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Archetypal Studies

A brief introduction to archetypes in literature and film for high school students

Nikki Morrell

on 13 January 2013

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Transcript of Archetypal Studies

What is an archetype? Archetypal Criticism an original pattern
on which copies are made or an inherited idea derived from the experience of the race and present in the unconscious of the individual So, an archetype is... Can you identify archetypes? What do the following characters have in common? Can you find similar traits or patterns of behavior?
Sarah Connor from Terminator
Joan of Arc
Xena- warrior princess
Buffy, the Vampire Slayer
Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird
Lucy from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
Neytiri from Avatar
Merida- from Brave
Let's Try Another What do the following characters have in common? Can you find similar traits or patterns of behavior?
Rocky from The Rocky movies
Maverick from Top Gun (Tom Cruise’s character)
Han Solo from Star Wars
Romeo from Romeo and Juliet
Jake Sully from Avatar
Jacob from Twilight
Jack from Lord of the Flies
Archetypes are models of behaviors, people, and personalities.

Phsychologist Carl Jung believed that our psyches were composed of three levels: the ego (conscious), the personal unconscious, and the collective unconscious. It is within the realm of the collective unconscious that archetypes dwell.

Jung suggests that these models (archetypes) are innate within us, unlearned, and universal!
Think about those universal symbols that evoke a deep response from a reader.
In literature, characters, images, and themes that symbolically embody universal meanings and basic human experiences, regardless of when or where they live, are considered archetypes.
How could you prove that archetypes “exist” even in our modern age?
Can you determine whether or not there are NEW modern archetypes? What does this mean? First, we should understand that often the authors are unaware that they are doing so!

But if an author was aware, why WOULD they include archetypes in their work? What would be the value of doing so? Why Would Authors Use Archetypes? Get out a
sheet of paper ASSETS
*loves to be outside with nature
*has more male friends than female
*values women and children
*is a feminist, even if she doesn’t admit it
*is unafraid to be out at night
*is willing to fight to the death for a cause
*stands up for her causes
*self-sufficient Artemis:
the Amazon and the Gorgon FLAWS
can be very opinionated and thickheaded
puts blinders on
can become irrational
can be boastful
shows no remorse
blind with fury and rage
isn’t level headed
aggressive, erratic, levelheaded ASSETS
*physical as opposed to mental
*forgoes career and success for fun and travel
*will fight to save those he loves, never giving up
*will fight for a good cause when others are afraid to
*loves to sing and dance
*searches for the next big thrill, challenge, or risk Ares-
the Protector and the Gladiator What do the following characters have in common? Can you find similar traits or patterns of behavior?
Joey from Friends
Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Will Smith in Men in Black
Peter Pan
Puck in Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Brothers in Step Brothers
Ron, Fred, and George in Harry Potter Let's Try Another What do the following characters have in common? Can you find similar traits or patterns of behavior?
Joey from Friends
Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Will Smith in Men in Black
Peter Pan
Puck in Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Brothers in Step Brothers
Ron, Fred, and George in Harry Potter
*loves to play practical jokes
*is easygoing
*is adventurous and inquisitive
*can go on adventures alone
*is charming and playful
*has strong imagination and is full of ideas
*acts and dresses young for his age
*hates to plan things ahead of time
*loves children because he is young Hermes-
The Fool FLAWS
*is impulsive and reckless, without limits
*is terrified of commitment
*can pick up and disappear for long stretches of time
*takes risks because he feels that he is invincible
*can’t handle responsibility
*expert con man
*hates authority figures
*is self-centered
*embarrasses his family
*expects others to bail him out of a crisis
*runs instead of fighting Let's Try One More! What do the following characters have in common? Can you find similar traits or patterns of behavior?

