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Understanding Archetypal Characters
Transcript of Understanding Archetypal Characters
A character type that recurs in different times and places in myths, literature, folklore, dreams, and rituals frequently and prominently so that it embodies some essential element of the universal human experience.
More simply stated, an archetype is simply a pattern.
The character in the story who is the
main character or protagonist. The
hero must overcome various obstacles.
By conquering these obstacles, the hero
demonstrates the story's lesson or
The Father Figure
The Mother Figure
The Temptress or Witch
Also known as the fool, the character whose
main goal is to trick others into fulfilling the
trickster's own desires. He is not aligned with
either good or evil but only serves his personal
whims. Often untrustworthy.
The main antagonist. The goal of the villain
is to defeat or destroy the hero. A clever
villain is often in disguise.
A female character who uses her intellect,
knowledge of magic, or appearance to seduce
men. A witch is often played as old and
decrepit while the temptress is young and
beautiful. The seduction and destruction of
the hero is her goal.
A supportive, nurturing character. Often
provides for the spiritual and physical
well-being of the hero. They also provide a
sense of home and of belonging.
A protective character. He defends and
guides the hero. Often the hero will lose the
father figure at some point in the narrative.
This teaches the hero to defend and lead.
Just as we have archetypal characters- those who show up again and again in literature- so too we can have archetypal settings, plots, symbols, and themes!
So if you ever find yourself saying, "I think I recognize this from something else I saw or read," then you are probably dealing with an archetype!