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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The best archetypal pattern is any symbol with deep roots in a culture’s mythology, such as the forbidden fruit in Genesis or even the poison apple in Snow White. Literary Criticism is a Science. Perfection is the end of all human efforts. Seta, Draupadi or Surparnakha. Rhythm in a Work The world of nature is governed by rhythm and it has got a natural cycle.

Archetypal literary criticism – Wikipedia

Quite evidently the historical-critic plays a major role in the understanding of a text. But in fact, archetypess about generic blends such as tragicomedy go back to the Renaissanceand Frye always conceived of genres as fluid. For example, the genre of drama originates from Greek religion. Based on this concept, a work of literature may be critically or scientifically evaluated, says Northrop Frye.

The myths of floods, the return of chaos and the defeat of the hero are examples of this phase. Under the second type of criticism called historical criticism, a critic interprets the birth of a text and resolves that it is an outcome of the social and cultural demands of a society in a particular period.

Literary Criticism is a Science Science explores nature and different branches of science explore different aspects of nature.

That is why it has been associated to winter, which symbolizes the absence of productivity. He interprets literature in the light of various rituals and myths. The Four Phases of the Myth Every myth has a central significance and the narrative in a myth centres on a figure that may be a god or demi-god or superhuman being or legend. In fact, both structural criticism and historical criticism are a necessity in archetypal criticism and neither can be dispensed with.


Frazerwhose The Golden Bough identified elemental patterns of myth and ritual thatclaimed, recur in the legends and ceremonials of diverse and far-flung cultures and religions.

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. If you can, please read small Gujarati or Hindi or English poem from the archetypal approach and apply Indian seasonal grid in the interpretation. Here the archetypes of images are symposium, communion, order, friendship, and love.

It is during the day that man develops fear and frustration, and it is in the dark of the night his libido, the strong force of life, awakens and he resolves to achieve. The comedic human world is representative of wish-fulfillment and being community centred. As a form of literary criticism, it dates back to when Maud Bodkin published Archetypal Patterns in Poetry.

It is noted for its darkness, dissolution, the return of chaos, and the defeat of the heroic figure. He explains the rhythm of the rituals, which are the basis of literature in general.

The first part deals with the concept of archetypal criticism. This type of formalistic or structural criticism will help the readers in understanding a text only to some extent.

Archetypal literary criticism

There are two types of literary criticism: Each category is further subdivided into two categories: Frye outlines five different spheres in his schema: In cognitive linguisticsmetonymy refers to the use of a single characteristic to identify a more complex entity and is one of the basic characteristics of cognition. The Fables of Identity: Dancing, riding, or flying: Richard IIthe hero who dies with honor; and many others.


Romeo and Julietthe ill-fated “star-crossed” lovers. Posted by Chitaranjan Kazhungil at 5: Frye has divided the easy into three parts. While the sphere of water is present in the form of rivers in comedic, it appears norfhrop floods, seas, etc.


The tragic mineral realm is noted for being a desertruinsor “of sinister geometrical images” Frye At one time he calls the collective unconscious the “a priori, inborn forms of intuition” Lietchwhile in another instance it is a series of “experience s that come upon us like fate” Primordial images originate from the initial stages of humanity and have been part of the collective unconscious ever since.

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. So, the same spheres are to be interpreted in different ways and to the different effects in case of the comedic and the tragic works, respectively.

James George Frazer and Carl Gustav Jung are the two frje authorities who, have greatly contributed to the development of archetypal approach. Marriage or some equivalent consummation belongs to the comic vision of life. Frazer was part of a group of comparative anthropologists working out of Cambridge University who worked extensively on the topic.