The Archetypal Hero -

The Archetypal Hero What Do Luke Skywalker, Simba, King Arthur, Moses, Wonder Woman, William Wallace, & Optimus Prime all have in common?

ANSWER: They are all Archetypal Heroes But what is an Archetype?

And what does it have to do with Heroes? Archetype: A recurring pattern of images, situations, or symbols

found in the mythology, religion, art, and dreams of cultures around the world. Okay, so what exactly characterizes an Archetypal Hero then?

And what does this have to do with the characters mentioned? Traits of the Archetypal Hero Unusual Circumstances of Birth Leaves Family and Lives With Others

Traumatic Event Leads to Quest Special Weapon Supernatural Help Unusual Birth Often in danger or

born into royalty Leaves Raised away from Family

-or separated from home Traumatic Event The heros life is changed forever

Special Weapon Only the hero can wield it

Supernatural Help -The hero often has spiritual/magical guidance More Heroic Traits

Proves self on Quest Journey and Suffers a wound that cannot be healed Is not recognized upon return because of disguise, deception, or change in form or manner

Atonement With Father Loves and admires a beautiful lady Prepared to fight or die at any moment Proves Him or Herself The hero performs

heroic feats Journey & Unhealable Wound Hero descends into a helllike area and suffers wounding from an encounter with evil

Atonement With Father The hero either redeems fathers evil deeds or reconciles with father over wrongs done by the hero

Ready to fight or die at any moment Chooses the short, glorious life of battle or the long life of the maturing journey

Aha! But not all of these characters have all of the characteristics! Thats okay. -They dont really have to

As long as a hero displays several of these characteristics, he/she, is in the club! Now, can you think of any other Archetypal Heroes?

References Davis, Bryan M. "The Archetypal Hero in Literature, Religion, Movies, and Popular Culture." 11 Oct 1997. Stephen F. Austin University. (07/07/2009). < Nilsen, Alleen P., & Donelson, Kenneth L. Literature for

Todays Young Adults, 8th ed. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc. 2009.

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