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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Chemistry gained the status of science in the eighteenth century, and so did Biology in the nineteenth century. The ogre and the witch are the subordinate characters here and these myths are the archetypes of satire.

Syntactics is the branch of semiotics that deals with the formal properties of signs and symbols. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

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.

Literary Criticism and Religion. This archetype may create a shared imaginary which is defined by many stereotypes that have not separated themselves from the traditional, biological, religious and mythical framework. 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” But in fact, arguments about generic blends such as tragicomedy go back to the Renaissanceand Frye always conceived of genres as fluid.

Perfection is the end of all human efforts. Though he is dismissive of Frazer, Frye uses the seasons in his archetypal schema. Indeed they constitute the bases of many great pieces of literature. At times the author himself may be unconscious of the myths, symbols etc.


The myths of floods, the return of chaos and the defeat of the hero are examples of this phase. Share your views of Criticism as an organised body of knowledge. Very lucid,precise and upto the mark. In addition to the four categories of myths mentioned above, Northrop Frye discusses the quest-myth also which was supposed to have been developed from the four types of myths.

Marriage or some equivalent consummation belongs to the comic vision of life. Archetypal criticism is an all-inclusive term. Rhythm is an essential characteristic of music and in painting, pattern is the chief virtue.

The seasonal rhythms in a solar year are spring, winter, autumn and summer. An author cannot intrude into his text and express his personal emotions and comments.

Archetypal literary criticism

Likewise, religion functions on conceivability. As for Jung, Frye was uninterested about the collective unconscious on the grounds of feeling it was unnecessary: Works of literature have their origins in such rituals and the archetypal critic discovers and explains them. Not only symbols, images and myths are archetypal; even genres are archetypal.

This situation continued till Structuralism and Semiotics came into force as the major modes of criticism.

Welcome: Northrop Frye: The Archetypes of Literature

All the methods fall under structural criticism. Though he is dismissive of Frazer, Frye uses the seasons in his archetypal schema.

There are two types of literary criticism: While in metaphor, this substitution is based on similarity, in metonymy the substitution is based on contiguity. It is the duty of an archetypal critic to analyse myths and establish the meaning and message of a work.


Archetypal symbols vary more than archetype narratives or character types. Pattern in a Work. What is Archetypal Criticism?

A Study of William Blake in Frye shows no concern to the origin of the archetypes.

Like science, literary criticism is also a systematized and organized body of knowledge. Posted by Chitaranjan Kazhungil at 5: Literary Criticism and Religion There is a close relationship between literary criticism and religion. An even more important antecedent was the depth psychology of Carl G. As a form of literary criticism, it dates back to when Maud Bodkin published Archetypal Patterns in Poetry. Frye further says that literacy criticism and its theories and techniques can be taught, but literature cannot be taught, rather it is to be felt and enjoyed.

Historical Criticism and Inductive Analysis. Frye died in Works of art are created in this way and their origin is in primitive cultures. He explains liherature rhythm of the rituals, which are northhrop basis of literature in general. Based on this concept, a work of literature may be critically or scientifically evaluated, says Northrop Frye.

April is the cruelest month…. 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 zenith, summer and marriage or triumph phase.

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