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The Mythological and Archetypal Approach. By: Kristi, Grant, Parth, Ben, and Shrey. Mythology. Definition: a set of stories, traditions, or beliefs associated with a particular group or the history of an event. Example of Greek Mythology. Mythology (cont.).

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the mythological and archetypal approach

The Mythological and Archetypal Approach

By: Kristi, Grant, Parth, Ben, and Shrey

  • Definition: a set of stories, traditions, or beliefs associated with a particular group or the history of an event.
  • Example of Greek Mythology
mythology cont
Mythology (cont.)
  • Mythology tends to be speculative and philosophical
  • such as involving:



cultural history

Note: Anthropology is the study of human beings

mark schorer
Mark Schorer
  • An American writer, novelist and critic
  • His definition of myth:

“Myth is a fundamental, the dramatic representation of our deepest instinctual life, of a primary awareness of man in the universe, capable of many configurations, upon which all particular opinions and attitude depends.” (William Blake: The Politics of Vision 29)

alan w watts
Alan W. Watts
  • A philosopher, writer, speaker, and expert in comparative religion
  • His definition of Myth:

“Myth is to be defined as a complex of stories—some no doubt fact, and some fantasy—which for various reasons, human beings regard as demonstrations of the inner meaning of the universe and of human life.” (7)

  • Archetype: An original model or type after which other similar things are patterned

:Modifs and images that tend to elicit comparable psychological responses and serve similar cultural functions.

examples of archetypes
Examples of Archetypes
  • Water:

-mystery of creation









sun fire sky
Sun (fire sky)
  • Sun:

-creative energy

-law in nature




  • Blood
  • Sacrifice
  • Violent passion
  • disorder
  • Growth
  • Sensation
  • Hope
  • Fertility
  • Positive
  • Truth
  • Religions feeling
  • Chaos
  • Mystery
  • Unknown
  • Death
  • evil
  • Signifying
  • Light
  • Purity
  • innocence
a circle is an archetype
A circle is an archetype
  • Wholeness
  • Unity
  • Examples:



- ouroboros

a serpent
A Serpent
  • Symbol of energy and pure force
  • Spiritual awareness

of unity

Life circle
  • 4 seasons
  • Earth
  • Nature
  • elements
archetypical woman
Archetypical Woman
  • Good mother: nourishment, growth, warmth
  • Terrible mother: witch, fear, danger
  • Soul mate: beauty
archetypal wise old man
Archetypal wise old man
  • Knowledge
  • Insight
  • cleverness
  • Unspoiled beauty
  • paradise
  • Death
  • hopelessness
archetypal motifs and patterns
Archetypal Motifs and Patterns
  • Motif: a recurring subject, theme, idea, etc., especially in a literary, artistic, or musical work.
  • most fundamental of motifs
  • virtually every mythology is built on some account of how the nature was brought into existence by some supernatural being or beings
Form 1: escape from time

Form 2: mystical submersion into cyclical time (endless death)

hero archetypes
Hero Archetypes
  • The quest: hero undertakes some long journey where they perform impossible tasks
hero archetypes cont
Hero archetypes (cont.)
  • Initiation: hero under goes ordeals in passing from ignorance and maturity
  • 3 phases-

1. separation

2. transformation

3. return

hero archetypes cont34
Hero archetypes (cont.)
  • Sacrificial scapegoat: hero must die for peoples sins and restore land to fruitfulness
archetypes genres
Archetypes genres
  • Mythos of spring- comedy
  • Mythos of summer- romance
  • Mythos of fall- tragedy
  • Mythos of winter- irony
to his coy mistress
To His Coy Mistress
  • Uses archetypes of time and immortality

Stanza 1-

line1 “had we but world enough, and time….”

Line 8 “Love you ten years before the flood.”

Line 13 “ An hundred years should go to praise.”

Line 15 “ two hundred to adore each breast,”

Line 16 “ But thirty thousand to the rest.”

Each of these lines refers to their love for each other for all of eternity.

It applies to the archetype motif of immortality in the form of escaping from time.

to his coy mistress cont
To His Coy Mistress (cont.)
  • Stanza 2-

Line 22 “Times winged chariot hurrying near:”

This references to the myth of how a winged chariot comes to bring one to heaven.

Line 24 “Deserts of vast eternity.”

Once again this refers to the archetype of escaping from time

to his coy mistress cont38
To His Coy Mistress (cont.)
  • Stanza 3-

Line 40 “Than languish in his slow-chapped power.”

Line 46 “Stand still, yet we will make him run.”

Both of these lines bring up an undefined him. This goes along with the Greek mythology of one who is above all humans.

Line 44 “ Thorough the iron gates of life:”

The iron gates of life are symbolizing the gates to heaven in mythology

a farewell to arms
A Farewell to Arms
  • Rain is a major archetype in A Farewell to Arms.
  • It is a pattern that whenever it rains there is death
  • Pg 4 the narrator tells how it is raining, then he goes on to say how 7000 people died of cholera in the army.
a farewell to arms cont
A Farewell to Arms (cont.)
  • Also, when one of the soldiers is killed by the mortar shell, the narrator happens to mention that it is raining.
  • Furthermore, in the end when Catherine dies, Frederic leaves the hospital in the rain
a farewell to arms cont41
A Farewell to Arms (cont.)
  • Throughout the book, it is snowing which shows that it takes place during the winter
  • The Archetype genre of winter is irony
  • Frederic finally finding a woman he cares about, and for her to just die at the end is ironic.
a farewell to arms cont42
A Farewell to Arms (cont.)
  • In the book, Frederic jumps in a river to escape from being shot.
  • The archetype of a river is death, rebirth, or baptism.
  • In several critics, critics have questioned his jumping in the river as a reference to baptism.
  • However, it could be viewed as rebirth too, since Frederic is leaving all his friends and tries to start a new life with him and Catherine.