Witch Archetype Alan Ardalan Rodolfo Rojo Christopher Bruno Angelic Gaytan Andrew Lopez
Thesis: Across the wide spectrum of fairytales and characters, the witch archetype has a consistent set of features that present the witch as the embodiment of human wickedness.
Characteristics of a Witch • Female • Old and Ugly • Black Magic, Poison, Surrogate Murder • Evil: Willing to kill, cannibalism, trickery • Takes advantage of the Innocent (Manipulation) • Motivated by Greed • Change Appearance to further goals
Anderson’s Sea Witch • This example meets the following traits: • Unappealing/ Repulsive: “the sea witch; I’ve always been dreadfully afraid of her”(Anderson 225) • Takes advantage of innocent (manipulates the mermaid) • Motivated by greed: “that voice you shall hand over to me”(Anderson 226) • Uses magic and potions: able to foresee future
Grimms’ “Hansel and Gretel” Witch • Takes advantage of innocent: “You will not meet any harm here” (Grimm 187) • Motivated by greed: “I don’t care whether Hansel’s plump or scrawny” (Grimm 188) the witch will still eat Hansel
Wicked Witch of the West • Wants to stop Dorothy • Driven by desire for red slippers • Female, ugly (green skin) • Dark clothing, Magic, Crystal Ball
Snow White’s Evil Stepmother(Disney Version) Before After
Brothers Grimm/Disney This example meets the following traits: . Physically Unappealing: Old and Ugly . Evil . Associated with Magic and Poison . Changes Appearance . Preys on innocent . Overlaps with Evil Stepmother
Witch Trials • Witch Trials occurred in Salem, Finnmark, and Rogaland • Men and women were killed for using witchcraft to cause harm or heal with magic (Alm 410) • Witchcraft was passed down from person to person, but in some cases was believed to come from a fungus know as ergot which caused hallucinations. (Alm 415)
Why it Matters: Elderly: • “Witch character inspired excitement and obvious pleasure” (Warner 95) • Witches empower the elderly • Make them feel less helpless
Why it Matters: Women: • “witches, godmothers, and other female figures function as the fantasy derivatives of early childhood splitting." (Cashdan 25) • Witches represent the wicked side of a mother that influences her children to be wicked • "Fairy tales are about women and the important role they play in the child's emerging sense of self.” (Cashdan 25)
Why it Matters: Children: • “fairy tales give children a way of resolving tensions that affect the way they feel about themselves.” (Cashdan 28) • "Fairy tales accomplish this by casting the protagonists as ordinary children with whom young audiences can easily identify themselves.” ( Cashdan 28) • Many times in fairytales children must overcome conflict caused by witches, giving real world children a sense of confidence and relief when faced with real world conflicts
Xtranormal Definition http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/13861823/witches
Question: Do you think the witch archetype reinforces negative stereotypes on women or does it merely provide an entertaining villain for stories?
Works Cited Alm, Torbjorn. "The Witch Trials of Finnmark, Northern Norway, During the 17th Century: Evidence for Ergotism as a Contributing Factor." Economic Botany 3rd ser. 57 (2003): 403-16. Web. 3 Nov. 2012. Anderson, Hans C. "The Little Mermaid." The Classic Fair Tales. Ed. Maria Tartar. New York: W.W, Norton &, 1999. 216-32. Print. Cashdan, Sheldon. "The Witch Within: The Sleeping Beauties." The Witch Must Die: The Hidden Meaning of Fairy Tales. New York: Basic, 1999. 15,24-25,28. Print. Grimm, Jacob, and Wilhelm Grimm. The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. Trans. Jack Zipes. Toronto: Bantam, 1987. Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm. “Snow White” The Classic Fairy Tales. Ed. Maria Tatar. New York; W.W. Norton, 1999. 83-89. Print. Warner, Dorothy. "Empowering the Older Adult Through Folklore." Adultspan Journal 5.2 (2006): 91-100. Onlinelibrary.wiley.com. 23 Dec. 2011. Web. 5 Nov. 2012. The Wizard of Oz. Dir. Victor Fleming. Perf. Judy Garland. MGM, 1939. DVD.