hero’s journey: archetypes adapted from “a hero’s journey: part 2, heroes and other...
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- HEROS JOURNEY: ARCHETYPES Adapted from A Heros Journey: Part 2, Heroes and Other Archetypes http://www.scribophile.com/blog/a-hero%E2%80%99s-journey-part-2- heroes-and-other-archetypes/
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- ARCHETYPES Joseph Campbell studied thousands of myths and stories from all cultures to find what, if anything, made them alike. The pattern he discovered is called The Heros Journey. Today well cover the archetypes, which are the characters of the stories. The world of fairy tales and myth is peopled with recurring character types and relationships. Heroes on a quest, heralds and wise old men or women who provide them with gifts or motive, shady fellow-travelersthreshold guardianswho block the quest, tricksters who confuse things and evil villains who simply want to destroy our hero and her quest. These characters all fit the term, archetypes, which means ancient patterns of personality shared by humanity. An archetype models a personality or behavior; a mother-figure is an archetype. This is what makes archetypes, or symbols, so important to the storyteller. Archetypes are found in nearly all forms of literature, with their motifs mostly rooted in folklore. Assigning an archetype to a character lets the writer clarify that characters role in the story. Archetypes are an important tool in the universal language of storytelling
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- HERO The hero sacrifices his own needs on behalf of others. The hero provides a character for us to identify with and is usually the principal POV character in a story, with qualities most readers can (or want to) identify with. The hero transforms through her journey as she encounters other archetypes on her journey, whether it is a physical journey or a psychological journey toward home (salvation or redemption) through sacrifice. The true mark of the hero is in the act of sacrifice.
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- UNTRADITIONAL HEROES Anti-hero : Heroes who dont fit the traditional hero mold. Outlaws, criminals, and rebels fall into this category. Consider Robin Hood. Group oriented heroes : An entire group can occasionally be a hero, such as in the movie The Breakfast Club. Together, they all grow and learn, and none have a starring role. Think Marvels Avengers. Loner heroes : These are especially common in westerns. Men living on their own but are forced back to society to complete a mission. Catalyst heroes : While heroes usually change the most of all characters, a catalyst hero doesnt. Instead, he/she causes change in others. Captain Jack Sparrow is a catalyst hero.
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- MENTOR Mentors teach, coach, and give gifts, such as a special talisman, to the hero. A hero may have more than one mentor during a story. Mentors dont have to be fully good people. Mentors, like heroes, can have faults and their own agendas. Usually mentors appear at the beginning of a story, but they can reappear at any time. Some heroes, such as superheroes or heroes in westerns, dont have a human mentor. They have an inner mentora code of honor, a belief system, or moral set of rules that they follow. EXAMPLES: Harry Potter: Dumbledore Star Wars: Yoda
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- HERALD Heralds announce the coming of significant change, whether the hero likes it or not (and usually they dont). They deliver the call to adventure. The herald is a catalyst that enters the story and makes it impossible for the hero to remain in status quo. Existing in the form of a person, an event, or just information, they shift the heros balance and change her world. EXAMPLE: Harry Potters letter from Hogwarts
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- THRESHOLD GUARDIAN Threshold guardians are obstacles that the hero must overcome. They are not the key villains. They are smaller villains, minor characters, who stand in the heros way. The threshold guardian can be a friend who doesnt believe in the hero or her quest. Ultimately, the role of the threshold guardian is to test the heros resolve in her quest. EXAMPLE: Harry PotterMalfoy &Snape
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- TRICKSTER The trickster is often a jester or fool, who not only serves as comic relief but as commentator. Tricksters are usually witty and clever, even when ridiculous. Most comedians are successful because they talk about current cultural situations/issues in a humorous way, often in the form of entertaining sarcasm. EXAMPLE: Olaf
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- SHAPESHIFTER The shape shifter adds dramatic tension to the story and provides the hero with a puzzle to solve. They often seem one thing and in fact are another. They could seem to be working with the hero, only to actually be working against them, or the reverse could be true. They bring doubt and suspense to the story and test the heros abilities to discern her path. Yoda in Star Wars is a bit of a shape shifter, initially masking his ancient wisdom with a foolish childlike appearance when Luke first encounters him. EXAMPLE: Star Wars Yoda FrozenHans
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- SHADOW The shadow is the nemesis and the ultimate enemy of the hero. The darkest fears of the hero are often represented by the main antagonist or villain. All the lessons the hero learns in a story builds up to fighting the shadow. The hero must overcome his/her greatest fault to beat the shadow. The shadow serves as a worthy opponent for the hero, bringing out the best in her and usually demanding the ultimate in self- sacrifice (the heros destiny).
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- WRAPPING IT UP These characters are present in every story if you look for them. Remember that characters can be more than one archetype. A mentor can be a shadow. A hero can be a mentor. A herald can be a threshold guardian. Finding archetypes in a work can also help you understand it by providing a way to link that work to a different one. So the next time youre reading a book, try to find some of the archetypes buried in it, and think of where youve seen them before. Youll soon be analyzing literature like a pro!
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- ARCHETYPES IN THE HUNGER GAMES HERO: HERALD: MENTOR: TALISMAN: THRESHOLD GUARDIAN: TRICKSTER: SHAPESHIFTER: SHADOW:
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- ARCHETYPES IN THE HUNGER GAMES HERO: Katniss HERALD: The Reaping MENTOR: Haymitch TALISMAN: Mockingjay Pin THRESHOLD GUARDIAN: The other tributes TRICKSTER: Haymitch SHAPESHIFTER: Peeta SHADOW: President Snow/The Capitol