Archetype Essay Assignment

In The Golden Bough Frazer identifies practices and mythological beliefs shared among primitive religions and modern religions.Frazer argues that the death-rebirth myth is present in almost all cultural mythologies, and is acted out in terms of growing seasons and vegetation.

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Bodkin's Archetypal Patterns in Poetry, the first work on the subject of archetypal literary criticism, applies Jung's theories about the collective unconscious, archetypes, and primordial images to literature.

It was not until the work of the Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye that archetypal criticism was theorized in purely literary terms.

The archetypes to which Jung refers are represented through primordial images, a term he coined.

Primordial images originate from the initial stages of humanity and have been part of the collective unconscious ever since.

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.

Archetypal criticism was at its most popular in the 1940s and 1950s, largely due to the work of Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye.

Though archetypal literary criticism is no longer widely practiced, nor have there been any major development in the field, it still has a place in the tradition of literary studies.

The anthropological origin of archetypal criticism can pre-date its analytical psychology origins by over 30 years.

Regardless of the many nuances between Jung's definitions, the collective unconsciousness is a shared part of the unconscious.

To Jung, an archetype in the collective unconscious, as quoted from Leitch et al., is "irrepresentable, but has effects which make visualizations of it possible, namely, the archetypal images and ideas" (988), due to the fact they are at an inaccessible part of the mind.


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