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Archetypes/Symbolism/Theme in Film

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by

Dana Saville

on 15 May 2017

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Transcript of Archetypes/Symbolism/Theme in Film

Common Character Archetypes
SYMBOLIC ARCHETYPES (IMAGES)
Definition
Symbolic Archetype
To create and develop richer characters that the audience can connect with on a deeper level
Recycling archetypes saves writers and directors time and energy.
SYMBOLIC ARCHETYPES (COLORS)
What do these colors represent?
ARCHETYPES
Archetypes are recurring characters, situations, and symbols that give literature and film unity. These recurring patterns are universal to the human experience, so they appear in all different cultures and time periods, constantly reused and recycled.
Fire
Water
Tree
Numbers: 3,4,6,7
Garden
Heavenly bodies: moon and sun
Circles
Wilderness
Heaven/Afterlife
Flowers/Spring
Images depicting seasons
Old man
Wise man
Evil man
Bad Witch
Good Witch/Mother
Earth-Mother
Maiden
Hero/Heroine
Star-Crossed Lovers
Soul-Mate
The Underdog
The Sidekick
The Mentor
Father-Son
A person, object, action, place, or event that, in addition to its literal meaning, suggests a more complex meaning or range of meanings.
Why are archetypes/symbols used in film?
Green
Orange, Red, Black
White
Symbolism in Film
Place Symbols
People as Symbols
Title of the Story
Narrator’s or Character’s Statement(s)
Arrangement of Events
Story’s Conflict
Point of View
Symbols
Changes in Character
THEME CHECKLIST
THEME AND CONFLICT
Theme is NOT:
expressed in a single word
the subject/topic
the purpose of a work
the moral
the conflict
Theme IS:
expressed as a sentence.
a revelation about the subject or about human nature


THEME
The central idea, or insight, about life or human behavior that a story reveals. Themes reveal human truths. Example: Living a simple life leads to greater personal freedom.

In most stories, the theme is not stated directly. Instead, it is revealed to us through the characters’ experiences.
THEME
THEME
Human v Human
Theme is often related to conflict, but the following are types of conflict, not themes.
Human vs Nature
Human vs Society
Human vs Self (inner)
Action as a Symbol
Identifying the Theme
To identify the theme, be sure to consider the story’s plot, the way the story uses characterization, and the primary conflict in the story. Consider the following for help:
Title
Narrator and Character statements
Arrangement of events
Point of view
Symbols
Changes in character

What might be some themes for Finding Nemo?

Aladdin Plot Structure Example
SITUATIONAL ARCHETYPES


The Quest
The Initiation: getting your license, getting married
The Fall
Good vs Evil
Death and Rebirth
Creation Story
The Magical Weapon: Harry Potter's elder wand, Thor's hammer, Jack Sparrow's compass
Immortality
Nature vs Technology (Avatar, The Matrix, IRobot)
Good vs Evil (Simba vs Scar in
The Lion King
)
The Unhealable Wound (Darth Vader, Jesus, Harry's Scar, )
Supernatural intervention (Avatar)
Symbolism: Practice
Theme Practice
Watch the following short film. Come up with one-word motifs first, then create a sentence based on that topic that captures what the creator believes about that topic.
A person, object, action, place, or event that, in addition to its literal meaning, suggests a more complex meaning or range of meanings.
Common events or experiences that appear over and over in movies, literature, and stories of all kinds:
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