Archetypal literary criticism is a theory that interprets literature by focusing on recurring myths, archetypes, narrative, symbols, images, and character types in literary work. It is a group of images or situations that appear in literature, due to an author’s subconscious. In grade 9, Of Mice and Men was read and the main characters Lenny and George are anything but forgettable. John Steinbeck’s portrays Lenny as “The Innocent” (also known as: dreamer, utopian.) archetype, the one who ‘s core desire is to get to paradise, his goal is to be happy, his greatest fear is to be punished for doing something bad or wrong and his weakness is the bore for all his naïve innocence. This theory is a very useful tool when analyzing cultured and modern pieces and their content. It allows the reader to compare new content to pre-existing conceptions for a better, more thorough understanding of the pieces.
From this post it can be learnt that archetypal criticism analyzes literature by focusing on recurring themes whether they be narrative, symbolic, characteristic qualities, or situational. Archetypes draw on central ideas one has from nature in their collective unconsciousness that is present in almost all forms of literature. To compare Of Mice and Men to Shakespeare’s Macbeth, both books can be seen to have reoccurring archetypes in the form of character archetypes. As Lenny demonstrates the character of “The Innocent”, Macbeth reflects the archetypal character of “The Tragic Hero”. Macbeth is characterized with all the qualities of a tragic hero, including: being born of nobility, having the tragic flaw of ambition to be King, committing a crime, and being influenced by outside factors. Macbeth also demonstrates the archetypal content of the villains in the form of the three witches who are the driving force in influencing Macbeth to commit his crimes. The effectiveness of analyzing a work with this theory is that the work will evoke a similar response in the reader, regardless of their culture, due to the inherit characteristics people have by nature. This analytical approach allows for a wider range of acceptance of themes, characters and symbols by readers around the globe. Archetypal criticism especially allows for comparisons to be made between works of literature based on the constant reoccurring themes.
Archetypal criticism amalysis what in a work envokes a similar response in people, regardless of culture. It is concered reacurring patterens and how they are reflected in liturature. Common themes for archetypes are stories of quest and initiation, descents into the underworld, ascent into heaven, and search for father or mother. For example, John Wyndham's 'The Chrysalids' folows a group of younge children who run away from their homes because they are not accepted by their community. The quest they find themselves on is like no other. The children fall from innocences in search for a better world, the story included all the archetype characters; scapegoat, hero/villian, outcast, and so on. This theory is effective in helping link common patterns in other literature pieces to the current work being read, it allows for a better comprehension of the work.
Archetypal criticism examines the presence of archetypal characters and events within a piece of literature. This criticism depends on symbols and images of human experiences such as the cycle of birth, rebirth, the hero and the temptress. This theory is derived from Carl Jung who believed that there is a collective unconscious that lies deep within us which contains knowledge and experiences. This criticism is seen in The Chrysalides by John Wyndham. Many archetypes are portrayed in this novel. For example, Sophie is portrayed as the outcast as her and her family are banished form the Fringes. When analyzing literature I would use this criticism because archetypes are easier to recognize and can be used to relate two works of literature. Archetypes also create deeper meaning because these symbols and patterns are already ingrained in our psyche.
The Mythological/Archetype approach examines a piece of literature by revealing the common themes that occur throughout the world over the course of recorded history. An archetype that is seen in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is the theme of ill-fated love; family, friends and, fate, opposes the two who are in love at every turn. Romeo and Juliet go to great lengths to be together, but in the end they do not succeed and both end up dying. Benvolio is the Archetype of the Loyal Friend. This is an effective theory for analyzing literature because Archetypes are found in all pieces of literature, which makes it easier for other readers to connect with the work as well as with the analysis of the work.
The archetype approach refers to the idea that there are recurring characters throughout the novel, fulfilling certain stereotypes in literature. For instance, in the novel Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, Macbeth strongly resembles the archetype of the tragic hero. He was honourable and brave, yet he was highly impressionable and took the word of others blindly - this was his tragic flaw. The witches fulfill the role of the villains, manipulating Macbeth and performing spells. Macduff seems like the perfect hero, fighting for what is true and good and sacrificing himself if need be. This theory is highly effective in literature, as if one is able to make connections and find patterns between novels one will grow to understand writing better.
