Archetypes Essay

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Characters A. The Hero – Lord Raglan in The Hero: A Study in Tradition, Myth, and Drama contends that this archetype is so well defined that the life of the protagonist can be clearly divided into a series of well-marked adventures, which strongly suggest a ritualistic pattern. Raglan finds that traditionally the hero's mother is a virgin, the circumstances of his conception are unusual, and at birth some attempt is made to kill him. He is, however, spirited away and reared by foster parents. We know almost nothing of his childhood, but upon reaching manhood he returns to his future kingdom. After a victory over the king or a wild beast, he marries a princess, becomes king, reigns uneventfully, but later loses favor with the gods. He is then driven from the city after which he meets a mysterious death, often at the top of a hill. His body is not buried; but nevertheless, he has one or more holy sepulchers. Characters who exemplify this archetype to a greater or lesser extent are Oedipus, Theseus, Romulus, Perseus, Jason, Dionysos, Joseph, Moses, Elijah, Jesus Christ, Siegfried, Arthur, Robin Hood, Watu Gunung (Javanese), and Llew Llawgyffes (Celtic). B. The Scapegoat – An animal or more usually a human whose death in a public ceremony expiates some taint or sin that has been visited upon a community (e.g., Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery"). C. The Outcast – A figure who is banished from a social group for some crime against his fellow man. The outcast is usually destined to become a wanderer from place to place (e.g., Cain, the Wandering Jew, the Ancient Mariner). D. The Devil Figure – Evil incarnate, this character offers worldly goods, fame, or knowledge to the protagonist in exchange for possession of his soul (e.g., Lucifer, Mephistopheles, Satan, the Faust legend). E. The Woman Figure 1.The Earthmother – Symbolic of fruition,

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