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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A Theory of Modes,” “Ethical Criticism: Jungian analytical psychology distinguishes between the personal and collective unconsciousthe latter being particularly relevant to archetypal criticism. For Frye, the death-rebirth myth that Frazer sees manifest in agriculture and the harvest is not ritualistic since it is involuntary, and therefore, must be done.

The archetypes of literature – Northrop Frye – UGC NET English

It is noted for its darkness, dissolution, the return northrrop chaos, and the defeat of the heroic figure.

Such recurrent items are held to be the result of elemental and universal forms or patterns in the human psyche, whose effective embodiment in a literary work evokes a profound response from the attentive reader, because he or she shares the psychic archetypes expressed by the author. According to this argument the dilemma Frye’s archetypal criticism faces with more contemporary literatureand that of post-modernism in general, is that genres and categories are no longer distinctly separate and that the very concept of genres has become blurred, thus problematizing Frye’s schema.

What the readers require today is a synthesis of structural criticism and historical criticism. For example, the genre of drama originates norfhrop Greek religion. In the human world rituals are performed voluntarily and they have their own significance. While Frazer’s work deals with mythology and archetypes in material terms, the work of Carl Gustav Jungthe Swiss-born founder of analytical psychology, is, in contrast, immaterial in its focus.

Briefly explain deductive method with reference to an analogy to Music, Painting, rhythm and pattern.

There is a type of criticism, which focuses literatuge on an analysis of a text. Each category is further subdivided into two categories: He also understands that there are some neutral archetypes as well which could not be identified as clearly to either of the tragic and the comedic.


What are the sources of its origin? Philosophy and history are two major tools- for interpretation of literature and archetypal criticism is based on philosophy and history of a people.

Archetypal literary criticism

At the time of planting and harvest, sacrifices and offerings are made and they have a meaning: The field has not seen much evolution since then and is not much in practice at present. With the same death-rebirth myth that Frazer sees as being representative of the growing frje and agriculture as a point of comparison, a Jungian analysis envisions the death-rebirth archetype as a “symbolic expression of a process taking place not in the world but in the mind.

Newer Post Older Post Home. Such things have already an element of narrative and they add further to the narrative of the writer in his works. Initially he was a student of theology and then he switched over to literature. Oof explores nature and different branches of science explore different aspects of nature. Studies in Poetic Mythology nrthrop a literathre work published in Apart from him, the other prominent practitioners of various modes of archetypal criticism were G.

Not only symbols, images and myths are archetypal; even genres are archetypal. Cities, a temple, or precious stones represent the comedic mineral realm. For the realm of vegetation, the comedic is, again, pastoral but also represented by gardens, parks, roses and lotuses. For Frye, the death-rebirth myth, that Arhcetypes sees manifest in agriculture and the harvest, is not ritualistic since it is involuntary, and therefore, must be done.

In the quest-myth, the hero goes in quest of a truth or something else, and this type of myth recurs in all religions. In recent times this type of critics.

A Theory of Genres. If one method explains a text based on the derivation of a general truth from the particular, the other method does it the other way round. Archetypal approach is the interpretation of a text in the light of cultural patterns involved in it, and these cultural patterns are based on the myths and rituals of a race or nation or social group. Appropriation in the arts.

It originates from the subconscious, from the dreams. It is through primordial images that universal archetypes are experienced, and more importantly, that the unconscious is revealed.


Frye accepts his schema to be simplistic.

In the tragic vision of life, this world usually becomes the sea, as the narrative myth of dissolution is so often a flood myth. Such myths are the archetypes noorthrop tragedy and elegy. A meaningless criticism will not help a reader in developing a systematic structure of knowledge about a work of literature. Similarly religion is not associated with scientific actuality, but with how things look like. Frye further says that, almost all genres in every literature have been evolved from the quest-myth only.

The main contributor to its popularity back then was Northrop Frye, a Canadian literary critic. All the methods fall under structural criticism.

In fact, both structural criticism and historical criticism are a necessity in archetypal criticism and neither can be dispensed with. Archetypal criticism dissects and analyses symbols, images and mythologies used by a writer in his works, and these symbols, myths and rituals have their origin in primitive myths, rituals, folk-lore and cultures.

Literary criticism Greek mythology studies Critical theory Literary archetypes. Frye outlines five different spheres in his schema: Indeed they constitute the bases of many great pieces of literature. Historical Criticism and Inductive Analysis. It is common for people to take one well-understood or easy-to-perceive aspect of something and use that aspect to stand either for the thing as a whole or for some other aspect or part of it.

Archetypal literary criticism’s origins are rooted in two other academic disciplines, social anthropology and psychoanalysis ; each contributed to literary criticism in separate ways, with the latter being a sub-branch of critical theory. Frye has identified two major categories — comedic, further subdivided into comedy and romance; and, tragic, further subdivided into tragedy and satire.

The myths of floods, the return of chaos and the defeat of the hero are examples of this phase. You must be logged in to post a comment. That is why it has been associated to winter, which symbolizes the absence of productivity.

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