The Hero Archetype. What is an archetype? Webster’s says, “an original pattern or model” Webster’s says, “an original pattern or model” Type is a synonym
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Post on 17-Dec-2015
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- The Hero Archetype
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- What is an archetype? Websters says, an original pattern or model Websters says, an original pattern or model Type is a synonym for symbol Type is a synonym for symbol Arche- means principal Arche- means principal So, an archetype is a symbolic pattern repeated So, an archetype is a symbolic pattern repeated Archetypes are found throughout life, history, art, literature, and modern media Archetypes are found throughout life, history, art, literature, and modern media
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- Elements of the Hero Archetype
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- Unique Birth
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- A hero's birth will always have an unusual aspect to it. Many heroes are born to royalty or are in danger at birth. Either way, they are marked by these circumstances as different and destined for greatness.
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- Remember the beginning of Lion King? Simba's birth is being celebrated. The unusual aspect of his birth is his royal status. His father, Mufasa, is the King of the Jungle. Moses wasn't born into royalty like Simba, but he grew up in the Pharaoh's household. Ramses II had decreed that all Hebrew male babies under age two be killed, so Moses' mother placed him in a raft on the Nile, where he was found by one of the Pharaoh's daughters.
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- Although viewers of Star Wars must wait until the second movie to find out the truth about Luke's birth, hints about the unusual circumstances are given, such as the fact he lives with his aunt and uncle and didn't know his parents. King Arthur was not only born a prince, his father Uther Pendragon used Merlin's wizardry to seduce Arthur's mother, the wife of another man.
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- Hero Leaves His Land and Family and Lives With Others
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- Sometimes the circumstances are traumatic that force the hero to leave, as with Simba in The Lion King or Wallace in Braveheart, both of whom lose their fathers violently. With Luke in Star Wars and Arthur in the legends of King Arthur, the circumstances are more for protection than anything else. Either way, the hero must leave his home temporarily.
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- Simba's father is murdered by Scar......which leaves our little hero helpless and forces him to leave his kingdom. Have no fear, however, heroes always return to their land.
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- Moses also had to leave because he slew an Egyptian slavemaster in anger. That's Moses with the sword at the bottom of the painting. He is also shown at the top of the painting, fleeing Egypt. Moses appears many times in the same painting because Michelangelo tells Moses' entire life story in one picture. He did this because at the time most people couldn't read and depended on images to understand their religion. Now, granted, he was a man when this happened, but he still was forced out of his "land". Michelangelo showed the story of a hero visually, just like modern-day movies show the hero in action. The hero has remained the same through time, even until today.
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- The Adventure Begins
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- An event takes place that begins an adventure for the hero. Sometimes it is traumatic, like Wallace losing his wife in Braveheart, or it is coincidental, like Simba meeting Nala. Either way, the hero begins his adventure. An event takes place that begins an adventure for the hero. Sometimes it is traumatic, like Wallace losing his wife in Braveheart, or it is coincidental, like Simba meeting Nala. Either way, the hero begins his adventure. Simba initially fights with Nala, but they soon realize they are friends. She tells him of Scar's reign, which begins Simba's quest to gain his father's kingdom back from Scar.
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- King Arthur began his quest by drawing the sword from the stone. Not traumatic of course, but surprising because Arthur was a lowly squire at the time. Luke abruptly began his quest to fight the Empire when Stormtroopers murder his aunt and uncle. Luke left the farm and never returned, going on to become a Jedi master.
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- Special Weapon of the Hero
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- You can't be a hero without a cool weapon, right? It's true. In most hero stories, the hero has a special weapon, often one that only he can use. Luke uses a light saber, an outdated weapon of the Jedi Knights, in Star Wars. Only a Jedi can master this weapon.
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- This is an illustration of the Lady of the Lake, from whom Arthur received Excalibur. When Arthur died, Excalibur was thrown back into the lake because only Arthur could wield this weapon.
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- Here's Wallaces sword. While it doesn't appear to be anything special, only he was allowed to carry it because it represented his power and prowess as a warrior.
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- Here's another painting by Michelangelo from the Sistine Chapel depicting Moses at the Red Sea. Notice his staff (He's on the left, in yellow and green, with the staff over his right shoulder). That's the same one he used to perform miracles for Pharaoh, and also what Yahweh told him to raise to part and close the Red Sea.
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- Supernatural Help Mentor
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- Heroes always seem to receive some sort of supernatural help, whether it be from a god, a wizard, or a spirit. Luke in Star Wars gets help from Ben even after Ben is slain by Darth Vader. Ben has many powers that make him a wizard-like character, similar to Merlin. Ben teaches Luke about the Force and later guides him from the spirit world.
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- Perhaps the most famous supernatural hero helper is Merlin, a wizard and counselor for King Arthur. Merlin is very powerful in sorcery and can even change shapes. His command of the supernatural world benefits Arthur both as a boy learning from Merlin and later as King.
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- Simba sees his father's spirit and also gets helps from Rafiki, a medicine man-type character. Rafiki is the supernatural force in The Lion King. He doesn't play as large a part as Merlin or Ben, but he does influence Simba and provide him with guidance.
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- A Hero Must Prove Himself
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- A hero just can't claim he's a hero and assume his position, now can he? The hero must prove to himself and others that he is the true hero. For instance, Moses performs many miracles to free his people from Egypt as well as help them survive the desert and reach Canaan.
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- Luke faces Darth in battle several times during the Star Wars trilogy. These battles, along with other services Luke provides for the Rebellion, his training with Yoda, and his personal maturing are part of the trials he must successfully pass through to become the hero.
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- Here's Wallace at the front of his men, readying himself against an enemy charge. Wallace's success in battle against overwhelming odds, along with his political ability, help him to overcome the obstacles to freedom, which was his ultimate quest.
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- Here's Arthur leading a charge in one of the many battles into which he led his men. Arthur's success in battle, just like Wallace's, is part of the proof of his heroic status. Leadership and courage allow the hero to overcome obstacles that lesser men could not. That's the hero for ya'!
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- Simba, like Luke, is immature at first and unable to be the hero he will eventually become. However, once Simba realizes Scar must be removed and Simba is the only one who can do it, Simba assumes his proper role as the hero and saves the land from the evil Scar. Hmmmmm, that -does- sound just like Luke, doesn't it?
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- At some point, the hero must lose his mentor
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- Before his training is even close to complete, Obi-wan faces Darth Vader and is slain
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- Simbas first mentor is his father. He is lost in the stampede.
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- Even Moses, though not deserted, must wander with his people for forty years. In a sense, there is a distinct separation between his people and the Mentor.
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- The Journey and Unhealable Wound
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- The hero is always on some type of adventure with a purpose--a quest if you will. He experiences many things on this quest, among which is a descent into a kind of "hell." In this hell he experiences a low point in his life that leaves him scarred forever with a real or psychological wound that will not heal. The hero learns from this descent into "hell" much about himself and usually matures greatly from the experience.
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- Luke Luke loses his hand, and his friends during the quest to rescue the Earth (and his father) from the dark side. Luke loses his hand, and his friends during the quest to rescue the Earth (and his father) from the dark side.
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- Other heroes suffer low points in their journeys. Arthur never recovers from the affair Guinevere has with Lancelot.
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- William Wallace knew his execution would make him a martyr, so he was courageous as he was in his "hell"-- the dungeon. Moses doubt
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