What are the most important aspects of the mythological and archetypal approaches? How are they related to the psychological approach?

Expert Answers
ahampton36 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The archetypal approach to literature often includes the use of myth to explain the common images and life experiences of different cultures. For example, many cultures have creation stories that involve a god, frail humans, corruption, salvation and rebirth. According to the archetypal approach, there are so many of these stories because elements of spirituality are ingrained in our collective unconscious.

The archetypal approach favors Carl Jung's ideas on the collective unconscious, a big, cosmic reservoir of knowledge that often manifests in dreams, myths or other cultural symbols.

The psychoanalytic approach to literature champions Sigmund Freud's ideas on the unconscious mind, repressed sexual and other emotional needs that can often be uncovered by dream analysis.

So, the archetypal approach tends to explore the psychology of groups of people and the psychoanalytic typically deals with individuals. The archetypal approach is associated with Carl Jung and the psychoanalytic approach follows the ideas of Sigmund Freud. (Mythological approach.)