Archetypes

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ARCHETYPES
Archetypes are recurring
symbols, characters, patterns,
and settings that give literature
its unity. In other words, they
are the basic patterns that
occur repeatedly in literature of
all ages.
ARCHETYPAL CHARACTERS
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Alter-ego
Helpful animal
Earth Mother
Wise Old Man
Temptress
Hero
Anti-Hero
Innocent
Scapegoat/Sacrificial
Victim
Trickster
Villain
Transgressor
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Destroyer
Handsome Prince
Helpless Princess
HERO: USUALLY PORTRAYED AS LARGER THAN LIFE, THE HERO HAS
OUTSTANDING QUALITIES AND ABILITIES AND UPHOLDS THE VALUES OF
HIS CULTURE OR SOCIETY
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Examples:
Harry Potter
Santiago
ANTI-HERO:
THIS CHARACTER MAY TRY TO UPHOLD HEROIC
QUALITIES, BUT ACTUALLY DOES NOT. THE ANTI-HERO USUALLY
TURNS OUT TO BE A LOSER.
The Englishman
ALTER-EGO OR DOUBLE: SPLIT PERSONALITIES OR
OPPOSITE TENDENCIES WITHIN AN INDIVIDUAL
Severus Snape
The Crystal Merchant
SUPERNATURAL HELPER OR HELPFUL ANIMAL:
ANY ANIMAL/FORCE THAT USUALLY APPEARS WHEN THE HERO CANNOT SEE A
WAY OUT OF HIS DILEMMA
Dobby
Hawks
Kreacher
Scarab Beetle
WISE OLD MAN: ETERNAL PROVIDER, PROTECTING,
NOURISHING, SHELTERING, AND NURTURING
Albus Dumbledore
Melchizidek
TEMPTRESS: A WOMAN, WHO, THROUGH HER POWER, CAN MAKE A
STRONG MAN WEAK AND A WISE MAN FOOLISH. SHE CAN BE AN IMMORAL
TEMPTRESS(DOES SO ON PURPOSE) OR AMORAL TEMPTRESS (UNINTENTIONALLY
TEMPTS THE HERO)
Ginny Weasley
Fatima
INNOCENT:
A CHILD OR NAÏVE AND INEXPERIENCED MAN OR WOMAN
WHO IS EXPOSED TO THE EVILS OF THE WORLD. THE CHARACTER USUALLY
MOVES FROM INNOCENCE TO EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE
SCAPEGOAT OR SACRIFICIAL VICTIM: ONE WHO
SUFFERS OR IS BLAMED UNJUSTLY IN ORDER FOR OTHERS TO ESCAPE
BLAME OR PUNISHMENT
Harry Potter
Santiago
TRICKSTER:
THE CHARACTER WHO, THROUGH SUPERIOR WIT
OR CUNNING, CAN DECEIVE AND MANIPULATE THOSE WHO SEEMINGLY
HAVE GREATER STRENGTH OR AUTHORITY
Fortune Teller
Fred and George Weasley
Thief
TRANSGRESSOR:
PUSHES THE LIMITS OF HUMAN
KNOWLEDGE AND OFTEN ANGERS “THE GODS”
Voldemort
The Alchemist
DESTROYER:
DESTROYS FOR DESTRUCTION’S SAKE; ENJOYS
EVIL
Bellatrix LeStrange
VILLAIN: AN EVIL CHARACTER WHO ATTEMPTS TO DESTROY THE
HERO
Thieves at the Pyramids
Voldemort
HELPLESS PRINCESS: WOMAN (USUALLY BEAUTIFUL) IN
NEED OF A HERO TO SAVE HER FROM DEATH, EVIL ADVERSARIES, OR
OTHER DANGER
HANDSOME PRINCE: SERVES AS A HERO TO A PRINCESS
OR KINGDOM
ARCHETYPAL SETTINGS
CAVES, TUNNELS, POOLS OF WATER: SYMBOLS
OF DESCENT INTO THE UNCONSCIOUS OR THE INNER SELF
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The Pensieve
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Where Godric Gryffindor’s Sword
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Is hidden
Voldemort’s Cave
COUNTRYSIDE: ASSOCIATED WITH HEALING AND GOODNESS
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The Burrow
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Santiago’s
Pastureland
GARDEN: ORDERED AND CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT THAT
IS USUALLY SAFE, HAPPY, AND NURTURING
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The Oasis
MOUNTAINS AND PEAKS: SYMBOLS OF THE QUEST FOR
SPIRITUAL SELF AND PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT
The Pyramids
RIVER: ON-FLOWING TIME OR LIFE, ETERNAL CHANGE, DESTINY
ISLANDS AND SHIPS AT SEA: SYMBOLIZE SPIRITUAL
AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ISOLATION OR EXILE
The Island in Voldemort’s
Cave
The Desert
ARCHETYPAL THEMES AND PATTERNS OF
EXISTENCE
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Initiation
Santiago must sell his
sheep
Harry Potter must
leave Hogwarts to
search for Horcruxes
Journey, Search, or
Quest
Santiago looks for
treasure
Harry looks for
Horcruxes
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Transformation
Santiago discovers the
meaning of (and
location of) true
treasure
Harry Potter accepts
his fate for the good of
the wizarding world
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