What are Archetypes? (Pt. 2)

From Wikipedia:

“An archetype ( /ˈɑrkɪtaɪp/) is a universally understood symbol or term or pattern of behavior, a prototype upon which others are copied, patterned, or emulated. Archetypes are often used in myths and storytelling across different cultures.

In psychology, an archetype is a model of a person, personality, or [set of] behaviors.

In philosophy, archetypes refer to ideal forms of the perceived or sensible things or types.

In the analysis of personality, the term archetype is often broadly used to refer to
a stereotype—personality type observed multiple times, especially an oversimplification of such a type,
an “epitome”—personality type exemplified, especially the “greatest” such example, or
a literary term to express details.

Archetype refers to a generic version of a personality. In this sense “mother figure” may be considered an archetype and may be identified in various characters with otherwise distinct (non-generic) personalities.

Archetypes are likewise supposed to have been present in folklore and literature for thousands of years, including prehistoric artwork. The use of archetypes to illuminate personality and literature was advanced by Carl Jung early in the 20th century, who suggested the existence of universal contentless forms that channel experiences and emotions, resulting in recognizable and typical patterns of behavior with certain probable outcomes. Archetypes are cited as important to both ancient mythology and modern narratives, as argued by Joseph Campbell in works such as The Hero With a Thousand Faces. ” (Emphasis added)

So from this, we can say that:

“an archetype is a model, a personality, a set of behaviors that we (in using or writing stories or mythologies) consider to be useful and effective in solving problems in the world.”

If we say, “a hero needs to be devoted, tireless, and dedicated” we still have no clear picture of what a hero does–everyone’s interpretation of devoted and dedicated can be different. If I tell you the story of the hero, however, and you see what he does and why he does it, and, by inference, you see how to do it, too.

Continue to:  Why use Archetypes?

About Ryan Orrock

Ryan works with power and sexuality to help people get what they want.

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