Northrop Frye

Darrell Dobson (University of Toronto)
Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

Northrop Frye (1912-1991), Canadian, was an influential literary critic and scholar. Frye’s major works include

Fearful Symmetry

(1947), a study of William Blake;

Anatomy of Criticism

(1957), where Frye defines and describes his literary theories;

The Educated Imagination

(1963), a discussion of the social role of art intended for a general audience; and

The Great Code

(1982) and

Words with Power

(1990), in which Frye applies his literary theories to

The Bible


In Anatomy of Criticism (1957), Frye seeks to establish literary criticism as a discipline independent of other fields of inquiry, with its own critical principles, rather than accepting the practice of implementing theories from other disciplines like sociology, philosophy, psychology, politics, or theology. Frye’s literary

1526 words

Citation: Dobson, Darrell. "Northrop Frye". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 May 2005 [, accessed 30 May 2024.]

1648 Northrop Frye 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.