The wordarchetype denotes the original model or standard after which later recurrences are patterned. Archetypes are keys to understanding humanity's sense of identity as a collective group. They can take the form of personal behavior, rituals, religious practices, dreams, or literature. That they can recur over many centuries and across cultures has interested anthropologists, psychologists, and literary historians. The existence of archetypes suggests a heritage shared by all of humanity. This entry presents the conceptual framework, literary ...

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