Character Archetypes The Good Guys
The Hero—The hero archetype is so well-defined that the life of the protagonist can be clearly divided into a series of well-marked adventures: • Birth—unusual circumstances with some attempt made to kill him/her • He is spirited away and reared by foster parents • Nothing is known of his childhood, but upon reaching adulthood, he returns to his future kingdom • After victory over a wild beast, he marries a princess, becomes king, reigns uneventfully, and later loses favor with the gods. • He is driven from the city, meets a mysterious death, often at the top of a hill. • His body is not buried, but nevertheless, he has one or more holy sepulchers (tombs). • Some characteristics of a hero: • Bravery • Strength • Selflessness • Persistence • Cleverness • Pity for the weak • Showing no pity to the enemy
The young man from the Provinces—The hero is spirited away as a young man and raised by strangers. He later returns to his home and heritage where he is a stranger who can see new problems and new solutions (Tarzan, Arthur, Dorothy—The Wizard of Oz)
The Initiates young heroes or heroines go through training or a special ceremony Daniel in The Karate Kid is an example.
Mentors Character who serve as role models, counselors, and teachers Gandalf gives the dwarfs wisdom, luck, and courage. The Hobbit
Hunting Group of Companions: loyal friends who face dangers together The children in “The Chronicles of Narnia”
Loyal Retainers: protect the hero Inspector Gadget’s dog always protects him from danger.
Friendly Beast A creature that represents nature to show that nature is on the hero’s side. Mr. Tumnus is an animal, but he does not turn the children in to the White Witch.
The Bad Guys The Devil Figure An extremely evil character who tempts the hero Smaug represents evil in The Hobbit
The Evil figure with a good heart an evil character who can be redeemed (remember Scrooge?) God Bless us everyone
Creature of Nightmare A monster from the darkest part of nature (vampires, werewolves, Etc) Remember the goblins, wargs, and the spiders in The Hobbit
The Sad Guys The Scapegoat Usually a character whose death makes someone else more powerful which shows the evils of society.
The Outcast A Character who is banished from society and becomes a wanderer Poor, Poor Rudolph!
The Female Characters Earth Mother Symbolic of abundance; spiritual and emotional nourishment The Temptress Tempts the hero and may play a part in his ‘fall” The Platonic Ideal A friend who helps and gives intellectual encouragement
The Damsel in Distress Must be rescued by the hero (Sleeping Beauty, Snow White) Star-Crossed Lovers A female character is involved with a male character and their relationship is doomed from the beginning (Romeo and Juliet)
Light versus Darkness Light gives hope while darkness gives despair Water versus desert Water represents life, and desert is death Rain is often associated with character’s “reawakening” (rain at the end of Lion King)
Heaven versus Hell Heaven is a place for goodness while hell is a dark, cold place Wisdom versus Educated Stupidity Wisdom and understanding are more important than just an “educated” mind. ( Quasimodo in Hunchback of Notre Dame)
Haven versus Wilderness A safe place verses “the wilderness” Supernatural Intervention The gods intervene for the hero.
Fire versus Ice Fire is knowledge, light, growth. Ice represents cold, darkness, ignorance, and sterility
More Symbolic Patterns Numbers 4 1 One: unity, divinity Three: completeness: Mind, Body, Spirit; birth, life, death Four: mankind: four limbs, four seasons Six: evil: devil Seven: divinity: seven gifts, seven colors of the rainbow, seven days of the week 3 7 6 Shapes Circle—heaven, oneness, sun, eternity, never-ending, perfect shape, halos Cross—tree of life, struggle, martyrdom Curve—more energy, sense of motion Rectangle: most secure, rational Square—4-part process, stability, projection of self Star—light, insight—showing the way mentally, physically, and spiritually Triangle—trinity, spiritual, energy, unstable
More Symbolic Patterns Colors Dark: chaos Light: Spirit, morality Red—sunrise, birth, blood, coats of arms, flame, fire, emotion, energy, passion, excitement, anger, danger, sentiment Blue—clear-thinking, height, depth, innocence, positive, peace, truth, religion, purity Green—earth, sensation, new life, eternal life, nature, sympathy growth, symbol of decay, symbol of innocence (greenhorn), jealousy (lime green) Yellow—fear, new life, rebirth; hope; cowardice Orange--pride, ambition, fire Violet—water, memory, nostalgia Gold-- majesty, sun, wealth, truth Silver—moon, wealth
Nature Air: breath, light, freedom, movement Earth: passive, feminine, solid Fire: love, life, control, passion Lake: mystery, depth Crescent moon: change, transition Full moon: vegetation, complete Mountain: ambition, goals Valley: depression, evil, unknown Sun: hero, knowledge, splendor, healing, resurrection, ultimate wholeness Water: passive, feminine Rivers: life cycle Stars: guidance Ice/Snow: coldness Clouds: mystery Rain: life giver Volcano: evil, shadow Lightning: inspiration Tree: tree of knowledge, life Forest: evil, lost, fear Dust: chaos
Objects Animals Feathers: lightness, speed Shadow: evil, devil Masks: concealment Boats: safe passage Bridge: change Right hand: righteousness Left hand: deviousness Feet: freedom Skeleton: mortality Heart: love Hourglass: time Pearl: power, tears Emerald: fertility, faith, wisdom Jade: perfection Sapphire: heaven Diamond: permanence Deer: wisdom Ox: strength Spider: web of life Pig: gluttony Cat: domesticity Tiger: ferocity Eagle: sky, soaring Lion: valor, royalty Horse: speed, power Goat: devil Bear: bravery Bull: stubbornness Elephant: patience, wisdom Lamb: sacrifice Birds Dove: peace Peacock: pride Pelican: self-sacrifice Raven: prophecy Bat: darkness, chaos