This book is the first to apply systematiÂcally Jungian psychology to the study of literature throughout the ages. The ten essays are purposefully different, illusÂtrating the universality of Jungian archeÂtypal analysis and criticism.
The book has been divided into seven sections: the first five follow chronologiÂcal order from Euripides to Goethe and finally Yeats; the sixth and seventh are presented separately because they exÂplore unique psychological experiences. Each essay is divided into two parts: an ectypal and an archetypal analysis of the works discussed. The ectypal section presents a brief historical summary of the period, acquainting readers with apÂpropriate facts concerning the authorâs environment. The archetypal analysis, however, is the most important aspect of A Jungian Approach to Literature.
Archetypes, contained in the collecÂtive unconscious, exist at the deepest level within the subliminal realm. They are Âmade manifest in archetypal (priÂmordial) images: experienced in such universal motifs as the Great Mother, the Spiritual Father, Transformation, the Self, and others.â The Jungian archetypal approach to literature acts as a broadenÂing force in the life experience.