What is Archetype?

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What does archetype mean? It is a concept in areas which relates to behaviour, historical psychology and literature analysis. Archetypes can be: a pattern of behaviour, prototype or main model that other patterns of behaviour and objects copy or merge into. A ‘standard example.’ It can be a platonic concept of pure form, embodied the fundamental characteristics of a thing. A collectively-inherited unconscious idea, pattern of thought that is universally present within individual psyches. Recurring symbol or motif in literature, painting or mythology.

Archetypes are close analogies to instincts. Believed that long before any consciousness develops, the impersonal and inherited traits of human beings that present and motivate behaviour. So, we can see that it means, original pattern from which copies are made.

Archetypes are most commonly used in writing, literature. By using archetypes or specific archetypes within fiction writing, such as the hero, it can help the writing become universally accepted. Readers will relate to and identify with the characters and situations. Some archetypes used in writing stories include: overcoming the monster, rags to riches, the quest, voyage and return, comedy, tragedy, rebirth.

Do you know what your archetype is? Do you like to write about a particular archetype more than others? How are you today?