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Archetypal Literary Criticism Essay

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In Literary Criticism, there is an idea that believes that Archetypes make up literature’s meaning. The concept of Archetypes in literature has been the subject of extensive examination in Literary Criticism. “Criticism can be broken down into two broad categories: evaluative and interpretive” (Gardner 1287). The criticism is based on Literary Theory, which is composed of ideas that help interpret, and analyze literature. Everything in literature has a meaning, and many different people came up with strategies to evaluate and interpret it. The use of Archetypes in Literary Criticism helped critics to interpret a text, and find its hidden meaning. In Archetypal Literary Criticism, archetypes hold the idea that cultures, folk- tales, and common mythical beings all play a role in a text’s significance.
Carl Jung, a psychoanalyst, came up with the idea of archetypes while studying the human psyche, and interpreting dreams. Jung was born in Kesswil, Switzerland on July 26, 1875. In the beginning of his studies, Jung collaborated with Sigmund Freud, the creator of psychoanalysis, and they both analyzed the language in dreams, which are basically just symbols. Jung claimed that behind symbols lie archetypes. “We meet dragons, helpful animals, and demons; also the Wise Old Man, the animal-man, the wishing tree, the hidden treasure, the well, the cave, the walled garden, the processes and substances of transformation in alchemy, and so forth-all things which in no way touch the banalities of everyday. The reason for this is that they have to do with the realization of a part of the personality which has not yet come to existence but is still in the process of becoming”(Jung 467). Archetypes represent practically
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...College, 1992. 1057-062.
Frye, Northrop. "The Archetypes Of Literature." The Myth and Ritual Theory an Anthology. Malden, Mass. [u.a.: Blackwell Publ., 1998. 218-30.
Gardner, Janet E. "Literary Criticism and Literary Theory." Literature: a Portable Anthology. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2009. 1287-296.
Jung, C. G., and Laszlo Violet S. De. The Basic Writings of C.G. Jung. New York: Modern Library, 1993.
Kharbe, Ambreen. "Archetypal Criticism." English Language and Literary Criticism.
New Delhi: Discovery Pub. House, 2009. 327-40.
Munafo, Robert P. "Archetypes in Literature at MROB." The Published Data of Robert Munafo at MROB. Creative Commons Attribution. 12 Oct. 2011. .
Sutton, Walter E., and Richard Jackson Foster. "Maud Bodkin." Modern Criticism, Theory and Practice. New York: Odyssey, 1963. 208-221


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