The mythological approach studies works of literature by dissecting it into themes that invoke similar reactions amongst people of varying cultures, called archetypes. Examples of archetypes include a wise old man, the concept of heaven and the underworld, and searching for a mother or father. In William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies, the archetype of loss of innocence is portrayed by the well conditioned and properly behaved British children, who turn into savages, eventually hunting one of their own (Ralph) in an attempt to kill him. Another example in the novel is when Roger is throwing rocks at Henry, but aims to miss, representing his innocence and civility. However, later in the novel, Roger sends a huge boulder down a hill that hits Piggy on purpose, killing him. Roger shows absolutely no remorse, showing his loss of innocence. I could use this theory when analyzing literature as it would help to compare and contrast the characters in a book with those in other books.
The Mythological/Archetype approach is a literary criticism method that refers to common patterns in literature that evokes a similar response in people, regardless of culture. There are common themes such as stories of quest and initiation, or search for father/mother. There are also common characters like outcast, hero/villain, scapegoat and more. In the novella The Body by Stephen King the characters go on a quest together which is one of the common themes. The characters also represent the fall from innocence because during this book they all go through a rite of passage and because more mature. This method is very effective because you are able to analyze common themes in different novels, and compare them.
The archetypal example searches for fundamental characters, settings and situations found to reoccur perpetually through eras since the dawn of literature. Most archetypes found their earliest forms in Greek literature, heavily based on Mythology. Carl Jung was one of the first to notice these patterns in literature. In Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, there lies many examples of archetypal characters and situations. One of which is Lady Macbeth, who is associated with the archetype of the temptress. Other examples of temptresses are sirens from The Odyssey by Homer as well as the serpent, who tempts Adam and Eve in Genesis. This use of identifying reoccurring archetypes is a very profound way of observing works. By referencing an Archetype, one appreciates the fundamental character’s roots deep within the beginnings of literature.
The Mythological/Archetypal approach of criticizing literature deals with naturally reoccuring patterns found in nature. It centers on the point that there are established images and experiences that are inherent in the human psyche. For example the ascent to heaven, and the search for a father or mother. Ralph from William Golding's novel The Lord of the Flies can be used as an example of the Hero archetype. Like all heros he fights for what is morally just and humane. When analyzing literature i would use this theory in order to relate the literature to things outside of the book. This is because most people and stories in this world usually have some sort of archetypal roots.
Mythological or archetypal criticism was founded by Carl Jung, who was a disciple of Sigmund Freud. This approach is concerned with certain patterns, known as archetypes and how they are constantly reflected in literature. These archetypes or patterns are known because of the collective unconscious. The collective unconscious is a common knowledge or understanding which is present in all humans regardless of race, culture, generation, and other factors. This approach can be seen in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Daisy Buchanan represents the archetypal temptress or siren. Gatsby is drawn to Daisy because she represents everything he wants: wealth, social status and glamour. Daisy constantly tempts Gatsby with small tastes of what her life is like, drawing him deeper and deeper into the grasp of her lust. Also, Daisy’s voice draws others to lean in to her, just like the sirens’ song draws sailors to fall into the water. This literary criticism is very effective because it allows the readers to connect the work to almost anything else because of archetypal characters, situations and themes.
Archetypal Criticism is a method of analysing reoccurring patterns within literature, such as reoccurring themes, characters, symbols, or settings. A good example of this form of criticism would be within the novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Many of his characters, such as George and Lenny are proof of commonly used stereotypes. Lenny is portrayed as a clumsy yet innocent sidekick while George is described as a tough but loving father figure. These archetypes tend to reoccur in many novels. I find this criticism to be effective considering most characters have the ability to fall into at least one archetype.
An archetypal approach to literary criticism includes looking for an analyzing archetypes found within a work. These can include certain characters such as the hero, mother or father figure, and villain. It can also include locations, such as a forest; colours, such as white and red; and situations, such as a journey. This type of criticism can be applied to the play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. In this play there are archetypal characters such as Blanche and Stanley. Blanche is the sweet women who can do nothing wrong, or at least that is what she tries to be. Even her name, Blanche, represents purity. Knowing this a reader gets an idea of a pure, perfect women in their mind. Stanley on the other hand represents the hardworking class in the world. He is jaded and tough, he is a man’s man in every sense of the word. He portrays the everyday man, and is the character most can connect to. Other archetypes in this play are a fall from grace when Blanche loses everything she has, and colour, the bright colour of bowling shirts opposes the darkness of the situation the group finds themselves in. This form of criticism can be used on any type of myth or fairy tale story. These works use a lot of archetypes in order to get morals across to young children. It can also be used in almost any story to give a better understanding of a situation. By analyzing archetypes in a story a reader would be able to read into deeper meanings that the author might be trying to get across.
