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An archetype ( ) is an original model of a person, ideal example, or a prototype after which others are copied, patterned, or emulated; a symbol universally recognized by all. In psychology, an archetype is a model of a person, personality, or behavior.

In the analysis of personality, the term archetype is often broadly used to refer to
  1. a stereotype—personality type observed multiple times, especially an oversimplification of such a type; or
  2. an epitome—personality type exemplified, especially the "greatest" such example.
  3. a literary term to express details.


Archetype refers to a generic version of a personality. In this sense "mother figure" may be considered an archetype and may be identified in various characters with otherwise distinct (non-generic) personalities.

Archetypes are likewise supposed to have been present in folklore and literature for thousands of years, including prehistoric artwork. The use of archetypes to illuminate personality and literature was advanced by Carl Jung early in the 20th century, who suggested the existence of universal contentless forms that channel experiences and emotions, resulting in recognizable and typical patterns of behavior with certain probable outcomes. Archetypes are cited as important to both ancient mythology and modern narratives, as argued by Joseph Campbell in works such as The Hero With a Thousand Faces.

Etymology

The word archetype first appeared in European texts in 1545. It derives from the Latin noun archetypum from the Greek noun ἀρχέτυπον (archetypon) and adjective ἀρχέτυπος (archetypos), meaning "first-moulded". The Greek roots are arkhe- ("first" or "original") and typos ("model," "type," "blow," "mark of a blow").

Pronunciation note: The "ch" in archetype is a transliteration of the Greek chi ( ) and is most commonly articulated in English as a "k".

Origins

The origins of the archetypal hypothesis date back as far as Plato. Jung himself compared archetypes to Platonic ideas. Plato's ideas were pure mental forms, that were imprinted in the soul before it was born into the world. They were collective in the sense that they embodied the fundamental characteristics of a thing rather than its specific peculiarities.

Jungian archetypes

The concept of psychological archetypes was advanced by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, c. 1919. In Jung's psychological framework archetypes are innate, universal prototypes for ideas and may be used to interpret observations. A group of memories and interpretations associated with an archetype is a complex, e.g. a mother complex associated with the mother archetype. Jung treated the archetypes as psychological organs, analogous to physical ones in that both are morphological constructs that arose through evolution.

Jung outlined five main archetypes;
  • The Self, the regulating center of the psyche and facilitator of individuation
  • The Shadow, the opposite of the ego image, often containing qualities that the ego does not identify with but possesses nonetheless
  • The Anima, the feminine image in a man's psyche; or:
  • The Animus, the masculine image in a woman's psyche
  • The Persona, how we present to the world, usually protects the Ego from negative images (acts like a mask)


Although the number of archetypes is limitless, there are a few particularly notable, recurring archetypal images:

In pedagogy

Clifford Mayes (born July 15, 1953), professor in the Brigham Young Universitymarker McKay School of Education, has developed what he has termed archetypal pedagogy, a theory of instruction which bears some similarities to the pedagogical approach proposed by the French Jungian psychologist Frederic Fappani. Mayes' work also aims at promoting what he calls archetypal reflectivity in teachers; this is a means of encouraging teachers to examine and work with psychodynamic issues, images, and assumptions as those factors affect their pedagogical practices. Archetypal reflectivity, which draws not only upon Jungian psychology but transpersonal psychology generally, offers an avenue for teachers to probe the spiritual dimensions of teaching and learning in non-dogmatic terms.

In USA, Mayes' two most recent works, Inside Education: Depth Psychology in Teaching and Learning (2007) and The Archetypal Hero's Journey in Teaching and Learning: A Study in Jungian Pedagogy (2008), incorporate the psychoanalytic theories of Heinz Kohut (particularly Kohut's notion of the selfobject) and the object relations theory of Ronald Fairbairn and D.W. Winnicott. Some of Mayes' work in curriculum theory, especially Seven Curricular Landscapes: An Approach to the Holistic Curriculum (2003) and Understanding the Whole Student: Holistic Multicultural Education (2007), is concerned with holistic education.

Frederic Fappani, French writer and Jungian psychologist, As a neo-Jungian scholar, has produced the first book-length studies in French on the pedagogical implications and applications of Jungian and neo-Jungian psychology, which is based on the work of Carl Gustav Jung (1875 - 1961). Jungian psychology is also called analytical psychology. Trained at a Jung Institute, the Université de Paris 8, and la Sorbonne, Frederic Fappani has developed what he has termed education jungienne, which bears some similarities to the archetypal pedagogy proposed by the American Jungian educationist Clifford Mayes of Brigham Young Universitymarker. In addition to being a writer and international lecturer in education, Fappani is a psychologist in private practice.

In France, Fappani' two most recent works, La cabane aux paysages, «voyage en archetypal pedagogy», Paris, Janvier; 2009 and Education and Archetypal Psychology, Ed.Cursus, 2008, Paris.

In literature

Archetypes can be found in nearly all forms of literature, with their motifs being predominantly rooted in folklore.

William Shakespeare is known for creating many archetypal characters that hold great social importance in his native land, such as Hamlet, the self-doubting hero and the initiation archetype with the three stages of separation, transformation, and return; Falstaff, the bawdy, rotund comic knight; Romeo and Juliet, the ill-fated ("star-crossed") lovers; Richard II, the hero who dies with honor; and many others. Although Shakespeare based many of his characters on existing archetypes from fables and myth (e.g., Romeo and Juliet on Arthur Brooke's Romeus and Juliet), Shakespeare's characters stand out as original by their contrast against a complex, social literary landscape. For instance, in The Tempest, Shakespeare borrowed from a manuscript by William Strachey that detailed an actual shipwreck of the Virginiamarker-bound 17th-century English sailing vessel Sea Venture in 1609 on the islands of Bermuda. Shakespeare also borrowed heavily from a speech by Medea in Ovid's Metamorphoses in writing Prospero's renunciative speech; nevertheless, the unique combination of these elements in the character of Prospero created a new interpretation of the sage magician as that of a carefully plotting hero, quite distinct from the wizard-as-advisor archetype of Merlin or Gandalf. Both of these are likely derived from priesthood authority archetypes, such as Celtic Druids, or perhaps Biblical figures like Abraham, Moses, etc.; or in the case of Gandalf, the Norse figure Odin.

Certain common methods of character depiction employed in dramatic performance rely on the pre-existence of literary archetypes. Stock characters used in theatre or film are based on highly generic literary archetypes. A pastiche is an imitation of an archetype or prototype in order to pay homage to the original creator.

Sheri Tepper's novel Plague of Angels contains archetypical villages, essentially human zoos where a wide variety of archetypal people are kept, including heroes, orphans, oracles, ingénues, bastards, young lovers, poets, princesses, martyrs, and fools.

The superhero genre is also frequently cited as emblematic of archetypal literature.

The young, flawed, and brooding antihero [Spider-Man] became the most widely imitated archetype in the superhero genre since the appearance of Superman.
—Bradford W.

Wright, Comic Book Nation: The transformation of Youth Culture in America 212
Superman on the Couch by Danny Fingeroth 151



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