Archetypal Literary Criticism Essay

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In Literary Criticism, there is an idea that believes that Archetypes make up literature’s meaning. The concept of Archetypes in literature has been the subject of extensive examination in Literary Criticism. “Criticism can be broken down into two broad categories: evaluative and interpretive” (Gardner 1287). The criticism is based on Literary Theory, which is composed of ideas that help interpret, and analyze literature. Everything in literature has a meaning, and many different people came up with strategies to evaluate and interpret it. The use of Archetypes in Literary Criticism helped critics to interpret a text, and find its hidden meaning. In Archetypal Literary Criticism, archetypes hold the idea that cultures, folk- tales, …show more content…
There are many different kinds of archetypes, and they can be divided into two parts: the anima and animus. The anima focuses on female archetypes, while the animus focuses on male archetypes. According to Jung, the “shadows” of an archetype are a hidden personality trait. For example, masculine characters, like a warrior, indicate a physical trait and its shadow has an aggressive nature (Munafo 1). A feminine archetype, such as a maiden, indicates a physical trait and co-dependent shadow (Munafo 1). Archetypes are seen in all kinds of stories, and they usually have the same meaning. They help to understand personalities more, which can also help interpret the meaning of a text through the characters. The archetype of a hero is the most common. It is seen in mostly all cultures, and a hero is an animus. In a story there is always a conflict, and then some sort of “hero” can come up to ease the conflict. “The archetype tells the writer about the most basic instincts of the hero: how he thinks, how he feels, what drives him and why he chooses both his goals and his methods. The skillful writer, in turn, conveys these instincts to the readers or audience, who, knowing at a glance the character of this hero, settles down to watch the tale retold anew” (Cowden 1). Archetypal Literary Criticism was developed shortly after
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