Presentation on theme: "Archetypes. Definition of Archetype A Greek word meaning “original pattern, or model” Researchers have been able to collect and compare myths, legends,"— Presentation transcript:
Definition of Archetype A Greek word meaning “original pattern, or model” Researchers have been able to collect and compare myths, legends, and religions of cultures from all around the world. They discovered that for centuries, people who had NO contact with each other had passed down stories through generations that were similar to the stories of other cultures. The basic elements of these stories are called ARCHETYPES. Many literary critics are of the opinion that archetypes, which have a common and recurring representation in a particular human culture or entire human race, shape the structure and function of a literary work. In literature, an archetype is a typical character, an action or a situation that seems to represent universal patterns of human nature. What types of character, situation or image patterns have you seen repeated in the movies you examined?
The Roots of Archetypal Theory This literary theory/criticism has its roots in social anthropology as well as psychoanalysis and was most popular during the 1940s and 1950s. Anthropologist Sir James George Frazer examined cultural mythologies, including the study of the shared practices of primitive and modern religions.
The Roots of Archetypal Theory Carl Jung, Swiss psychologist, argued that the root of an archetype is in the “collective unconscious” of mankind. “collective unconscious” refers to experiences shared by a race or culture including love, religion, death, birth, life, struggle, survival etc. These experiences exist in the subconscious of every individual and are recreated in literary works or in other forms of art. Archetypes are represented through primordial images that have been part of human’s collective unconscious since the first stages of time.
The Roots of Archetypal Theory Well-known Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye ( ) dealt with archetypes from a purely literary view. Believed human beings projected their narrative imaginations in to two fundamental ways: 1.representations of an ideal world 2.representations of the real world
The Roots of Archetypal Theory Frye divided his theory into four narrative patterns, like the seasons. Summer = romance (ideal world) Winter = irony/satire (real world, tragic/comic) Autumn = Tragedy movement from summer/ideal/innocence to winter/real/experience Spring = Comedy movement from winter/real/experience to summer/ideal/innocence
The Roots of Archetypal Theory These form a kind of master plot that is the structure of a quest. Conflict = basis of romance Catastrophe = basis of tragedy Disorder & confusion = basis of irony & satire Triumph = basis of comedy He called this theory archetypal criticism because it deals with the recurrence of certain narrative patterns in Western Literature.
We are going to divide our examination of archetypes into four areas: 1.Situations (plot formulas, patterns of action) 2.Character Types 3.Setting (time & place) 4.Symbols – images & color You’ll often find several of these archetypes within one
Archetypal Situational (Plot) The movie opens…. the young, beautiful actress is on a tirade about how much she hates, and she means hates, detests, loathes and every other adjective in between, the new guy she works with (who happens to be drop dead good looking and single). He pokes fun at her and frequently stops by her desk. She fumes silently. She yells at him about how she can’t stand the sight of him. He laughs and says he can’t stand her either. What’s going to happen? How do you know this?
THE QUEST—search for someone or some object, which when it is found and brought back will restore life to a wasted land, the desolation of which is shown by a leader’s illness and disability Patterns The Quest to Know Who You Are (identity) The Quest to Find Knowledge The Quest to Find the Promised Land or to Build a Beautiful City The Warrior’s Quest to Save the People and Rid the Land of Danger The Quest to Get Revenge (vengeance) The Quest for Fame and Fortune The Fool’s Quest (a silly person saves the land because of his innocence or foolishness) The Search for Love (to rescue the princess) The Quest for the Grail (human perfection)
Archetypal Situational (Plot) THE INITIATION—this usually takes the form of an initiation into adult life. The adolescent comes into his/her maturity with new awareness and problems along with a new hope for the community. This awakening is often the climax of the story. DEATH AND REBIRTH—grows out of a parallel between the cycle of nature and the cycle of life. Thus, morning and springtime represent birth, youth, or rebirth; evening and winter suggest old age or death.
Archetypal Situational (Plot) THE FALL—describes a descent from a higher to a lower state of being. The experience involves a defilement and/or a loss of innocence and bliss. The fall is often accompanied by expulsion from a kind of paradise as a penalty for disobedience and moral transgression. BATTLE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL—Obviously the battle between two primal forces. Mankind shows eternal optimism in the continual portrayal of good triumphing over evil despite great odds. These manifest themselves in the classic conflicts of menacing enemies, natural dangers, moral dilemmas, problems with society, and difficulty with fate or decisions
Archetypal Situational (Plot) What movies do you know that follow one of these narrative patterns?
The movie starts. A dark character is seen carrying a limp figure in a pink gown. Suddenly, another figure, accompanied by a falcon appears… Who are these people?
