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Copy of Archetypes

Literary, cinematic, and social

Drew Eddins

on 10 December 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Archetypes

There are three types of archetypes:

1) character

2) symbolic

3) situational
A universal theme that manifests itself differently on an individual basis.
They typically fall into two major categories: characters and situations/symbols.
In other words, a character, an event, a story or an image that recurs in different works, in different cultures and in different periods of time.
There are several recurring character archetypes found in literature, cinema, and society. The following are some of the most common:
The Hero
The Villain
The Martyr
The Mentor
The Villain
The Villain is usually the evil character in a story; the character who has a negative effect on others in the story.
As defined by the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, the villain is "a cruelly malicious person who is involved in or devoted to wickedness or crime; scoundrel; or a character in a play, novel, or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot"
Literary, Cinematic, and Social
William Harmon and C. Hugh Holman, A Handbook to Literature 8 ed. (1999).]—adapted from Dave Crew’s handout on Archetypal Criticism.
Faithful Companions
The Trickster
The Damsel in Distress
The Star-Crossed Lovers
The Hero
Perhaps the most universal; searches for self-knowledge & undertakes "the hero's journey" (can be physical or mental/spiritual/emotional)
William Harmon and C. Hugh Holman, A Handbook to Literature 8 ed. (1999).]—adapted from Dave Crew’s handout on Archetypal Criticism.
Characteristics of a Villain
The Martyr/Christ Figure
The Martyr is one who is persecuted and potentially put to death for refusing to renounce, or accept, certain societal ideals, usually religious in nature; often sacrificed for others
Other examples of martyrs:
Joan of Arc
Frodo Baggins (The Lord of the Rings)
Harry Potter
Mufasa (The Lion King)
Aslan (The Chronicles of Narnia)
Jesus Christ
The Mentor
A wise old man or woman, full of knowledge and insight who helps the hero complete his journey
Examples of The Mentor:
Gandalf (LOTR)
Dumbledore (Harry Potter)
Merlin (King Arthur)
Yoda (Star Wars)
Mr. Miyagi (The Karate Kid
Glenda (The Wizard of Oz)
The Fairy Godmother (Cinderella)
Haymitch & Cinna (The Hunger Games)
The Child
Present in all humans, the child is considered a survival archetype. Characterized by "childish to childlike longing for the innocent, regardless of age"
Sub-archetypes include:
The Wounded Child
The Abandoned or Orphaned Child
The Dependent Child
The Magical or Innocent Child
The Eternal Child
The Divine Child
The Nature Child
The Trickster
Simply put, the Trickster is one who delights in practical jokes, tricks, and otherwise displays complete disregard for normal rules and behavior; neither entirely good or entirely bad
Other typical characteristics of the trickster:
Not physically intimidating
Use psychological warfare (brain ninjas)
Generally nonviolent
The Damsel in Distress
Perhaps the oldest female archetype, the DID is always beautiful, vulnerable, and in need of rescue. Once rescued, she is lavishly provided for by her prince or knight. When the plan does not unfold as she'd hoped, she is forced to face the world on her own and grow into an empowered, self-sufficient woman.
Other Damsels:
Bella Swan (Twilight)
Lois Lane (Superman)
Snow White
Princess Jasmine
The Star-Crossed Lovers
Star-Crossed Lovers are those individuals who are deeply in love, but whose relationship is impeded by an outside force, usually fate.
Examples of the Child Archetype
Other Examples:
Lancelot & Guinevere
Bella Swan & Edward
Jack & Rose (Titanic)
Anakin Skywallker & Padme (Star Wars)
Katniss & Peeta (The Hunger Games

Symbolic Archetypes
Snakes (evil, sin, corruption)
Water (rebirth)
Circles (unity, life cycle)
Mountains (places of mystery & power, suggesting a spiritual journey)
More Symbolic Archetypes
Light vs. darkness
Educated stupidity vs. innate wisdom
Magical weapons/talismans (help the hero on their quest)
Situational Archetypes
Coming of age (initiation)/loss of innocence
Good vs. evil
Death & rebirth
Nature vs. mechanical world
Situational Archetypes
the unhealable wound
father-son (or parent-child) conflict: father & son may be separated, & often the sons loves the mentor more
the hero's journey or quest
The Unhealable Wound
The Hero's Journey
Characteristics of a Hero:
unusual circumstances of birth
forced to leave home at an early age; not raised by parents
traumatic life events lead to a quest
wields a special weapon or talisman
has supernatural help
The Antihero
a central figure in a storycharacterized by a lack of typical heroic qualities like courage or morality; often corrupt, emotionally troubled and/or unglamorous; redeemable
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