Character Development; Archetypes

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Character Development; Archetypes

Post by DarkWolfKillZ on Sun 15 Sep 2013, 12:44 pm

Archetypes are very commonly used throughout literature. To the point where most characters that even you guys have come up with can fall into different archetypes. Understanding what archetype your character comes from can help you understand the psychology of your character. How they think, their motivations, what drives them, et cetera.


First off, there are eight basic archetypes. The masculine archetypes are the King, the Magician, the Lover, and the Warrior. The feminine archetypes are the Maiden, the Mother, the Crone, and the Queen. Each Archetype has it's basic or "truest" definition, as well as the "child" reflection, which is the mindset more or less of someone much younger that fits in the same archetype. Also, each archetype has it's "shadow", or divergent sub-archetype; a passive and active. Now let's look into what exactly each archetype is.


The King: The King is the most "balanced" of the masculine archetypes. He has aspects of the magician (intellegence), the lover (passion), and the warrior (courage). He can be intelligent, passionate, and strong. Think Richard the Lionheart. He's not talented as any single one of them is in any certain area. However, he can combine them in areas that any other single masculine archetype couldn't do the same. All energy flows from the King, he is the Source. When his life is in balance, his kingdom — the world — prospers. When he is out of balance the world suffers.
The Weakling: This is the passive shadow of the King Archetype. This shadow will act more passively or defensively. He will shirk back from conflict despite knowing that the cards rest in his favor.
The Tyrant: This is the active shadow of the King Archetype. This shadow's key features are his avoidance to speak personally, and making lots of demands. Typically, this is also the darker shadow of the King, and a "villain" King archetype would usually fit more into this archetype.
The Divine Child: This is the child form of the King Archetype. The divine child has the aspects of the king archetype, but lacks the maturity that the king has. The Divine Child is usually someone who was selected at birth to accomplish something great. (Think Harry Potter)


The Magician: The Magician is that part of a mature masculine who overcomes the intellectual challenges in life. The creativity of the inventor; inspiration; seeking answers to that burning question, and assimilating wisdom — these are his skills. He is not afraid to be wrong, he questions everything and knows that there is always more to learn from the men around him.
The Innocent: This is the passive shadow of the mature Magician. Manifestations of the innocent shadow include: Unconsciously pretending not to know something, with a result that influences others in some way (if conscious, it is probably the other shadow, the manipulator)
The Manipulator: This is the active shadow of the mature Magician. Manifestations of the manipulator shadow include: "Playing dumb" — intentionally pretending to not know things — in order to gain an advantage in some way. (If the person really doesn't think he knows anything, they're being the "innocent".) Pointing out incorrect details to change the topic or derail an argument, even when the result of the argument would be unaffected by those details. Stating opinions in the form of questions, so that any answer appears to manifest agreement ("leading" or "loaded" questions).
The Trickster: This is a more immature "secondary shadow" of the magician. The trickster possesses properties of both the Innocent and the Manipulator. Hoaxes are often perpetuated by the Trickster mentality.
The Precocious Child: The child form of the Magician Archetype typically refers to someone who is more of a child protegee, but would still fall under the inquisitive nature of the magician.


The Lover: The Lover, is that part of the mature masculine who overcomes the emotional challenges in life. He has intuition and the artist's creative impulse; he is empathetic, compassionate and passionate. He is not afraid to tell the truth, even in defiance of the Warrior and the King. He goes deep and will not quit on a man in need until they get what they need.
The Extremist and Impotent: This is the passive shadow of the mature Lover. The term Impotent is used in Moore and Gillette; Extremist calls attention to the possibility that the person's external manifestation of emotional behavior can be a compensation for the difficulty in feeling emotion.
The Addict: This is the active shadow of the lover. The addict is one who is more addicted to the attention and love he gets from others by being kind than by just simply for the sake of being kind alone. This shadow uses other's emotions more as a means of getting what he wants.
The Oedipal Child: The Oedipal Child archetype also gives a boy the desire to forge relationships with others and the affection and warmth to nurture those relationships. Thus at the heart of this archetypes is the desire for connection–a connection with oneself, with the deeper forces of life, with nature, and with other people. In this way, the Oedipal Child archetype contains the seeds of a man’s spirituality.


