Western literature fall into his four mythoi also see Jungian criticism in the

Western literature fall into his four mythoi also see

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Western literature fall into his four mythoi (also see Jungian criticism in the Freudian Literary Criticism resource):1.theory of modes, or historical criticism (tragic, comic, and thematic);2.theory of symbols, or ethical criticism (literal/descriptive, formal, mythical, and anagogic);3.theory of myths, or archetypal criticism (comedy, romance, tragedy, irony/satire);4.theory of genres, or rhetorical criticism (epos, prose, drama, lyric).Peirce and SaussureTwo important theorists form the framework (hah) of structuralism: Charles Sanders Peirce and Ferdinand de Saussure. Peirce gave structuralism three important ideas for analyzing the sign systems that permeate and define our experiences:1."iconic signs, in which the signifier resembles the thing signified (such as the stick figures on washroom doors that signify 'Men' or 'Women';2.indexes, in which the signifier is a reliable indicator of the presence of the signified (like fire and smoke);3.true symbols, in which the signifier's relation to the thing signified is completely arbitrary and conventional [just as the sound /kat/ or the written word cat are conventional signs for the familiar feline]" (Richter 810).These elements become very important when we move into deconstruction in the Postmodernism resource. Peirce also influenced the semiotic school of structuralist theory that uses sign systems.Sign SystemsThe discipline of semiotics plays an important role in structuralist literary theory and cultural studies. Semioticians "...appl[y] structuralist insights to the study of...sign systems...a non-linguistic object or
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7behavior...that can be analyzed as if it were a language.” Specifically, "...semiotics examines the ways non-linguistic objects and behaviors 'tell' us something.For example, the picture of the reclining blond beauty in the skin-tight, black velvet dress on the billboard...'tells' us that those who drink this whiskey (presumably male) will be attractive to...beautiful women like the one displayed here.” Lastly, Richter states, "semiotics takes off from Peirce - for whom language is one of numerous sign systems - and structuralism takes off from Saussure, for whom language was the sign system par excellence" (810).Typical questions:Using a specific structuralist framework (like Frye's mythoi)...how should the text be classified in terms of its genre? In other words, what patterns exist within the text that make it a part of other works like it?Using a specific structuralist framework...analyze the text's narrative operations...can you speculate about the relationship between the...[text]... and the culture from which the text emerged? In other words, what patterns exist within the text that make it a product of a larger culture?What patterns exist within the text that connect it to the larger "human" experience? In other words, can we connect patterns and elements within the text to other texts from other cultures to map similarities that tell us more about the common human experience? This is a liberal humanist move that assumes that
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