The Eight Hero Archetypes

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The Definition of the Hero:
From Shrek to Wolverine and Everyone Else in Between
What is an archetype?
•The term “archetypes”
signifies ancient
patterns of personality
and relationships that
appear across the
world’s myths, legends,
and folk tales.
•Archetypes and
stereotypes are not the
same thing.
•The term was first
employed heavily by
psychologist Carl Jung.
The Chief
•A dynamic
leader
•Has time for
nothing but
work
•Tough, decisive,
goal-oriented
•Can be
overbearing or
inflexible
The Bad Boy
•Dangerous to
know
•Walks on the
wild side
•The rebel
•Bitter and
volatile
•Charismatic
•Street Smart
The Best Friend
•Sweet and
safe
•Never lets
anyone down
•Mr. Nice Guy
•He’ll always
be there
The Charmer
•Fun
•Irresistible
•Not too
responsible or
dependable
The Lost Soul
•A sensitive,
understanding
guy
•Secretive,
brooding and
unforgiving
•Vulnerable
•Might be a
wanderer or an
outcast
The Professor
•Coolly
analytical
•He knows
every answer
•Logical,
introverted,
and inflexible
•Honest and
faithful
The Swashbuckler
•Mr.
Excitement
•Action,
action, action
•Needs thrills
to keep him
happy
The Warrior
•A noble
champion
•Acts with honor
•The knight in
shining armor
•The protector
•Sticks up for the
underdog
ARCHETYPES
BIG PAPER
The Chief
 The Bad Boy
 The Best Friend
 The Charmer
 The Lost Soul
 The Professor
 The Swashbuckler
 The Warrior



On a large piece of
newsprint, list as many
examples as you can of
each heroic archetype.
Explain why you think each
character would fall into
that particular category.



Write one page about a book, movie, or
television series that employs these heroic
archetypes.
Identify the heroic characters in the program,
define which archetype they represent, and
use particular examples to explain why they
fit into the category you chose for them.
Some suggestions: 24, X-Men, Lost, One Tree
Hill, Lord of the Rings, House.
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