Mythological/Archetypes approach analyzes common patterns (archetypes) in a work that evoke a similar response in people universally. Archetypes can include themes such as stories of quest and initiation, and characters such as femme fatale or a hero/villain. In the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the main character, Hester Prynne and her daughter Pearl are the outcast archetype; this occurs when she commits adultery and is sentenced to wear the scarlet letter ‘A’ by her Puritan community. This approach is useful when analyzing literature as many works contain archetypes which allow for comparison and a better understanding of the literature.
The mythological approach analyzes recurring events or characters that bring about a similar response in people, regardless of culture. Things like the jock, the evil stepmother and the dumb blonde are examples of recurring characters. In S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders, Johnny is portrayed as the innocent. He is shy, doesn't respond to many people when spoken to other than Dallas and Ponyboy, and doesn't know how to defend himself. His group is always sticking up for him and protecting him from getting jumped by the Socs. This approach allows a comparison between archetypes in different literary works and gives a view of certain ways each archetype can be portrayed by authors.
4. Archetypes are common themes or images that can be found in every book or novel ever written. It dictates that every aspect of every novel can be categorized by these recurring themes.
Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief has a few common archetypal images. The main character Liesel is an example of a character that falls from innocence after being exposed to the harsh realities of the world. There is the image of Rudy, who is the outcast of Hitler’s Youth army. Rosa and Hans Huberman are Liesel’s mother and father figures. Interestingly enough, the narrator of the novel –death- does not fall into the archetypal image. He states that he is not a skeleton, nor does he carry a scythe or dress in all black.
I adore archetypes. I find it incredibly interesting that these themes have occurred throughout history, as well as in all cultures around the world. I would definitely use them to analyse works, as I find it helps to relate one novel to another without developing ridiculous or obscure common elements.
Mythological criticism analyses the novel with reference to archetypes, or common themes. For example, the common archetype of the fall from innocence is displayed in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and Shakespeare’s Macbeth. In The Great Gatsby, Daisy falls from innocence by killing Myrtle. In Macbeth, Macbeth strays from the patriot warrior he was earlier in his life, and commits regicide. This idea of a protagonist winning over a readers heart followed by committing heinous crimes, invokes the continuous feeling of love for a character even though the reader does not agree with his or her actions. This type of criticism is effective and useful, as it allows insight into one characters life through knowledge of others similar to him or her in different pieces of literature.
Archetypal or Mythological criticism follows Carl Jung’s theory that every human being, from birth, has knowledge of the collective unconscious. If all humans can recognize certain basic images and experiences and make the same associations, regardless of culture, it should be fairly simple to identify them in literature. The novels “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens and “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare, although written about 250 years apart, contain one of the same female archetypes: the temptress. Madame Defarge and Lady Macbeth are both sneaky, cold-blooded, and power-hungry females. Beautiful, yet terrible, they let their husbands take center stage, while they are the masterminds behind the curtain. In “Tale of Two Cities”, Monsieur Defarge assembles the men and leads the way into the Bastille, but it is Madame Defarge who keeps a record of the Jacques and Aristocrats, using her knitting. As a member of France’s new “jury”, she makes sure anyone she wants dead is guillotined. She is described by Dickens as being devoid of all pity. Similarly, Lady Macbeth convinces her husband to repeatedly commit murder in order to become King of Scotland. When Macbeth is repulsed by his actions after killing King Duncan, Lady Macbeth is calm and remorseless, plants the bloody daggers on the guards to frame them for the crime. However, unlike Madame Defarge, Lady Macbeth does eventually feel guilt over her actions. I would use the Mythological Approach in order to identify common patterns in works of literature, and to discover similarities I had not noticed before.
Simply put this is a rather obscure form of criticism because it does not focus on the author's back-story, the piece itself, or the time when it was written. This focuses on the history of the gods and goddesses and the other quasi-religious material and references in a piece of literature that involves mythology. One of the greatest examples for this approach is The Iliad by Homer, you cannot understand the original unless you have a basic understanding of Greek mythology. It will not make sense with out it. It requires the history leading up to the Trojan War, why the gods were feuding, which god represented what, ect. In order to be read coherently the mythology and the archetypes of each character must be understood. Personally I enjoy reading mythology and finding out the historical motivations of gods and heroic peoples present in stories. I use this in my own form of critical approach in conjuncture with several other criticisms.
can anyone give me story where can i use mythological approach
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