Archetypes in Literature

Situational, and Symbolic What is an ?

• An archetype is a term used to describe universal symbols that evoke deep and sometimes unconscious responses in 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 . Situational Archetype • Situations that occur over and over in different versions of the story. • For example, in versions of Cinderella, a young girl seeks freedom from her current situation. She undergoes some kind of transformation and is better off at the end of the story. Situational- The

• Describes the search for someone or something, which when found and brought back will restore balance to the society. Situational- The Task

• The task is the superhuman feat must be accomplished in order to fulfill the ultimate goal. Situational- The Journey

• The is sent in search for some truth of information necessary to restore life, justice, and/or harmony to the kingdom. • The journey includes a series of trials the hero will face along the way. Situational- The Initiation

• The initiation refers to the moment, usually psychological, in which the hero comes into maturity. • The hero gains a new awareness into the nature of problems and understands his/ her responsibility for trying to solve the issue. Situational- The Fall

• This archetype describes a descent in action from a higher to a lower position in life. • This fall is often accompanied by expulsion from a kind of paradise as a penalty for breaking the rules. Situational- Death and Rebirth

• This is the most common of situational archetypes. • It refers to situations in which someone or something dies but this death is accompanied by some sign of birth or rebirth. Situational- Battle Between Good and Evil • The forces between good and evil battle against each other. Situational- The Magic Weapon

• This refers to a skilled individual hero’s ability to use a piece of technology in order to combat evil. Symbolic Archetype

• Symbols that occur over and over in different versions of a story. • For example, in most creation stories, a “void” or water is the only thing that exists at first until the creation of man by some higher being. Symbolic- Light vs. Darkness

• Light usually suggests hope or renewal; darkness implies the unknown or despair. Symbolic- Water vs. Desert

• Because water (rain, river, etc.) is necessary to life and growth, it commonly appears as a birth/rebirth symbol. • A desert can represent the absence of development. Symbolic- Fire vs. Ice

• Fire represents knowledge, light, and life while ice represents ignorance, darkness and death. Character Archetypes: Character types/ personalities that occur over in over in different versions of a story. The Hero/Heroine

This character is the one who will fulfill a necessary task and who will restore harmony and justice to a community. This character is the one who typically experiences an initiation, a journey, a task or quest. Mentors

These individuals serve as teachers or counselors to the initiates. Sometimes they work as role models and often serve as a father or mother figure. The Companion

The Companion befriends and helps the hero; may be unusual or strange

The Damsel-in-Distress

• The damsel-in-distress usually involves a beautiful young woman placed in a dire situation by a or . She usually requires a male hero to rescue her. The Great Mother

The great mother tends to be the protector of good, home, family; represents warmth, security, fertility, or growth.

Friendly Beast

This creature shows that even nature is on the side of the hero. The Evil Figure

This character offers worldly goods, fame, or knowledge to the protagonist in exchange for possession of the soul. The Outcast

A figure who is banished from a social group for some crime (real or imagined) against a fellow man. The Temptress

The temptress is an appealing woman who physically attracts the hero. She usually contributes to his downfall. Star-Crossed Lovers

A couple that is in love but their relationship is not approved of by their families or society. It is fated to end tragically for one or both of them. Evil Woman

• This can be a witch, stepmother, siren or temptress; does the exact opposite of what a mother should do. Archetypes Found in Disney Movies