Archetypal Character These are the “stereotype” characters that you see over and over again. You’ve seen these characters throughout different cultures and over different eras in history. Here are just a few…
Archetypal Character CharacterDescriptionExamples Note the underlined words and phrases; these will help you take quick notes! The Herolarger-than-life character often goes on some kind of journey or quest hero must demonstrate the qualities and abilities valued by his culture Mother is sometimes a virgin, circumstances of birth are unusual, some attempt is made at birth to kill him; raised by foster parents, returns to his kingdom to right wrongs, marries a princess, becomes king, meets a mysterious death, body is burned rather than buried Odysseus King Arthur Prince Charming Luke Skywalker (Star Wars) Frodo (The Lord of the Rings) Harry Potter
Archetypal Character CharacterDescriptionExamples ANTI-HEROA non-hero, given the job of failure, frequently humorous He is not the typical hero because he does not always possess purely good qualities or personality traits. For example, while the hero is courageous, the anti-hero might be scared. While the hero is handsome, the anti-hero might be too short, too hairy or too fat. While the hero is self-assured, the anti-hero might be plagued with insecurities. While the hero is out for justice and serving the common good, the anti-hero might be selfish and rebellious against this same common good. This is what makes him or her relatable and likable. think Homer Simpson Holden Caulfield
Archetypal Characters CharacterDescriptionExamples The InitiateAn innocent young pre-hero who must go on a quest or special training before earning the right to be a hero. Luke Skywalker The InnocentAn inexperienced character that is exposed to the evils in the world Dorothy (The Wizard of Oz) The Damsel in Distress Woman who needs to be rescued female figure, usually young & beautiful, who is placed in a dire predicament by a villain or monster and needs a hero to rescue her Rapunzel Sleeping Beauty
CharacterDescriptionExamples HelpersWise Old Woman, Man, or Animal; Teacher or Mentor Characters that assist or guide the protagonist Merlin (King Arthur) Yoda (Star Wars) The Father Figure FATHER-SON CONFLICT The protector and leader — father and son are separated and do not meet until the son is an adult; often the mentor is loved and respected more (think Obi wan kenobi) Mufasa (The Lion King) The Mother Figure EARTHMOTHER The protective nurturer and gentle provider - often a goddess who brings the life source to the story either by actually birthing things into being or nurturing them for survival —offers spiritual and emotional nourishment to those she meets; shown in earth colors and has large breasts and hips symbolic of her childbearing capabilities Mrs. Weasely (Harry Potter) Fairy Godmother (Cinderella)
Archetypal Characters CharacterDescriptionExamples The TemptressA woman who uses her power (intellect, magic, beauty) to make men weak sensuous beauty; brings about the hero’s downfall because he is physically attracted to her The White Witch (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) The Sirens The DEVIL FIGURE evil incarnate; offers worldly goods, fame, or knowledge to the hero in exchange for possession of the soul
Archetypal Characters CharacterDescriptionExamples Monster/VillainThe antagonist (opposes the protagonist) May be an evil genius, sadist, creature or predator The Giant (Jack and the Beanstalk) The Trickster/The FoolCharacters who tricks others to get them to do what he/she wants— they can be both virtuous or evil Fred and George Weasely (Harry Potter) Road Runner The EVIL FIGURE WITH GOOD HEART redeemable evil figure saved by the nobility or love of the hero. Gru (Despicable Me)
Archetypal Characters CharacterDescriptionExamples The UnderdogCharacters who are always in the wrong place at the wrong time, but who usually win something of value in the end The Ugly Duckling Neville Longbottom (Harry Potter) The SCAPEGOATanimal or human who is unjustly held responsible for others’ sins; sacrificed but they often become more powerful force dead than alive STAR-CROSSED LOVERS two lovers forbidden to be together because of the rules of society or family; often ends tragically Romeo and Juliet
What movies do you know that have these sytpes of characters?
The movie opens on a dark, stormy night. There is no power in the house where the couple lives. What does this suggest? Why?
