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 A recurring pattern existing universally and instinctively in the collective unconscious of the human race. Three Major Kinds:  Situational Archetypes.

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Presentation on theme: " A recurring pattern existing universally and instinctively in the collective unconscious of the human race. Three Major Kinds:  Situational Archetypes."— Presentation transcript:


2  A recurring pattern existing universally and instinctively in the collective unconscious of the human race. Three Major Kinds:  Situational Archetypes  Character Archetypes  Symbolic Archetypes

3  The Initiation: Adolescent coming into maturity (Huckleberry Finn, Elizabeth Bennet, the hobbits)  The Quest: Search for something/someone which, when found and brought back will restore life and fertility to wasted land, the desolation of which is mirrored by a leader’s illness and disability (Sir Gawain, The Lion King)  The Task: to save the kingdom/fair lady, hero must perform some nearly superhuman deed, to identify himself so that he may reassume his rightful position (Beowulf slays Grenel, the Karate Kid learns Karate)

4 The Journey: send hero in search of info or intellectual truth necessary to restore fertility to the kingdom. Sometimes hero descends into real or psychological hell and is forced to discover the blackest truths, quite often concerning his own fault OR the depiction of a limited number of travelers on a voyage or any other trip for the purpose of isolating them and using them as a microcosm of society (The Odyssey, The Canterbury Tales, The Fellowship of the Rings, The Secret Garden)

5 All Heroes’ Journey  Stage 1: Introduced in the Ordinary World  Stage 2: Call to Adventure/Challenge  Stage 3: Refusing the Call because of fear  Stage 4: Mentor encourages and prepares  Stage 5: Crossing First Threshold: commits to adventure, enters special world  Stage 6: Tests, Allies, Enemies: learns rules of special world  Stage 7: Fall, Descent: last edge of dangerous place, underground, enters  Stage 8: The Ordeal: hero hits bottom, battles hostile force, faces fear

6  Stage 9: Reward: survived, won, takes possession of treasure, earns title of hero  Stage 10: Road Back, Return  Stage 11: Resurrection: reborn, cleansed, final test, moments of death, rebirth  Stage 12: Return home with Elixir of Life: returns to ordinary world with treasure, heals land

7  The Fall: descent from a higher to a lower state of being, expulsion for disobedience (Adam and Eve, Oedipus)  Death and Rebirth: parallels the cycle of nature and the cycle of life. (morning/spring=birth; evening/winter=old age or death)  Nature vs. the Mechanistic World: nature is good while science, technology, and society are evil (Walden, The Terminator, Jurassic Park)

8  Battle Between Good and Evil: Good triumphs over evil despite great odds (The Lord of the Rings, Little Mermaid, any western)  Unhealable Wound: either physical or psychological and cannot be healed fully, indicates loss of innocence, wounds often ache and drive sufferer to desperate measures. (Harry Potter’s scar, Ahab’s wooden leg, Frodo’s shoulder)

9  The Ritual: actual ceremonies the initiate experiences that will mark his rite of passage into another state. They are sign posts for the character’s role in society. (weddings, baptisms, graduation, Harry Potter’s choosing ceremony)


11 The Hero  Accomplishes more than most  Willing to sacrifice to serve a higher cause, can change the world  Demands higher standards of human behavior and lives by those standards  Human mortal  Seeks fulfillment

12 Tragic Hero  Position: royal or noble with great power, usually a king, has good intentions  Tragic Flaw: usually hubris, makes tragic error  Reversal: because of tragic error, suffers downfall from happiness to misery  Recognition: hero recognized error too late to prevent it or escape  Dies in the end Types of Heroes

13 Epic Hero  Mortal who represents a culture’s values  Fights for good against evil  Dies in the end  Seems to have superhuman abilities  Faces tests and trials

14 Romantic Hero  lives and dies for love Comic Hero  alive at the end; happy ending Anti Hero  A central figure who establishes own rules, lives in isolation, rejects values of society, dies or goes insane, suffers betrayals, often pathetic, comic antisocial outcast, but NOT the villain. Goes on a journey leaving behind all he despises. The part of all men that yearns to stray from the beaten path and tell society to go to hell.

