Archetypal Criticism (2354 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • Darrell Dobson (University of Toronto)


The main proponent of archetypal theory in the twentieth century was C.G. Jung, and the Canadian critic and scholar Northrop Frye utilized archetypal theory in literary criticism, though Frye’s approach differed substantively from Jung’s position. The advent of postmodern theory initially dampened the interest and influence of archetypal theory, but in recent years many writers and scholars have responded to the misconceptions and misrepresentations often found in postmodern critiques of archetypal theory (see for instance, Hauke, 2000; Rowland, 2002). Jung addresses the relevance of archetypal theory in literature and the arts most clearly in The Spirit in Man, Art, and Literature (1966) which contains two significant …

Dobson, Darrell. "Archetypal Criticism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 June 2005
[, accessed 27 October 2016.]