archetype (är´kĬtīp´) [Gr. arch=first, typos=mold], term whose earlier meaning, "original model," or "prototype," has been enlarged by C. G. Jung and by several contemporary literary critics. A Jungian archetype is a thought pattern that finds worldwide parallels, either in cultures (for example, the similarity of the ritual of Holy Communion in Europe with the tecqualo in ancient Mexico) or in individuals (a child's concept of a parent as both heroic and tyrannic, superman and ogre). Jung believed that such archetypal images and ideas reside in the unconscious level of the mind of every human being and are inherited from the ancestors of the race. They form the substance of the collective unconscious. Literary critics such as Northrop Frye and Maud Bodkin use the term archetype interchangeably with the term motif, emphasizing that the role of these elements in great works of literature is to unite readers with otherwise dispersed cultures and eras.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Archetypes: Selected full-text books and articles

Archetype Revisited: An Updated Natural History of the Self By Anthony Stevens Brunner-Routledge, 2002 (2nd edition)
Myth, Mind, and the Screen: Understanding the Heroes of Our Times By John Izod Cambridge University Press, 2001
Librarian's tip: Chap. 2 "Archetypal Images: Signification and the Psyche" and Chap. 3 "Archetypal Images: Symbols and the Cultural Unconscious"
Four Archetypes: Mother, Rebirth, Spirit, Trickster By C. G. Jung; R.F.C Hull Princeton University Press, 2010
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
Prometheus: Archetypal Image of Human Existence By C. Kerényi; Ralph Manheim Bollingen Foundation, 1963
Sexual Archetypes, East and West By Bina Gupta Paragon Press, 1987
Archetype, Architecture, and the Writer By Bettina L. Knapp Indiana University Press, 1986
When the Body Speaks: The Archetypes in the Body By Mara Sidoli; Phyllis Blakemore Routledge, 2000
The Two Million-Year-Old Self By Anthony Stevens Texas A&M University Press, 1993
Librarian's tip: "The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious" begins on p. 11
Freud and Jung on Religion By Michael Palmer Routledge, 1997
Librarian's tip: Chap. 8 "God as Archetype of the Collective Unconscious" and "The Theory of Archetypes" begins on p. 172
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.