Archetypes illuminate significant aspects of the human condition.
Archetypes refer to a constantly recurring motif or symbol in literature. Archetypes help us define our own values and aspirations, create our own identities, and illuminates significant aspects of the human condition.
Texts which incorporate the idea of archetypes most prominently illuminate inherent aspects of the human condition. Shakespeare's play Othello and Good Will Hunting directed by Gus Van Sant are two such texts, exploring the human condition through the archetypal idea. In Othello, we see a black man driven to mad jealousy, and the demise of his world as a result. In Van Sant's film Good Will Hunting, we explore an intelligent man struggling with issues of his own. In both texts, the complexities of love and trust, and segregation are explored through the outsider archetype. Shakespeare's England was not a very accepting society when it came to foreigners. Shakespeare, through the captivating play Othello, addresses and reflects these racist issues during the 1600s, while Good Will Hunting reveals the inherent human condition. Both texts highlight the fact that our fear of change, our fear of threats cause us to alienate outsiders.
In Shakespeare's England, racially different people challenged the status quo and thus were seen as a threat that must be resisted. Shakespeare reflects this as Othello's and Desdemona's marriage, black man and white woman, is seen as “against all rules of nature” although it simply is just a change in tradition. As a result, we see the African Othello's subtle segregation from the Venetian Society, referred to as “thick-lips”, “old black ram” and “Barbary horse” as he is seen as a threat not only socially, but physically. However, as the play progresses, we see that Othello is instead, “Valiant”, and “worthy”, not at all like Iago's crude descriptions. This mirrors the judgemental quality of society during this time, particularly towards...