The Warrior: The Warrior is that part of the mature masculine who overcomes the physical challenges in life. He gives his best, does not quit, and often makes great personal sacrifices, subjugating his needs for the greater good. He is not afraid to die for what he believes in. He fights with honor, and never out of anger.
The Sadist: This is the active shadow of the warrior. The sadist derives great pleasure from seeing others in pain, and acts out of a desire to cause the pain himself.
The Masochist: This is the passive shadow of the warrior. The Masochist takes pleasure from being abused physically. The masochist might be acting to punish himself for some wrong he committed, or simply because he likes the pain.
The Hero: The Hero is the child form of the Warrior archetype. The hero is a shallow, rose-tinted version of the warrior: he knows of risk, failure and success and a motivation to help others, but knows little or none of the true pain and challenge that warriors need to overcome. The Hero has not yet learned that "war is hell".
The Bully: This is the active shadow form of the Hero, or the child form of the Sadist. Acts more out of a desire to gain power than a desire to truly see the other in pain.
The Coward: This is the passive shadow form of the Hero, or the child form of the Masochist. Instead of enjoying the pain, though, the coward simply is not willing to fight, and will take punishment, rather than act aggressively.




The feminine archetypes, rather than having active and passive shadows, have isolated and co-dependent shadows. For continuity, I'm keeping the names from the masculine shadows. It is also important to note here that simply because an archetype is masculine or feminine, does NOT mean that your character has to be the corresponding gender. Think Mulan. She could fit into the Hero archetype, but she is not a man. Respectively, you can have a male character that acts in the nurturing manner of the Mother archetype.


The Maiden:In mythology, the Maiden is exemplified by the Greek goddess of youth, Hebe.
Cinders: The active shadow of the Maiden. She may be the dutiful daughter, her self worth linked to pleasing others in order to receive their approval. She has not developed a strong sense of self.
Ugly Duckling: This shadow is essentially the same as the Cinders shadow, but the Maiden Figure is beautiful, where the ugly duckling is a kind heart without having any physical beauty to her.
Self-Destructive: The passive shadow of the Maiden. She can dangerously take risks, becoming self destructive, holding a deaf ear to the inner voice of her own Wise Woman and to the wisdom of others.
Flower Girl: The child aspect of the maiden. She is the favored child, beautiful and innocent, if yet not the brightest.


The Mother: In mythology, the Mother is exemplified by the Greek goddess of marriage and childbirth, Hera.
The Critic: The active shadow of the Mother. Because we depend on the mother to nurture us and protect us, she has the power to abuse and abandon us. She can control, criticize and reject the maiden aspect.
The Martyr: The passive shadow of the Mother. She may lose herself into the "other", and dissolve away, taking care of others while denying herself, becoming a martyr.
Ingenue: The child aspect of the Mother. The ingenue is beautiful, gentle, sweet, virginal, and often naïve, in mental or emotional danger, or even physical danger, usually a target of The Cad; whom she may have mistaken for The Hero. Due to lack of independence, the ingenue usually lives with her father or a father figure (although in some rare cases she lives with a mother figure). Think like Johanna in Sweeney Todd.


The Crone: The Crone is the ancient one, the wise one, the all-knowing, all-giving one who dispenses her knowledge with patience and largesse.
Bitter Old Maid: The passive shadow of the Crone. She can be bitter if she did not complete actualization of the previous stages of life, making it difficult for her to let go of her youth, dreams, people and living in the body. She may isolate herself and may blame others for her misfortunes. Her rage can be fiery. Her sadness and pain deep.
Wicked Witch: The active shadow of the Crone. She is aggressive and uses her knowledge or power to act as a villain.
"Lisa Simpson": The child (or girl) aspect of the Crone is a brilliant and accomplished but socially average girl.


The Queen: The More nurturing version of The King, in simplicity.
Resentful Spinster: The passive shadow of the Queen. She may respond to her sense of personal, familial or social responsibilities by withdrawing and withholding. She may feel drained, resentful and misdirect her anger or feel she has nothing to offer this stage of life.
Control Queen:The active active shadow of the Queen. The powerful queen can abuse her power and direct her knowledge and status for negative purposes, clinging to all she has achieved, becoming consumed with acquiring more and more power.
Princess: The child aspect of the Queen. Typically a little more spoiled, but still innocent and very well balanced.

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