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Cultural Literacy--Archetypes

Definition/ Famous Names

Archetype--A term from criticism that accept Jungís idea of recurring patterns, situation, character, or symbol existing universally and instinctively in the collective unconscious of man.

Personal Unconscious--personal experience that has been forgotten or repressed according to Sigmund Freud.

Collective Unconscious--Is not conscious. It is a part of what we share with all humanity: proof of its existence can be found in the study of the commonality of trances, dreams, delusions, myths, religion, and stories.

A. The Collective Unconscious
1. Introduced by Carl Jung
2. Has never been conscious
3. Is not individual, but universal
4. Is instinctive, not learned

B. The Personal Unconscious
1. Set forth by Sigmund Freud
2. Based on personal experienced-- itís learned
a. repressed memories
b. forgotten memories

C. Other characteristics of archetypes
1. Expressed in forms
2. Grow out of manís social, psychological, and biological being
3. Cannot be explained by interaction of cultures
a. Geography--widespread throughout
remote and separated cultures.
b. History of cultures has been different; yet archetypes are similar

4. Archetypal forms are recurrent
a. Slightly altered by time and geography
b. Take present-say situations and relate them to the past in order to find meaning in a contemporary world

A. The Quest--the search for someone or some talisman
1. When fulfilled, will restore fertility to wasted land
2. Desolation is mirrored by leaderís disability

B. The Task--what the hero must perform (often nearly superhuman.
1. Hercules and his trials

C. The Initiation--an experience which creates an awakening or awareness of the world, of people, of oneís responsibilities
D. The Journey--all those things experienced along the way to fulfilling the quest

E. The Fall--describes a descent from a higher to a lower state of being
1. Spiritual defilement
2. Loss of innocence or bliss
3. May be accompanied by expulsion from a kind of paradise as penalty for disobedience or moral transgression
a. Adam and Eve

F. Death and Rebirth--parallels the cycle of nature and the cycle of life
1. Morning>night
2. Spring>winter
3. Birth>death
4. Resurrection of body or spirit

G. Nature versus Mechanistic World
1. Nature and natural things are good
2. Technology and society are often evil

H. The Unhealable Wound--either physical or psychological
1. Cannot be fully healed-continue to ache or pain
2. Indicates loss of innocence
3. Often drives the sufferer to unreasonable actions

I. Battle between Good and Evil--battle between two primal (ancient) forces.

J. The Ritual-actual ceremony that marks the initiateís rite of passage into another state

A. The Hero
1. Mysterious/unusual circumstances surround his birth
a. is endangered from hostile force from birth on
b. is reared by foster parents
c. little is known from his childhood
2. Returns to his future kingdom upon reaching manhood
a. overcomes antagonistic force
b. marries princess and becomes king
c. reigns uneventfully
3. Loses favor with the gods
a. is driven from his home
b. meets a mysterious death
c. body is not always buried, but can have some holy sepulcher

B. Young Man from the Provinces
1. Spirited away as a young man
2. Raised by strangers
3. Returns home as a stranger where is aware of new problems and new solutions

C. The Initiates, heroes or heroines
1. usually innocent
2. must go endure some training and/or ceremony prior to quest

D. Mentors--teachers, counselors, role models, father (mother) figures for initiates

E. Mentor-Pupil Relationship--mentor teaches the initiate, often by example, the skills needed to survive the quest and rule successfully

F. Father-Son Conflict--tension arising due to various factors
1. separation during childhood
2. disagreement from external sources
3. resentment over role played by mentor in affections of hero/heroine

G. Hunting Group of Companions--loyal companions willing to face any number of perils in order to be together

H. Loyal Retainers--somewhat like servants, they are heroic themselves
1. duty is to protect the hero
2. reflect the nobility of the hero

I. Friendly Beast--represents nature on the side of man/the hero

J. Evil Figure with Ultimately Good Heart-- redeemable devil figure
1. saved by the nobility of the hero/heroine
2. saved by the love of the hero/heroine

K. The Outcast--a figure who is banished from a social group for some crime against his fellow man
1. is usually destined to become a wanderer
2. has sometimes self-initiated his being an outcast because he disagrees with the norms of society

L. The Scapegoat--someone/something whose death in public ceremony expiates a taint of or sin upon a community
M. The Devil Figure--Evil incarnate, this character offers worldly goods, fame, or knowledge to the protagonist in exchange for his/her soul

N. Creature of Nightmare--monster usually
summoned from the deepest, darkest part of the human psyche to threaten the hero/heroine

O. Star-Crossed Lovers--union ends tragically in the death either or both of the lovers

P. The Woman Figure
1. The Earth mother
a. symbol of fruition, abundance, fertility
b. offers spiritual and emotional nourishment
2. The Temptress--characterized by sensuous beauty
a. one to whom the protagonist is physically attracted
b. ultimately brings about the downfall of the protagonist
3. The Platonic Ideal--serves as a source of inspiration and spiritual ideal for whom the protagonist has an intellectual, rather than physical attraction
4. The Unfaithful Wife
a. married to a man she sees as dull or unimaginative
b. physically attracted to someone she sees as virile (manly/brave) and desirable
5. Damsel in Distress
a. vulnerable woman who needs rescue
b. often used as a means of ensnaring the hero

A. Light>Darkness
1. Light suggests hope, renewal, or intellectual illumination
2. Darkness implies the unknown, ignorance, or despair

B. Water>Desert
1. Water is necessary to life and growth
a. appears as birth or rebirth symbol
b. used in services which solemnize spiritual births (e.g. baptismal)

2. Desert associated with spiritual sterility and barrenness
C. Heaven>Hell--dwelling places of the primordial forces that govern the world
1. Skies, mountain tops, and heights house the gods
2. Bowels of the earth contain the diabolic forces of the universe

D. Innate Wisdom versus Educated Stupidity
1. Instinctive wisdom and understanding of situations as opposed to those supposed in charge
2. Superiority of common sense over book learning

E. Haven versus Wilderness--places of safety contrast sharply against the dangerous wilderness
1. Heroes are often found in unexpected surroundings
2. Wilderness threatens civilization

F. Supernatural Intervention--gods intervene on behalf of or against the hero

F. Magic Weapon--symbolizes the extraordinary quality of the hero 1. has special properties
2. only the hero can wield the weapon or use it to its fullest potential
3. itís usually given by a mentor figure a. Perseus given sword by Zeus