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What is a Character Archetype? You may have heard the word "archetype" tossed around before, but it's possible that you haven't quite learned the meaning of this word yet. Simply put, an archetype is something that reoccurs in literature and in art. This something can be a symbol, a theme, a setting, or a character.
This article focuses on character archetypes—that is, character types that pop Character def essay across all genres of literature, both classic and contemporary. Everyone is familiar with these guys, because everywhere we turn, there they are!
Here's a list of some of the most commonly found archetypes in literature. The hero is always the protagonist though the protagonist is not always a hero. Traditionally speaking, the hero has been male, though fortunately there are more female heroes appearing in contemporary literature think Katniss Everdeen and Lisbeth Salander.
The hero is after some ultimate objective and must encounter and overcome obstacles along the way to achieving this goal. He or she is usually morally good, though that goodness will likely be challenged throughout the story.
That and the fact that they are often responsible for saving a bunch of people or hobbits, or wizards, or what have you. Examples of hero archetypes in literature: If reading Middle English literature isn't your thing, here's a quick breakdown: Sir Gawain, after stepping up to the plate and taking on a challenge that none of the other knights were brave or dumb enough to take on, must go on an adventure that is almost certain to end in his death.
He faces many challenges along the way—most important, there is a very tempting and very married lady that Sir Gawain must resist. The whole thing is a test of Sir Gawain's integrity and bravery, and—honorable knight that he is—he passes with only a minor indiscretion.
Though not everyone is familiar with Sir Gawain, I think it's fair to assume that most people have heard of Harry Potter. Harry represents the hero archetype almost perfectly. He takes on more responsibility than he should reasonably have to—teens aren't usually expected to keep the world safe from evil, after all—and remains brave even when he knows he faces certain death.
Like many classic heroes, Harry conquers death, completes his mission, and never waivers from his true self, despite all the hardships he must face. Like many hero archetypes in literature before him, Harry is ethical almost to a fault. His friends accuse him of being a martyr, a role that often goes along with the hero territory.
The mentor is a common archetype in literature. The mentor is usually old, and this person often has some kind of magical abilities or a much greater breadth of knowledge than others possess. Mentors help heroes along their journeys, usually by teaching them how to help themselves though mentors sometimes directly intervene in extreme situations.
The mentor often ends up dying but is sometimes resurrected or revisited even after death. Examples of mentor archetypes in literature: This infamous The Lord of the Rings wizard is the guy you want to have on your side when you're faced with an unexpected journey. He knows when to help; he knows when to back off.
Gandalf's magical powers seem almost inseparable from his knowledge. He's definitely someone you want to have on your side when you're in a tough spot.
The everyman character archetype often acts as the stand-in for the audience. This character archetype is just a normal person, but for some reason, he or she must face extraordinary circumstances.
The everyman can be the protagonist or a supporting figure. Unlike the hero, the everyman does not feel a moral obligation to his or her task; instead, these characters often find themselves in the middle of something they have barely any control over.Tragic Hero Example. The majority of tragic heroes in the world’s literature get created following specific rules set a long time ago.
They serve as the guide to produce a character from the list of tragic heroes that will correspond to this classic image. Many stories use multiple characters, and every story has a main character that affects the plot a great deal.
The main character could be a protagonist, an antagonist, a dynamic, a static, a flat, or a round character. At the end of this post is a list of blog posts on how to write definition character analysis essay particular sections of a character analysis as well.
A single character could be two or three types. This post is on how to identify the type of character the character analysis is dealing with. Another post will help describe the character. The main character of a work of a fiction is typically called the protagonist; the character against whom the protagonist struggles or contends (if there is one), is the antagonist.
If a single secondary character aids the protagonist throughout the narrative, that character is the deuteragonist (the hero's "side-kick"). Definition. A character is an individual (usually a person) in a narrative in a work of fiction or creative nonfiction..
The act or method of creating a character in writing is known as characterization. In Aspects of the Novel (), British author E.M. Forster made a broad yet worthwhile distinction between "flat" and "round" characters.
A flat (or two-dimensional) character embodies "a. Aristotle’s definition of good moral character Aristotle defines virtuous character in Nicomachean Ethics II Excellence [of character], then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it.