Archetypal Setting These are settings that are seen over and over throughout literature. Although the settings may vary a little over time or as cultures change, the basic premise of the setting is the same. Such as…
Archetypal Settings PlaceDescription The Crossroads A road or path The place of suffering and decision Journey of life The Underworld The place where the hero encounters fear or death, descent into hell The Maze or Labyrinth Represents a puzzling dilemma or great uncertainty – complex journey of human mind
Archetypal Settings The Castle Gothic Mansion The strong place of safety; holds the treasure or the princess; may be bewitched or enchanted A River A water source The Seas life giving or cleansing properties; without water, there is no life. Borders and boundaries, too Journey down river = journey of life – Twain’s Huck Finn Stages of life - Styx in Greek myths source of life = good and dangerous, turbulent = evil Poseidon (Greek mythology) The IslandIsolation Robinson Crusoe Lord of the Files
The Gardenearly on = earthly delights, love and fertility; Christianity = eternal forbidden paradise Garden of Eden Romeo and Juliet (balcony scene) The forest/wilderness dangerous world full of beasts and darkness (jungle – wild, uncontrollable) Little Red Riding Hood The Scarlet Letter Tarzan The mountaincenter of universe, climbing = spiritual, emotional journey; powerful, mysterious places Wasteland and desert emotionally/physically barren place or time in a character’s journey, usually emerges stronger
Archetypal Settings universe of opposites –this can be anything from light and dark or day and night to good and evil or man verse beast landscape that emerges from chaos - begins with some kind of void or confusion and something whole is brought forth such as the light and the darkness emerging from the watery chaos
What movies do you know that have these types of settings?
These are symbols (something which represents something else) that have occurred over and over again throughout time and in various different cultures. These symbols have always represented the same things; that is what makes them an archetype and what makes us recognize them as symbols when we see them. Symbolic Archetypes:
Symbols LIGHT VS. DARKNESS—light suggests hope, renewal, or intellectual illumination; darkness suggests the unknown, ignorance, or despair. WATER VS. DESERT—water is necessary to life and growth and so it appears as a birth or rebirth symbol; the appearance of rain in a work can suggest spiritual birth or rebirth; characters who live in the desert are often “dead” to morals or the “good side” Water = purity, cleansing, baptism Fire = purging, tribulation HEAVEN VS. HELL—gods live in the skies or mountaintops; evil forces live in the bowels of the earth
Archetypal Images/Symbols Seasons = spring is birth, winter is death Heavenly bodies = moon is change, cycles; sun is power, inspiration, goodness Circles = completeness, wholeness, unity Plants = Oak is strength, rose is beauty Animals = serpent is evil; lamb is innocent, lion is strong snakes or cows hold special value in the culture or religion the snake in the Garden or Eden = temptation; but a snake can also symbolize rebirth (shedding skin) Numbers = a particular number holds a sacred value for the culture (such as 3 for the Christian faith, the divine trinity, 7 is perfect or luck
Archetypal Colors Color = positive (negative) Black = power (death, mourning) Blue = nobility, tranquility (depression) Brown = Earth, nature (confusion) Gray = neutral (passionless) Green = fertility, renewal, wealth (greed, envy) Orange = adventure, change (forced change, disruptiveness) Purple = royalty, positive personal growth (injury) Red = sex, love (sacrifice, taboo, humiliation, danger) White = purity, wholesomeness, rebirth (emptiness) Yellow = enlightenment (cowardice, illness)
What movies do you know that contain any of these symbols or colors or images? Symbolic Archetypes:
Now, take what you know about archetypes and apply them to everyone’s favorite Ogre….
SHREK Archetypes HeroShrek Literally doing superhuman deeds (fighting fire breathing dragon) Quest (with a Damsel in Distress) Find/Rescue Princess Fiona TaskGet his swamp back from the fairy creatures
Light v Darkness The castle is dark to represent evil; Fiona is first seen in a ray of light; as soon as they escape, they emerge into daytime since they have escaped evil Death and RebirthWhen they escape the dragon, morning is dawning suggesting hope and rebirth Star Crossed LoversDragons and Donkeys aren’t supposed to be together, neither are ogres and princesses Evil Figure with a Good HeartDragon appears at first as an Evil Figure, especially with the remains of the knights, but Donkey (friendly beast) saves her and converts her to good The JourneyShrek and Donkey face their fears and conquer the dragon, finding Fiona to accomplish their task
Activity: Develop & Apply You Do Review your notes on archetypes. Use your movie lists and identify one archetype from each category (situational, symbolic, setting and character). For each archetype (4), write two sentences explaining why your choice demonstrates an example of each of these archetypes by using your definitions from your notes.
Thanks to my sources… “Archetypal Literary Criticism,” Wikipedia. Web. 12 November Don L. F. Nilsen and. Alleen Pace Nilsen at Arizona Sate University Louisa Graner at Woodstock High School, Georgia Monique Fisher, White Station High School Kipp, r. [Reference: William Harmon and C. Hugh Holman, A Handbook to Literature 8 ed. (1999).]—adapted from Dave Crew’s handout on Archetypal Criticism. Tyson, Lois. Critical Theory Today: A User Friendly Guide. Garland Publishing, p