15  The Young Man from the Provinces: this hero is spirited away as a young man and reared by stranger. He later returns to his home and sees new problems and new solutions. (Tarzan, Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Spock)  The Initiates: young heroes or heroines who must endure some training and ceremony; usually wear white.( Daniel in The Karate Kid)

16  The Wise Old Man/Mentors: teachers or counselors to the initiates, represent wisdom, tests moral qualities of others, always appear when hero is in trouble (Gandolf)  Mentor/Pupil Relationship: mentor teaches by example the skills necessary to survive the quest.  Father/Son Conflict: Tension often results after separation and mentor has more influence than father.

17  Hunting Group of Companions: Loyal companions willing to face any number of perils in order to be together. (Knights of the Round Table)  Loyal Retainers: servants who are heroic themselves and protect the hero and reflect the nobility of the hero. (Watson to Sherlock Holmes, Sam in The Lord of the Rings)  Friendly Beast: Shows nature is on the side of the hero. (Toto, Lassie, Trigger)

18  The Devil Figure: Offers worldly goods, fame or knowledge to the protagonist in exchange for possession of the soul. (Satan, Hitler)  Evil Figure with the Ultimately Good Heart: redeemable devil figure saved by the nobility or love of the hero. (Green Knight, Scrooge, any romance novel hero)  Scapegoat: death in public ceremony rids community of some sin. Often more powerful after death.

19  The Outcast: a figure who is banished from a social group for some crime against his fellow man, usually destined to become a wanderer.  The Creature of Nightmare: a monster usually summoned from the deepest, darkest part of the human psyche to threaten the lives of the hero/heroine. Often a perversion of the human body. (werewolves, vampires, huge snakes, the monster in Frankenstein)

20 The Woman Figure The Earthmother: symbolic of fruition, offers emotional nourishment, often wears earth colors, her body is symbolic of childbearing capabilities. (Godlberry in Lord of the Rings) The Temptress: sensuous beauty, protagonist is physically attracted and brings about his downfall. (Sirens, Cleopatra, Delilah)

21 The Woman Figure  The Good Mother: associated with warmth, nourishment, protection  The Terrible Mother: the witch-associated with darkness, danger,and death. (Cinderella’s stepmother)

22 The Woman Figure  The Platonic Ideal: source of inspiration, protagonist has an intellectual rather than physical attraction. (Virgin Mary, Dante’s Beatrice)  The Unfaithful Wife: A woman married to a man she sees as dull or distant and attracted to a ore viril or interesting man. (Anna Karenina)

23 The Woman Figure  The Damsel in Distress: vulnerable woman who must be rescued by the hero, often used as bait to trap the unsuspecting hero. (Snow White)  The Star-Crossed Lovers: two characters are engaged in a love affair that is fated to end tragically for one or both due to the disapproval of their society, friends, or family, or some tragic situation. (Romeo and Juliet)


25  Light vs. Darkness: Light usually suggests hope, renewal, or intellectual illumination; darkness implies the unknown, ignorance, or despair.  Water vs. Desert: Because water is necessary to life and growth, it commonly appears as a birth or rebirth symbol. Water is used in baptismal services, which solemnize spiritual births. Rain suggests a character’s spiritual birth. (the rains at the end of The Lion King)

26  Heaven vs. Hell: Man has traditionally associated parts of the universe not accessible to him with the dwelling places of the primordial forces that govern his world. The skies and mountain tops house his gods; the bowels of the earth contain the diabolic forces.  Heaven: Look for things that come from above.  Hell: Look for things that come from below.

27  Innate Wisdom vs. Educated Stupidity: Some characters exhibit wisdom and understanding of situations instinctively, as opposed to those supposedly in charge. Often a loyal retainer. (Jim in Huckleberry Finn)  Haven vs. Wilderness: Places of safety contrast sharply against the dangerous wilderness. Heroes are often sheltered for a time to regain health and resources.

28  Supernatural Intervention: The gods intervene on the side of the hero or sometimes against him (The Odyssey, The Iliad, “The Knight’s Tale”)  Fire vs. Ice: Fire represents knowledge, light, life, and rebirth, while ice, like desert, represents ignorance, darkness, sterility, and death. When we begin to control fire, we began to control our environment and our lives. (Prometheus, Dante’s The Inferno)

29  When archetypes appear in a work of literature, they usually evoke their opposites. Good is in conflict with evil; birth symbols are juxtaposed with death images; depictions of heaven are countered by descriptions of hell; and for every Penelope, there is usually a Circe to balance the archetypal scales.

30  The Magic Weapon: symbolizes the extraordinary quality of the hero because no one else can wield the weapon or use it to its full potential. Usually given by a mentor figure. (Harry Potter’s wand, Thor’s hammer)

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