Archetypal Criticism

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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


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 essays on literature and poetry (first published 1922 and 1930).


2354 words

Citation: Dobson, Darrell. "Archetypal Criticism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 June 2005 [, accessed 16 July 2024.]

1569 Archetypal Criticism 2 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.