• Nataša V. Ninčetović University of Priština in Kosovska Mitrovica Faculty of Philosophy Department of English Language and Literature



Persephone/Kore, Demeter, Artemis, Apollo, Hades, archetype, Angel Clare, Alec D’Urberville


Although the critics have traditionally observed the novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles as the disapproval of Victorian morals and double standards, the aim of this work is to point out the fact that this novel also has a general, universal meaning. Using Lukacs’ concept of realistic fiction as a synthesis of particular and universal as a starting point, the author of this research claims that this novel is a story of the tragic destiny of a particular character, but that at the same time Tess Durbeyfield functions as an embodiment of the Archetypal Feminine. Myths are symbolic expressions of archetypes, and, apart from numerous parallels with the ancient myth of Demeter and Persephone, the novel contains allusions to the myth of Genesis and to classical gods like Artemis and Apollo. The character of Tess Durbeyfield is closely related to earth and natural laws. Tough she has a great mythic potential, nobody (with the exception of Alec D’Urberville), not even Tess herself, realises it. Tis leads to a tragic outcome. Contrary to Persephone, who, even though Hades carries her to the Underworld and pronounces her his wife, succeeds to return to Earth and to begin a new life, Tess never regains stability after she loses her virginity to Alec. She does not recognise Alec’s function in terms of initiation into the world of maturity. Her sole reaction is neglect of the sensual part of her nature and her turning to the spiritual. There is no projection of the archetype, which inevitably leads Tess to failure and death.


Blake, Kathleen (1982), “Pure Tess: Hardy on Knowing a Woman”, Studies in English Literature, 1500–1900, Vol. 22, No. 4, Houston, Rice University, 689–705, DOI: 10.2307/450188.

Bonaparte, Fеlicia (1999), “The Deadly Misreading of Mythic Texts: Tomas Hardy’s ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’”, International Journal of the Classical Tradition, Vol 5, No. 3, New York, Springer, 415–431, DOI:10.1007/BF02687695.

Brick, Allen (1962), “Paradise and Consciousness in Hardy’s Tess”, Nineteenth-Century Fiction, Vol. 17, No. 2, Oakland, California UP, 115–134, DOI: 10.2307/2932515.

Eliot, Džordž (1957), Adam Bid, translated Čedomir Petrović, Beograd: Izdavačko preduzeće „Rad“.

Finn, Kay (1970), Archetypal Symbolism in the Major Novels of Tomas Hardy (unpublished doctoral dissertation), ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Foley, Helene (1994), The Homeric Hymn to Demeter: Translation, Commentary and Interpretative Essays, New Jersey: Princeton UP.

Grant, Michael (1962), Myths of the Greeks and Romans, Cleveland: World Pub. Co.

Hardi, Tomas (2018), Tes od roda D’Erbervila, translated Dubravka Srećković Ivković, Beograd: Laguna.

Harrison, Jane Ellen (1959), Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion, New York: Cambridge UP.

Harvey, Gеоffrey (2003), Tomas Hardy, London: Routledge.

Holbrook, Peter (2014), “Tomas Hardy”, Scott, Dickens, Eliot, Hardy: Great Shakespeareans: Volume V, ed. Adrian Poole, London, Bloomsbury, 139–182.

Jung, Karl Gustav (1969), The Acrchetypes and the Collective Unconscious, translated Richard Francis Carrington Hull, New Jersey: Princeton UP.

Jung, Karl Gustav, i Karl Kerenji (2007), Uvod u suštinu mitologije, translated Božidar Zec, Beograd: Fedon.

Kundu, Rama (2008), “‘To Name the Unnamable’: Tomas Hardy’s Use of Classical Myth in Tess”, Brno Studies in English, Vol. 24, Brno, Faculty of Arts, 89–103, available at

Lukacs, George (1971), Writer & Critic and Other Essays, translated Arthur Kahn, New York: Grosset and Dunlap.

Millgate, Michael (1984), The Life and Work of Tomas Hardy, London: Macmillan.

Parker, Lynn (1992), “‘Pure Woman’ and Tragic Heroine? Conflicting Myths in Hardy’s ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’”, Studies in the Novel, Vol. 24, No. 3, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins UP, 273–281.

Pater, Walter (1876), The Myth of Demeter and Persephone, .

Radford, Andrew (2005), “Hardy’s Tess, Jane Harrison and the Twilight of a Goddess”, The Tomas Hardy Journal, Vol. 21, Tomas Hardy Society, 27–57,,org/stable/45274773.

Radford, Andrew (2016), Tomas Hardy and the Survivals of Time, London: Routledge.

Sigamura, Yasunori (1984), “The Archetype and its Meanings in Tomas Hardy’s Novels”, 秋田高専研究紀要, Vol. 19, Otaru University of Commerce, 92–97.

Srejović, Dragoslav, i Aleksandra Cermanović Kuzmanović (1987), Rečnik grčke i rimske mitologije, Beograd: Srpska književna zadruga.




How to Cite

V. Ninčetović, N. . (2022). THE REVISIONS OF ANCIENT MYTHOLOGY IN TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES . PHILOLOGIST – Journal of Language, Literature, and Cultural Studies, 13(25), 294–308.