Luke Skywalker
Neo- from The Matrix
William Wallace- Braveheart
Martin Luther King Jr.
Harry Potter
Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings
Proctor from The Crucible
Aslan from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
*questions authority
*is disciplined
*has a healthy sense of who he is
*strong, spiritual belief system to pull him through tough times
*seemed smarter than most adults when still a child
*stands up for beliefs no matter the cost
*inner strength that never dies Osiris-
the Male Messiah and Punisher FLAWS
*tells people the truth, even when harsh
*pushes people beyond their limits to help them grow
*doubts himself
*sees only black and white
*unemotional about hurting one to save many
*feels the pain of transformation is necessary
*loves to challenge people and push their limits While we will study Jungian archetypes, we will also be taking a look at the fictional character archetypes written about by Victoria Schmidt in her book: Schmidt's book simplifies the character archetypes by using ancient mytholigical gods as the models. OTHER GODDESS ARCHETYPES ASSETS
*Loves to be the center of attention
*Feels the need to express herself
*is smart and creative
*is emotional and deeply feeling
*loves herself and her body
*loves to dress up and wear alluring clothes  APHRODITE: THE SEDUCTIVE MUSE Examples: Rizzo from Grease, Cleopatra, Marilyn Monroe, Scarlet O’Hara, Fleur Delacour from Harry Potter, Abigail from The Crucible FLAWS
*unable to do things alone
*lives for the moment and never thinks of the future
*falls in and out of love easily
*is manipulative and flirtatious
*is impulsive
*is self-focused ASSETS
*loves to be in the city
*prefers male friendships
*values work above all else
*is self-reliant
*always dresses for success
*very smart and intellectual
*confident and self-assured
FATHER’S DAUGHTER AND BACKSTABBER Examples: Scully from X-Files, Prue from Charmed, Demi Moore in GI Jane, Lady MacBeth,
Clarice from Silence of the Lambs, Grace from Avatar, McGonagall from HP FLAWS
avid supporter of men and the patriarchy
gets upset with women who complain about inequality
unable to express her feminine side
feels trapped
thinks of herself first
expert liar
paranoid that others are
plotting against her ASSETS
spends a lot of time with children or students
*puts others ahead of herself
*driven to help people
*wonderful to be around
*extremely helpful
*a good listener
*committed to family  DEMETER: THE NURTURER AND OVERCONTROLLING MOTHER Carol Brady from Brady Bunch, Beauty from Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, WidowDouglas from Huck Finn, Meg from Little Women, Nurse from Romeo and Juliet, Mrs. Weasley from Harry Potter FLAWS
*her identity is wrapped up helping others
*worries constantly about her children
*is self-sacrificing and takes on too many projects
*takes things her family says personally ASSETS
*loves to spend time with family with her family, even when
they drive her crazy
*enjoys entertaining
*loves planning parties and get-togethers
*committed to relationships and marriages
*has dreams of the perfect wedding HERA: THE MATRIARCH AND THE SCORNED WOMAN
  Monica from Friends, Mom from Malcolm in the Middle, Mrs. Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, Petunia from Harry Potter FLAWS
*depends on husband and friends for happiness
*drops her friends for boyfriends
*spies and invades her children’s privacy
*sees her identity wrapped up with her family
*puts husband’s image and career above their own
*can be obsessive in her need for order ASSETS
*cares more for others than self
*has healthy sense of who she is
*strong, spiritual belief system to pull her through tough times
*seemed smarter than most adults when still a child
*stands up for beliefs no matter the cost
*renounces material possessions
*lives in tune with nature ISIS: THE FEMALE MESSIAH AND DESTROYER
  Examples; Leeloo from 5th Element, Trinity from Matrix, Joan of Arc, Wonder Woman,
Hester Prynne, Galadriel from LOTR, Hermione from Harry Potter FLAWS
*tells people the truth, even when harsh
*pushes people beyond their limits to help them grow
*doubts herself
*sees only black and white
*unemotional about hurting one to save many
*feels the pain of transformation is necessary
*loves to challenge people and push their limits
*won’t play favorites
*loves to play and go to parties
*is close to her mother or wished she was
*switches friends and interests often
*doesn’t have plans for the future
*seems innocent and gentle
*can be a wonderful listener
*can help people through trauma PERSEPHONE: THE MAIDEN AND THE TROUBLED TEEN Examples: Cordelia from Buffy, Lucy from I Love Lucy, Phoebe from Charmed, Rachel
From Friends, Mary from Something About Mary, Sandy from Grease, Sleeping Beauty,
Alice in Wonderland, Juliet from R+J, Emma (Jane Austen), Daisy from Great Gatsby, and Bella
From Twilight FLAWS
*depends on someone else for her survival and freedom
*needs attention and loves the spotlight
*has trouble committing to a relationship
*may not understand consequences of her actions
*walks around with rose-colored glasses on
*keeps her opinions to herself to please others
*likes blending into the team at work
*concerned about his image at work and is a neat dresser
*strong will to get things done
*logical and strategic thinker, great detective,
teacher, or analyst
*thrives on order
*finds work and new ideas to be is only passions
*can be loyal and trustworthy
*loves to help others

