Terms Anima Animus Collective Unconscious Persona Shadow 7. Common Archetypal Figures The Child The Hero The Great Mother The Wise old man The Trickster or Fox 8. Frye vs Jung Frye sees archetypes as recurring patterns in literature; in contrast, Jung views archetypes as primal, ancient images/experience that we have inherited. 9. Objections Limits personal interpretation Only analyses one aspect of literature (archetypes 10. Story time In the fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel are loved by their father but resented by their step-mother, who insists on a journey into the woods with the intent of losing them. In the woods, the children meet evil in the guise of a witch who tries to kill them. But they outwit her, kill her, and return to their father. Their step-mother in some versions dies mysteriously at the same time as the witch. Familiar order is restored. 11. Re-write In groups of 3-4, write a modern version of this fairy tale. Make sure your modern tale does not alter the original theme or message. Note how you used the archetypes within this tale. Be prepared to present to the rest of the class.