Archetypes Grade 10 Academic Ms. Casselman Revised Oct. 2014 What is an archetype? Archetypes are recurring character types/relationships patterns of symbols/images/settings situations, storylines and events these are found in the mythology, religion, and
stories and literature of all cultures For Example: The questing hero and the damsel in distress Heralds who call them to adventure Wise old men or women who give them advice or/and magical gifts Threshold guardians who seem to block their way Shadowy villains who try to destroy them The two doomed star-crossed lovers The wicked witch/step mother The fortress/castle in ruins left to defend
Carl Jungs ideas about Archetypes Just as an individual may possess a personal unconscious A culture too has a collective unconscious Fairy tales, stories and myths are like the dreams of an entire culture, springing from the collective unconscious Archetypes and Literature
Carl Jung first applied the term archetype to literature. He recognized that there were universal patterns in all stories regardless of culture or historical period. He believed that part of the human mind contained a collective unconscious shared by all members of the human species, a sort of universal, primal memory. The term archetype can be applied to:
An image A theme A symbol An idea A character type A plot pattern Archetypes can be
expressed in Myths Dreams
Literature Religious Stories Short Stories Folklore Fairy Tales Plays Key things to know about archetypes Archetypes are prototypes
As their name suggests, they derive from associations in our distant past (arche = original or first; type = stamp or model) They are recurring images, character types, symbols, and story patterns that are structural principles that give literature its unity
More Key Facts... Archetypes often have heritage so far in the past that we now accept the association without fully realizing the initial connection Their presence in literature makes it possible to connect one literary work to another and to
literature as a whole The Heros Quest There are 8 stages to the Hero Quest Monomyth It is visualized as a cycle as opposed to a plot diagram or plot graph Stage 1: Call to Adventure
The hero is called to adventure by some external event or messenger. The Hero may accept the call willingly or reluctantly. Stage 2: Helper During the early stages of the journey, the hero will often receive aid from a protective figure. This supernatural helper can take a wide variety of forms, such as a wizard, and old man, a dwarf, a
crone, or a fairy godmother. Stage 3: Crossing the Threshold of Adventure Upon reaching the threshold of adventure, the hero must undergo some sort of ordeal in order to pass from the everyday world into the world of adventure.
This trial may be as painless as entering a dark cave or as violent as being swallowed up by a whale. The important feature is the contrast between the familiar world of light and the dark, unknown world of adventure. Stage 4: Tests and Helpers Tests: The hero travels through the world of adventure where he must undergo a series of tests. These trials are
often violent encounters with monsters, sorcerers, warriors, or forces of nature. Each successful test further proves the hero's ability and advances the journey toward its climax. Helpers: The hero is often accompanied on the journey by a helper who assists in the series of tests and generally serves as a loyal companion. Alternately, the hero may encounter a supernatural helper in the world of adventure who fulfills this function.
Stage 5: The Ordeal Climax/The Final Battle: This is the critical moment in the hero's journey in which there is often a final battle with a monster, wizard, or warrior which facilitates the particular resolution of the adventure. Stage 6: Flight
Flight: After accomplishing the mission, the hero must return to the threshold of adventure and prepare for a return to the everyday world. If the hero has angered the opposing forces by stealing the elixir or killing a powerful monster, the return may take the form of a hasty flight. Stage 7: Return Return: The hero again crosses the threshold of
adventure and returns to the everyday world of daylight. The return usually takes the form of an awakening, rebirth, resurrection, or a simple emergence from a cave or forest. Stage 8: Elixir Elixir: The object, knowledge, or blessing that the hero acquired during the adventure is now put to use in the everyday world. Often it has a restorative or healing function, but it also serves to
define the hero's role in the society. Example: The Lion King Remember the beginning of Lion King? Simba's birth is being celebrated. The unusual aspect of his birth is his royal status. His father, Mufasa, is the King of the Jungle.
Simba's father is murdered by Scar, but Simba believes he is responsible for his fathers death ...which leaves our little hero helpless and forces him to leave his kingdom. Have no fear, however; heroes always return to their land. Call to Action: Simba initially fights with Nala,
but he soon realizes they are old friends. She tells him of Scar's terrible reign, asking that he return to the kingdom to return it to prominence. This begins Simba's quest to gain his father's kingdom back from Scar. Helper: Simba receives help from Rafiki, a medicine man-type character. Rafiki is the supernatural force in The Lion King. He influences Simba and provides him with
guidance. Simba is immature at first and unable to be the hero he will eventually become. However, once he realizes Scar must be removed and that he is the only one that can do it, he assumes his proper role as the hero.
Helper (supernatural): The spirit of Mufasa, Simba's father, tells Simba to be strong and assume his place on the throne. Simba, who has been reluctant up to this point to return to his kingdom, realizes he has little choice but to avenge his father's murder.
Tests: The hyenas prove to be quite the challenge to Simba at first. But Simba is determined to achieve success and defeat Scar, and the hyenas are no match. Ordeal: Simba's descent into "hell" is combined with his defeat of Scar and the hyenas. Remember all the flames in the background as he fights Scar? He symbolically goes where none of the other
lions could go in order to help his tribe and prove himself. Simba's unhealable wound? His past, where his courage failed him and his tribe, will always haunt him. Simba becomes king, earning his elixir (power). He returns the animal kingdom back to normal and the hero quest comes to an end.
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