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Archetype, Tragic Hero, Tragedy. Archetype. An archetype is a basic model, a prototype, a paradigm, an exemplar. An archetype is atavistic and universal; it is a product of the “collective unconscious.”. Fundamental facts of human existence. Birth Growing up Death Love Family Tribal life
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Archetype . . . • An archetype is a basic model, a prototype, a paradigm, an exemplar. • An archetype is atavistic and universal; it is a product of the “collective unconscious.”
Fundamental facts of human existence . . . • Birth • Growing up • Death • Love • Family • Tribal life • Sibling rivalry • Generational conflict
Creatures & Symbols . . . • Lion • Eagle • Snake • Tortoise • Hare • Rose • Paradisiacal garden
Character types . . . • The rebel • The “player” • The “femme fatale” • The self-made man • The all-conquering hero • The traitor • The villain • The god-king • The king as a sacrificial scapegoat • The tragic hero
Motifs • The fall from innocence • Sin and redemption • The heroic quest • The pursuit of vengeance, justice, retribution
Themes and Motifs • Theme: a common, recurring topic seen throughout a literary work; or a prominent and oftentimes abstract idea in a literary work. • Motif: a recurring element (e.g., object, idea, or character type) or contrasting elements in a work of literature that help to illuminate theme. • When asked to explore how a motif (e.g., a Bar Mitzvah, a Bat Mitzvah, or a Quinceañera) helps to illuminate a theme, make sure to identify a prominent idea (e.g., empathy, not age, equals maturity) in addition to a common, recurring topic (e.g., coming of age). • Example: • Motif (Character Foils): • Ultima and Tenorio • Aging, senile father with a compassionate, benevolent daughter and scheming, malevolent daughter(s) • Theme (Topic): Good vs. Evil • Theme (Prominent Idea): For good to truly triumph over evil, we must learn to forgive those who perform evil deeds.
Tragic Hero . . . • He is elevated to a high status and position in society, and he possesses noble stature and greatness. • While he embodies nobility and virtue, he is flawed. • His downfall or demise is due in part to freewill, an error in judgment (i.e., hamartia) associated with a tragic flaw (e.g., hubris). • His downfall or demise is due in part to fate. • His misfortune is not wholly deserved; the punishment exceeds the crime. • He gains awareness, insight, and self-knowledge as a result of his fall from grace.
Tragedy • An action of great magnitude is at the center of the plot. • Pathos (that which evokes pity or sympathy) is an essential element of the play. • The plot is carefully sequenced, moving from the complication to the unraveling or denouement. • Complication: Prologue to turning point • Denouement: Turning point to the resolution • Complicated plots involve reversal (peripeteia), which is a sudden change or reversal of circumstance or fortune, and recognition (anagnorisis), which is a change from ignorance to knowledge. • A catastrophe occurs, which usually spirals outward: not only does the tragic hero suffer, but his family also suffers. • A catharsis (a purification or purging of emotions; a spiritual renewal) occurs.