Northrop Fryes Theory of Archetypes Compiled by Dilip Barad Dept. of English, M.K. Bh. It was not until the work of the Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye that archetypal criticism was theorized in purely literary terms. The major. “The Archetypes of Literature” by Northrop Frye – Free download as PDF File .pdf ), Text File .txt) or read online for free. Northrop Frye. The Kenyon Review, Vol.

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But in fact, arguments about generic blends such as tragicomedy go back to the Renaissanceand Frye always conceived of genres as fluid.

Archetypal literary criticism – Wikipedia

A Theory of Modes,” “Ethical Criticism: Richard IIthe hero who ,iterature with honor; and many others. Frazer was part of a group of comparative anthropologists working out of Cambridge University who worked extensively on the topic.

A meaningless criticism will not help a reader in developing a systematic structure of knowledge about a work of literature. Refer to the Indian seasonal grid below.

Jungian analytical psychology distinguishes between the personal and collective unconsciousthe latter being particularly relevant to archetypal criticism. An important antecedent of the literary theory of the archetype was the treatment of myth by a group of comparative anthropologists at Cambridge University, especially James G.

The archetypes to which Jung refers are represented through primordial images, a term he coined. These are examples of symbols that resonate with archetypal critics. Frazer argues that the death-rebirth myth is present in almost all cultural mythologies, and is acted out in terms of growing seasons and vegetation.


Two Types of Criticism and the Humanities Like science, literary criticism is also a systematized and organized body of knowledge. It is either tragic or comic vision of archetpyes which determines the interpretation of a symbol or myth, says Frye.

Archetypal literary criticism

Circe transformed her enemies, or those who offended her, into animals through the use of magical potions. Thus an anthropologist makes a threadbare analysis of the origins of Hamlet under archetypal criticism. For example, nortthrop genre of drama originates from Greek religion. Criticism does not deal with any actuality, but with what is conceivable and rfye.

Literature is like lirerature and painting. Studies in Poetic Mythology is a critical work published in As for the tragic, vegetation is of a wild forest, or as being barren. Not only symbols, images and myths are archetypal; even genres are archetypal. Conclusion Of the different approaches of literary criticism, Northrop Frye has established the validity of the archetypal approach and its relevance in the elucidation of a text.

In this essay printed in introduction to conclusion for M. On the whole, he wrote about twenty books on Western literature, culture, myth, archetypal theory, religion and social thought. The darkness, winter and desolation phase.

For articles about specific literary archetypes, see Category: The hero is absent. Due to his efforts, Archetypal Criticism replaced New Criticism as the most important mode of analysis of literary texts. It is during the day that man develops fear and frustration, and it is in the dark of literatyre night his libido, the strong force of life, awakens and he resolves to achieve.

He contemplated including a diagram of lirerature wheel in Anatomy of Criticism but thought better of it.


Initially he was a student of theology and then he switched over to literature. Jung was a psychologist associated with Freud.

The comedic human world is representative of wish-fulfillment and being community centred. Frye thought literary forms were part of a great circle and were capable of shading into other generic forms. The Archetypes of Literature Hamletthe self-doubting hero and literathre initiation archetype with the three stages of separation, transformation, and return.

Frye’s work breaks from both Frazer and Jung in such a way that it is distinct from its anthropological and psychoanalytical precursors. Owing to jealousy, Othello, in the Shakespearean play, inflicts upon himself affliction and this is the particular truth of the drama from which the reader learns the general truth of life that jealousy is always destructive. Retrieved from ” http: All cultures believe the Cosmos was brought into existence by some Supernatural Being or Beings.

Also, spring symbolizes the defeat of winter and darkness. After discussing the central pattern of the comic vision and the tragic vision in a myth, Frye introduces W. There are myths dealing with the birth of a hero, his revival and resurrection, defeat of the powers of darkness and death.

Rhythm in a Work. It is the antithesis, which resolves the problems and misunderstandings of man and makes him perceive truth both in religion and literary criticism. Archetypes reveal shared roles among universal societies.

Frye outlines five different spheres in his schema: