Here is what Appleman has to say about The Archetypal Lens / Perspective / Criticism. Since our first blog post concerns the lens itself, this might be a good place to start, although outside sources and information should prove helpful as well!
The Archetypal Perspective (141-2)
In literary criticism, the word archetype signifies a recognizable pattern or model. It can be used to describe story designs, character types, or images that can be found in a wide variety of works of literature. It can also be applied to myths, dreams, and social rituals. The archetypal similarities between texts and behaviors are thought to reflect a set of universal, even primitive, ways of seeing the world. When we find them in literary works, they evoke strong responses from readers. Archetypal themes include the heroic journey and the search for a father figure. Archetypal images include the opposition of heaven and hell, the river as a sign of life and movement, and mountains or other high places as sources of enlightenment. Characters can be archetypal as well; some examples are the rebel-hero, the scapegoat, the villain, and the goddess.
Archetypal Perspective (145)
In criticism, archetype signifies narrative designs, character types, or images, which are said to be identifiable in a wide variety of works of literature, as well as in myths, dreams, and even ritualized modes of social behavior. The archetypal similarities within these diverse phenomena are held to reflect a set of universal, primitive, and elemental patterns, whose effective embodiment in a literary work evokes a profound response from the reader. The death-rebirth theme is often said to be the archetype of archetypes. Other archetypal themes are the journey underground, the heavenly ascent, the search for the father, the heaven/hell image, the Promethean rebel-hero, the scapegoat, the earth goddess, and the femme fatale.
Archetypal Criticism - Literary Theory Card (150).
1. Meaning cannot exist solely on the page of a work, nor can that work be treated as in independent entity.
2. Humankind has a "collective unconscious," a kind of universal psyche, which is manifested in dreams and myths and which harbors themes and images that are hard-wired in all of us.
3. These recurring myths, symbols, and character types appear and reappear in literary works.
1. Consider the genre of the work (e.g., comedy, romance, tragedy, irony) and how it affects the meaning.
2. Look for story patterns and symbolic associations, such as black hats, springtime settings, evil stepmothers, and so forth, from other texts you've read.
3. Consider your associations with these symbols as you construct meaning from the text.