  Examples: Frasier, Spock from Trek, Jerry Maguire, Dr. Alan Grant from Jurassic Park,
Sherlock Holmes (literary), Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice FLAWS
*obsesses with his career
*gives his attention to only those who can further his career
*as trouble expressing emotions
*can be arrogant
*identifies with the aggressor when attached
*doesn’t handle rejection well
*hates chaos and is inflexible ASSETS
*prefers to be left alone most of the time
*longs for the next project or idea to occupy his time
*could easily live the life of a monk
*has a rich inner life
*psychically sensitive
*may long for a small family unit
*philosophical and highly intelligent
*can be very loyal companion
*doesn’t play games or get involved in their drama
  HADES: THE RECLUSE AND THE WARLOCK Examples: Angel from Buffy, Mulder from X-Files, Beast from Beauty and the Beast, Phantom
Of the Opera, Hamlet, Victor Frankenstein, Snape from Harry Potter, Edward from Twilight FLAWS
*is unexpressive and able to withdraw easily
*afraid of his emotions and seems devoid of feeling
*has trouble talking to people
*is pessimistic
*holds grudges
*has few intimate relationships
*wants to be in control
*likes to intimidate others ASSETS
*shuns money and power for freedom and dreams
*loves all women, regardless of appearance
*is chivalrous and gentle
*was close to his mother as a child
*loves to experience new things
*is erotic and sensual
*looked down on by other men for his lifestyle
*smooth-talker with a sharp wit
  Examples: Jessee from Full House, Chandler from Friends, Robbie from the Wedding Singer,
Johnny from Dirty Dancing, Ferris Bueller, Jack from Titanic, Dracula, Willoughby from
Sense and Sensibility FLAWS
*needs to be around women
*has trouble maintaining male friendships
*has trouble committing to women and career goals
*searches for the impossible ideal of a woman
*irresponsible and flighty
*unambitious and unmotivated ASSETS
*loves to create and change things
*is spontaneous and instinctual
*could be a great creative artist
*full of passion and intensity
*loves his family and friends despite how
he acts around them
*will seek revenge for a harm done to him
*is very street smart
  POSEIDON: THE ARTST AND THE ABUSER Examples: Othello, Tom from Great Gatsby, Jack from Will and Grace, Art Spiegeleman FLAWS
*expresses himself without regard to the feelings of others
*has trouble controlling his emotions
*invades other people’s boundaries
*takes things to extremes
*is obsessive and relentless in his need for revenge
*plays head games with people
*is a ticking time-bomb
*reckless and full of rage ASSETS
*needs to have a family, group or company to rule over
*enjoys many activities and time away from his family
*is skilled at forming alliances
*spoils his friends and family with gifts
*is great strategist
*can be very loyal or giving
*is decisive and confident
*strongest man to lean on
  Examples: Tony Soprano, Kirk from Trek, Ricky from I Love Lucy, Don Vito Corleone
from Godfather, King Arthur, Vernon from Harry Potter FLAWS
*always need to be in control of others
*feels entitled to a separate life outside of his family
*feels his wife should take care of the day to day of the family
*enjoys instilling fear in others
*has trouble expressing emotions
*has trouble asking for help
*is sometimes stoic or quiet GOD ARCHETYPES OTHER ARCHETYPES The Hero: The courageous figure, the one who’s always running in and saving the day.
The Outcast: The outcast is just that. He or she has been cast out of a society or has left it on a voluntary basis. The outcast figure can oftentimes be considered as a Christ figure.
(i.e. Simon in The Lord of the Flies; Hester Prynne )
The Scapegoat: The scapegoat figure is one who gets blamed for everything, regardless of whether he/she is actually at fault.
(i.e. Snowball in Animal Farm)
The Star-Crossed Lovers: This is the young couple joined by love but unexpectedly parted by fate.
(i.e. Romeo and Juliet)
The Shrew: This is that nagging, bothersome wife always battering her husband with verbal abuse Other Common Archetypes Certain images that reoccur in myths and other genres of literature often have a common meaning or tend to elicit comparable psychological responses and to serve similar cultural functions Common Image Archetypes Symbolic of knowledge, enlightenment, wisdom, spirituality
Rising sun= birth and creation
Setting sun= death Sun Symbolic of life, rebirth, cleanliness, and baptism (sometimes of death) Water Egg?
Circle (band of gold)?
Snake or serpent What other image archetypes? Red—love, sacrifice, hate, evil, anger, violent passion, sin, blood, disorder
Green—birth / death, fertility, luck, hope, jealousy, decay, greed
Blue—sadness, spiritual purity, truth, religious feelings of security
Black—power, doom, death, darkness, mystery, primal wisdom, unconscious evil
White—purity, innocence, death, terror, supernatural, blinding truth Color Archetypes 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.
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.
NATURE VS. MECHANICAL WORLD—Nature is good while technology and society are often evil.
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.
THE UNHEALABLE WOUND—The wound is either physical or psychological and cannot be healed fully. This wound also indicates a loss of innocence. These wounds always ache and drive the sufferer to desperate measures.
THE RITUAL—The actual ceremonies the initiate experiences that will mark his rite of passage into another state (weddings, funerals) Situational Archetypes 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”
HEAVEN VS. HELL—gods live in the skies or mountaintops; evil forces live in the bowels of the earth
INNATE WISDOM VS EDUCATED STUPIDITY—uneducated characters can often be wise using their common sense while some very educated characters have no common sense Symbolic Archetypes MAGIC WEAPON—some object used to fight the forces of evil that has magical properties SUPERNATURAL INTERVENTION—the gods most often intervene on the side of the hero to assist him in his quest
HAVEN VS. WILDERNESS—for the hero, places of safety are required for time to regain health and resources; these hideouts are often in unusual places
FIRE VS. ICE—fire can represent knowledge, light, life, and rebirth while ice can represent ignorance, darkness, sterility, and death Symbolic Archetypes Joseph Campbell-- a student of Jung-- was a mythologist; he studied myths from around the world.

In his comparison of the heroes from these myths, he learned that most heroes follow the same archetypal journey. He called this the "Hero’s Journey"-- which you studied in 10th grade.

The Hero’s Journey can be broken into a number of steps– I have listed the twelve most accessible and easy to recognize on a handout for you.

Joseph Campbell Films and Video Clips
A rare interview with Carl Jung
Joseph Campbell speaks about Star Wars and the Hero's Journey
Myth as the Mirror for Self
Full transcript