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Archetype PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Archetype. A very old imaginative pattern that appears in literature across cultures and is repeated throughout the ages. Two Famous Psychologists and Their Theories. Sigmund Freud “Personal Unconscious” -VS- Carl Jung “Collective Unconscious”.

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A very old imaginative pattern that appears in literature across cultures and is repeated throughout the ages.

Two Famous Psychologists and Their Theories

  • Sigmund Freud

  • “Personal Unconscious”


  • Carl Jung

  • “Collective Unconscious”

Sigmund Freud, German Psychologist

  • He hypothesized that archetypes exist in the personal unconscious, which is based on personal experiences.

  • The personal unconscious is individual, not universal. It is learned, not instinctive.

  • This “Personal Unconscious” theory by Sigmund Freud claims we are born into this world as “clean slates.”

  • This theory claims all human behaviors are “programmed” into us by our environment (fairy tales, nursery rhymes, children’s games, etc. )

Carl Jung, Swiss Psychologist

  • He believed that beneath an individual’s unconscious, lies the “collective unconscious” of the human race.

  • The “CU” has pre-existing knowledge.

  • The “CU” is not individual, but universal; and is instinctive, not learned.

  • He believes human minds at birth contain “inherent predispositions” to perceive in categories archetypes.


  • In other words, Jung believes that when a newborn baby smiles, its smile is a universal, archetypal behavior. When a newborn baby suckles, frowns, cries--all of these instinctive behaviors are archetypal.

More archetypal Behaviors…

  • In fact, most young animals (including humans) have an inborn urge to relate to some sort of mother figure.

  • So, simple inborn, primal instincts such as hunger, reproduction, the need for a mother-figure, and anger are all part of the wide range of behaviors which fall within the category of archetypal behaviors.

Carl Jung Overview

  • According to Carl Jung, we are born with archetypes.

  • Different cultures “dress them up and put different clothes on them”…but the core image and energy is the same archetypal images.

  • Our daily life is experienced as archetypal behaviors.

Personal Unconscious versus Collective Unconscious

  • Sigmund Freud maintained the personal unconscious is a personal experience that has been forgotten or repressed.

  • Carl Jung maintained the collective unconscious has never been conscious, but is the part we share with all of humanity: proof of its existence can be found in the study of the similarity of dreams, delusions, myths, religion, stories, stereotypical ideas, etc.

Archetypes: Primary and Enduring Patterns Basic to Literature

  • These recurring patterns are found in situation (plot). Ex. The battle between good and evil.

  • These recurring patterns are found in characters. Ex. The hero or the damsel in distress.

  • These recurring patterns are found in symbols. Ex. Light often symbolizes goodness while darkness is often associated with evil.

Archetypical Characters

  • Damsel in distress- vulnerable woman who needs to be rescued

  • Outcast- banished from a social group

  • Hero- mysterious/unusual birth

    -returns to kingdom after

    reaching manhood

    -loses favor with the Gods

Five Elements of the Hero

  • Quest: the hero quest which the archetype has set out on; may not realize he/she is on such a quest until it is too late to retreat

  • Fear: usually the motivating factor for undergoing the quest; also the principal danger that lurks in the shadow of the archetype

  • Dragon: represents the major problem/obstacle of the quest; must be overcome for the quest to be successful

  • Task: must accomplish in order to succeed at the quest; failure can lead to becoming the dark shadow or dark self

  • Virtue: succeeding at the quest earns the hero these rewards of self, such as the princess, the castle, etc.

Mentor-Pupil Relationship

  • The mentor teaches the initiate often by example, the skills needed to survive the quest and rule successfully.

Loyal Retainers

  • They are somewhat like servants.

  • They are heroic themselves.

  • Their duty is to protect the hero.

  • They reflect the nobility of the hero.

Star-Crossed Lovers

  • Two lovers whose union ends sadly or tragically in the death of one or both of them.

    Ex. Romeo & Juliet


  • Good vs. Evil

  • The death of a hero

  • Boy wins girl

  • The quest or odyssey for something greater

  • Dead and Rebirth

  • Examples of Nature vs. Machines


  • A place where people never die

  • Hoarded treasure

  • Fountain of Youth


  • Good triumphs over evil

  • Love conquers all adversity.

  • The past as a more perfect time

  • Never Give up!


  • Forest- place where rules do not apply

  • Heaven – allows character to see clearly/gain sight

  • Garden – place of beauty, safety and restraint

  • Caves/tunnels/underground- represents a journey into the subconscious.

  • Rivers- crossing a boundary or border, passing of time


  • The Task- what the hero must perform

  • The initiation- an experience which creates an awakening or awareness.

  • The unhealable Wound- either physical psychological

  • The ritual- actual ceremony that marks the right of passage

Symbolic Archetypes

  • Light/darkness- light suggests hope,

    renewal, intellegence

  • Darkness implies unknown, despair,

    or ignorance

  • Water/desert- water is necessary to life & growth. Ex. Rebirth

    -desert is associated with bareness

    and death

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