ask Dr. Freud: archetypes

Dear Dr. Freud,

The theory of archetypes—the argument that a relatively small stock of characters and themes recur in endless but recognizable variations in our stories—has been hugely exciting and useful to scholars for a century now.  So who really came up the idea of archetypes first: you or Dr. Jung?                Sincerely,

Split Psychoanalytic Loyalties

Dear SPL,

Permit me to quote myself:

“I recognized the presence of symbolism in dreams from the very beginning. . . .This symbolism is not peculiar to dreams, but is characteristic of unconscious ideation, in particular among the people, and it is to be found in folklore, and in popular myths, legends, linguistic idioms, proverbial wisdom and current jokes, to a more complete extent than in dreams.” (The Interpretation of Dreams, Trans. James Stratchey, Standard Edition, V, pp. 350-51).

In other words, SPL, Jung says he got the term “archetype” from classical sources.  Well, the term is neither here nor there, because he got the idea from me.


Sigmund Freud

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