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ARCHETYPES, GREEK MYTHOLOGY, AND THE HERO’S JOURNEY.

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Presentation on theme: "ARCHETYPES, GREEK MYTHOLOGY, AND THE HERO’S JOURNEY."— Presentation transcript:

1 ARCHETYPES, GREEK MYTHOLOGY, AND THE HERO’S JOURNEY

2 ARCHETYPES IN LITERATURE Archetype: Patterns that commonly appear in stories no matter what culture they come from. Archetypes can apply to plots of a story, characters in a story, and themes of a story. 3 Types: Character Situational Symbolic

3 ARCHETYPES (CONT.) Character Archetypes: Patterns depicted in characters of stories The Hero: protagonist whose life is depicted through a series of well-defined adventures. Usually he has an unusual birth, will have to leave his kingdom to go on some journey, and returns to his home a changed person. He is very brave, strong, has honor, and risks his life for the good of all. Examples: Hercules, Aragorn, Lancelot, Wolverine

4 TYPES OF HEROES The Traditional/Classical hero: Strong, good-looking, noble, skilled in many areas, live by personal codes of honor, first to jump in and save the day, love the acclaim Super hero: Heroes who have some sort of magical/mythical power that aides them in their tasks Tragic Hero: main character in a tragedy who makes and error that leads to his/her downfall

5 CHARACTER ARCHETYPES Mentor: The mentor is an older, wiser teacher to the Hero. He is sometimes viewed as a father figure. He gives the Hero gifts, food, magic, information, help, etc. Example: Morpheus from the Matrix, Obi Wan from Star Wars. The Shadow: A worthy opponent with whom the hero must fight in the end. Example: Darth Vader, Voldemort, The Matrix, Pride, Jealousy

6 CHARACTER ARCHETYPES The Damsel in Distress: A woman (usually) who needs to be rescued by the Hero. She is often used to trap the hero. Example: Princess Fiona from Shrek, Sleeping Beauty

7 SITUATIONAL ARCHETYPES Situational Archetypes: These are patterns in plots of stories The Task: The nearly super-human feats the Hero must perform in order to help himself or his kingdom. The Fall: The descent from a higher to lower state of being, usually as a punishment for screwing up (going from god-like to man)

8 SYMBOLIC ARCHETYPES Symbolic Archetypes: Patterns of symbols in stories Supernatural Intervention: When spiritual beings intervene on behalf of the hero. The Crossroads: A place or time of decision when a realization is made and a change occurs in the Hero.

9 VALUES OF THE ANCIENT GREEKS Courtesy and respect for all classes of people Courage, trust and discipline Community and law Home and family Obedience to the divine world

10 MYTHS Myths are stories that use fantasy to express ideas about life that cannot be expressed easily in realistic terms. Myths are basically religious because they are concerned with the relationship between human beings and the unknown or spiritual realm.

11 THE ORAL TRADITION In Homer’s time there were no movies or television and probably not any written history. In order to pass on tales of recent events or the stories of great heroes, gods, and goddesses, men would travel from community to community singing of such events.

12 THE ORAL TRADITION (CONT.) These “singers of tales” were known as rhapsodes. Rhapsodes were the historians and entertainers as well as the myth-makers of their time. These singers had to be very talented and work very hard to memorize all of the stories they told.

13 THE HERO’S JOURNEY

14 DESCRIPTION OF THE HERO Can be “honorable,” “brave,” or “strong,” but not necessarily No specific look, thought, or behavior for a hero. Symbol of ideals and values of the community and/or culture. Learns something significant about the world. Gains self-knowledge during journey and shares that info with others upon return.

15 UNUSUAL BIRTH Unusual circumstances surrounding his/her birth. Often born to royalty or a god/goddess. Sometimes in danger at birth, so disguise is necessary. Examples: Jesus Christ Voldemort

16 CALL TO ADVENTURE Journey usually begins with a traumatic event leading to need or desire to leave home. May refuse to leave at first, but then convinced, tricked, or forced to do so. …Or may leave willingly. …Or may begin journey on accident. Examples: Luke Skywalker leaves when his aunt and uncle are killed and follows Princess Leia’s distress message. Mulan leaves willingly to battle invaders.

17 SUPERNATURAL HELPER Aided by someone old and wise, often with magical or mystical power. Guide or mentor for hero. Examples: Rafiki for Simba Ben Kenobi for Yoda

18 TALISMAN OR SPECIAL WEAPON Given a useful weapon or protective device. Supernatural helper may be the one to give the hero this item or tell the hero about it. Example: The sword, Excalibur, is King Arthur’s talisman.

19 CROSSING THE THRESHOLD Leaves the familiar, safe world he/she knows and fully enters a new world. Examples: Luke Skywalker experiences aliens and creatures at Mos Eisley. Mulan pretends to be a boy to enter an all-male army camp.

20 TRIALS Has a series of trials to challenge him/her and build moral strength and character. Often includes a descent into the underworld, which can involve an untreatable wound. Examples: Shrek has to defeat the dragon to save Fiona. Hercules has 12 famous trials during his journey.

21 ACHIEVEMENT OF GOAL Achieves ultimate goal of journey. Goal can be an object, a conceptual task (destroy the Empire and Death Star), or knowledge or state of being.

22 RECONCILIATION WITH A FATHER-FIGURE If there was conflict with the hero’s father, healing must occur. Examples: Simba is reassured by the starry figure of Mufasa. Luke removes Darth Vader’s mask.

23 RETURN HOME The hero crosses the threshold and returns home, either willingly or unwillingly. Brings new wisdom and cultural values back to the community. Example: Simba returns to Pride Rock with moral leadership to bring the land back to health.


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