W HAT IS AN ARCHETYPE ? An archetype is the original pattern or model Archetypes can be applied to an image, a theme, a symbol, an idea, a character type, or a plot pattern. Archetypes can be expressed in myths, dreams, literature, religions, fantasies, and folklore. Three main archetypes: Character Situational Symbolic
C HARACTER A RCHETYPES Character archetypes are recurring characters that you keep seeing in different books and movies. Examples of Character Archetypes: The Hero The Scapegoat The Wise Counselor/Mentor The Supernatural Guide The Companions The Villain/Evil Figure The Damsel in Distress The Temptress The Good/Bad Mother
T HE H ERO “A hero is any male or female who leaves the world of his or her everyday life to undergo a journey to a special world where challenges and fears are overcome in order to secure a quest” (Campbell). Qualities: intellectual, independent, unhappy with the status quo (the mundane), assertive Male Examples: Simba, The Lion King ; Aladdin; Aladdin ; Harry, Harry Potter Female Examples: Dorothy, Wizard of Oz ; Mulan, Mulan ; Ariel, The Little Mermaid
T HE S CAPEGOAT A scapegoat is a person or group who takes all the blame or suffers in place of another. Qualities: considered an outsider or criminal, restless traveler, is alone, may be associated with sorcery or black magic Example: Wile E Coyote
T HE W ISE C OUNSELOR /M ENTOR The Mentor is a wise or holy figure who guides the hero in their journey. Can appear as an oracle, a mentor, a guide, a teacher, or a wise old man/woman. Qualities: usually an older person, possesses insight beyond that of ordinary people, helps the hero see the world objectively Examples: Dumbledore, Harry Potter ; Rafiki, The Lion King ; Yoda, Star Wars
T HE S UPERNATURAL G UIDE “The hero is covertly aided by the advice, amulets, and secret agents of the supernatural helper whom he met before his entrance into this region. Or it may be that he here discovers for the first time that there is a benign power everywhere supporting him in his superhuman passage” (Campbell). Example: Simba sees his father in the sky and receives advice so that he may continue with his journey.
T HE C OMPANIONS Companions are friends or allies who show faithful and loyal support to the hero throughout the journey. Qualities: faithful, loyal, unselfish Examples: Timon and Pumba, The Lion King ; Ron and Hermoine, Harry Potter ; Sebastian and Flounder, The Little Mermaid
T HE V ILLAIN /E VIL F IGURE “A cruelly malicious person who is involved in or devoted to wickedness or crime; or a person who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot” (Campbell). The Villain/Evil Figure is the person who is capable of crime or wickedness. He/she is also the opponent with whom the hero must struggle. They are the “bad guy” in the story. Qualities: represents things we don’t like and would like to eliminate, negative forces, sneakiness Examples: Wicked Witch of the West, Wizard of Oz ; Lord Voldemort, Harry Potter ; Scar, The Lion King
T HE D AMSEL IN D ISTRESS The Damsel in Distress is a vulnerable woman who needs to be rescued by the hero. She is often used as a trap to try to destroy the unsuspecting hero. Examples: Fiona, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel.
T HE T EMPTRESS “Lured man on until her sensuous beauty had fully captured and weakened him. [The temptress] is sometimes seen as representing an alien culture or the unknown” (Burrows). The Temptress is someone whom the hero is physically attracted to and who ultimately brings about his downfall. Qualities: almost always a woman, physically beautiful, tries to tempt the hero in order to get him off course Examples: Helen of Troy, Sirens, Calypso
T HE G OOD /B AD M OTHER The Good Mother is the positive representation of the mother, grandmother, nurses, surrogate mother, goddess, etc. Qualities: life-giving, magic authority, wisdom, spirituality, fertility, fosters growth Examples: Fairy Godmother, Cinderella ; Glinda the Good Witch, The Wizard of Oz The Bad (Evil) Mother is the negative representation of the mother, grandmother, step-mother, mother-in-law, goddess, etc. Qualities: secretive, hidden, dark, is terrifying and inescapable due to fate, often portrayed as witches Examples: Queen/Witch, Snow White ; Step-mother, Cinderella ; Ursula, The Little Mermaid
S ITUATIONAL A RCHETYPES These are common situations, or plots, that are repeatedly seen throughout history and cultures in literature, movies, television, etc. Examples: The Journey The hero goes in search of some truth or information to restore order to the kingdom. They journey involves them proving themselves, defending/saving others, or finding something. The type of journey the hero takes depends on the type of hero they are. Some common journeys include: Identity Knowledge Vengeance To find the promised land
S ITUATIONAL A RCHETYPES C ONT … The Fall Describes the descent from a higher to a lower state of being. The experience involves a ruining and/or loss of innocence and happiness. The Fall usually includes being forced to leave a kind of paradise as punishment for disobedience and moral wrong doing. o Good vs. Evil o Good must face great evil and win out in the end. These show up in classic conflicts such as threatening enemies, moral dilemmas, problems with society, etc.
S YMBOLIC ARCHETYPES These are symbols (something which represents something else) that have occurred again and again throughout history and various cultures. These symbols have always stood for the same things; that is what makes them archetypes. Examples: Light vs. Darkness – light suggests hope, renewal, or enlightenment; darkness suggest the unknown, despair, or ignorance. Heaven vs. Hell – gods live above (heaven) and evils lives in the underworld (hell). Water for cleansing – when a water source is present; a character can purify himself from a wrong.
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