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Archetypes and Heroes: An Introduction


Character Types. Plot Patterns. You can find them in: Myths/Folklore ... Same with King Lear and Macbeth and every other Shakespeare work you can think of. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Archetypes and Heroes: An Introduction

Archetypes and Heroes An Introduction
  • Feraco
  • Myth to Science Fiction
  • 14 September 2009

Archetype (n)
  • 1 the original pattern or model of which all
    things of the same type are representations or
    copies prototype also a perfect example
  • 2 an inherited idea or mode of thought in the
    psychology of C. G. Jung that is derived from the
    experience of the race and is present in the
    unconscious of the individual

Locating the Treasure
  • If I ask you about archetypes, look at
  • Images
  • Themes/Ideas
  • Symbols
  • Character Types
  • Plot Patterns
  • You can find them in
  • Myths/Folklore/Fantasies
  • Literature
  • Dreams
  • Religion

Seven Stories (Booker and Haig)
  • Tragedy
  • Hero with a fatal flaw meets tragic end (Macbeth)
  • Comedy
  • Not necessary laugh-out-loud, but always with a
    happy ending, typically of romantic fulfillment
    (Jane Austen)
  • Overcoming the Monster
  • Its psychological appeal is obvious and eternal
  • Voyage and Return
  • The archetypal structure of personal development
    through leaving, then returning home (The
    Odyssey, Alice in Wonderland)
  • Quest
  • It is the plot that links a lot of the most
    popular fiction (The Lord of the Rings)
  • Rags to Riches
  • The riches in question can be literal or
    metaphoric (Cinderella)
  • Rebirth
  • A central character suddenly finds a new reason
    for living (A Christmas Carol)

Haigs View
  • Every story has been told...Authors are, if
    you excuse the analogy, like fashion designers
    dressing and re-dressing a body that will always
    have two arms and two legs and a head.
  • Shakespeare, for instance, never bothered
    himself with inventing plots. The story of Hamlet
    had already been told several times before. Same
    with King Lear and Macbeth and every other
    Shakespeare work you can think of.
  • That does not mean a novel or a play or a film
    can't be truly original. Of course it can. It's
    just originality doesn't come through plot. It
    comes from style and voice and the imagination
    that brings language and characters and settings
    to life.
  • Personally, I don't get too bothered about
    whether or not a plot is considered 'original' or
    'unoriginal'. All stories are, to some degree,
    cover versions. It's how you carry these
    universal plots into the present age that's the
    challenge for every writer.

Jungs Archetypal Studies
  • Recognized that there were universal patterns in
    all stories and mythologies, regardless of
    culture or historical period
  • Hypothesized that part of the human mind
    contained a collective unconscious shared by all
    members of the human species a sort of
    universal, primal memory
  • Jung gave rise to Joseph Campbell, whose A Hero
    With a Thousand Faces refined the original
    hypotheses, highlighted the patterns we either
    respond to or seek out (even unconsciously), and
    helped define the concept of heroism in the
    modern age

Heroic Archetypes Twelve to Know
  • Hero as Warrior
  • A god-like or impressive individual faces
    physical challenges and external enemies
  • Hero as Lover
  • A pure love motivates the individual to complete
    the quest
  • Hero as Scapegoat/Martyr
  • Hero suffers for the sake of others
  • Transcendent Hero
  • Common to tragedy a fatal flaw brings about
    his/her downfall, but not before he/she reaches a
    transforming realization (wisdom)

Heroic Archetypes Twelve to Know
  • Romantic/Gothic Hero
  • Hero with a decidedly darker side
  • Proto-Feminist Hero
  • Self-explanatory
  • Apocalyptic Hero
  • Faces either the end of society or the end of the
  • Anti-hero
  • Typically prone to failure, blindness, or
    alienation sometimes humorous

Heroic Archetypes Twelve to Know
  • Defiant Anti-Hero
  • Opposes societal values, particularly concepts of
  • Unbalanced Hero
  • Protagonist who has (or pretends to have) mental
    or emotional deficiencies
  • The Denied Hero/The Other
  • A protagonist whose status as an outsider makes
    heroic action possible
  • The Superhero
  • Exaggerates the normal possibilities of man
    frequently of divine or supernatural origin
    someone who does not quite belong, yet is needed
    by society