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Copy of Archetype Criticism
Transcript of Copy of Archetype Criticism
The ins and outs of Archetypes
The tragic hero
Hamlet was born of nobility and fell hard into his own death.
Hamlet was loved by Gertrude, Ophelia, Horatio, and all of the common people who are below him on the great chain of being.
Hamartia is the tragic flaw that causes a heroes demise. Hamlet's Hamartia is his inability to act. From Act I all the way until Act IV Hamlet wants to kill Claudius but does not act on his urges. Hamlet only goes after his revenge when it is too late. Hamlet's tragic flaw causes him to accidentally kill Polonious which snowballs into the deaths of multiple main characters.
Claudius represents the villain archetype. He is the average villain who aims at killing the hero. He wants to be behind the scenes of Hamlet's death, avoiding the spotlight so he can maintain an image of a good king (having Laertes kill Hamlet).
Mel Gibson as Hamlet (1990)
What is an Archetype?
a reoccurring or universal image, symbol, character, or situation that expresses man's nature.
An argues that cultural and psychological myths shape the meaning of a text .
James George Frazer
Damsel in Distress
Act IV scene iii
The unfaithful wife
Gertrude quickly marries her deceased husbands brother, Claudius. Hamlet repeatedly accuses his mother of killing his father again by marrying his uncle.
Act IV scene V
Act IV scene V
Throughout the play, Polonius plays tricks or otherwise disobeys normal rules and conventional behavior. He plans multiple attempts to spy on others and tries to catch Hamlet in a fit of insanity. Polonius plots more than once to hide from others and makes himself involved in matters that are none of his business.
Ian Holm as Polonius (1990)
Although Poloniusat first gives good advice, he is also seen as a fool by the character, Hamlet. In the second scene of the second Act, Hamlet and Polonius have an interesting conversation. According to Hamlet, he does not recognize Polonius, but it comes evident as the scene continues that he obviously knows who he is. Through the use of several puns, Hamlet successfully makes Polonius seem foolish and unworthy. For instance, Polonius asks Hamlet the name of the book he is reading. Of course he wanted the actual name, but instead Hamlet decides to respond in a sarcastic way with “words, words, words” (Shakespeare 95). This particular scene depicts Polonius’s foolish character, from the point of view of the protagonist.
Throughout the course of the play, Polonius is seen as a loser and rather unlucky. When Polonius spies on
Hamlet and yells for help, Hamlet recklessly stabs him through a tapestry without knowing who he was. This unlikely event is even more ironic because Hamlet could only hear his voice, yet still happen to strike Polonius through a completely opaque tapestry. Luck is not in Polonius's favor in this instance and he is classified as a loser when his horrible idea leads to an even worse fate.
psychologist whose study of the mind created the basic concept of archetypes
universal, archaic patterns and images that derive from the collective unconscious
ex. examining behavior, images, art, myths, religions, or dreams
1. The Hero:
The protagonist on a literal or figurative journey often from childhood to adulthood, innocence to experience.
The antagonist or character blocking the hero’s path.
3. The Unfaithful Wife:
4. The Damsel in Distress:
A character, usually female and nubile, is portrayed as helpless and in danger in order to put the cast in motion.
5. Star-crossed Lovers:
Lovers fated to suffer a tragic end.
6. The Trickster:
This character has a negative nature, a character that might be a fraud, a prankster, a con man, a joker, etc. However, they might be helpful to the hero at some point.
The Golden Bough
that details the similarities among magical and religious beliefs across the globe
defined an archetype as a symbol, usually an image, which recurs often enough in literature
believed that all narratives fall into one of four mythos
Ophelia's weak nature and submission to her father's orders characterize her as the one in need of a "hero."
from the Greek word meaning "
original model or original pattern
she fears being alone which is evident when her father dies
and when her love for Hamlet is no longer mutual
"And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine"
represents Ophelia's portrayal as a pure woman which is emphasized in her death in water
Ophelia's head of "crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples" helps to beautify her death and add to the recurring symbol of nature as a parallel to innocence, fertility and beauty