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Plot Themes/ Stages and Character Archetypes

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Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:26 pm
Tigersprite says...



I found this on Wikipedia (I can't remember the link) and I found it incredibly useful, thus, I share it with my fellow YWSers.

Stages of the Journey

Its stages are:

1. THE ORDINARY WORLD. The hero, uneasy, uncomfortable or unaware, is introduced sympathetically so the audience can identify with the situation or dilemma. The hero is shown against a background of environment, heredity, and personal history. Some kind of polarity in the hero’s life is pulling in different directions and causing stress.

2. THE CALL TO ADVENTURE. Something shakes up the situation, either from external pressures or from something rising up from deep within, so the hero must face the beginnings of change.

3. REFUSAL OF THE CALL. The hero feels the fear of the unknown and tries to turn away from the adventure, however briefly. Alternately, another character may express the uncertainty and danger ahead.

4. MEETING WITH THE MENTOR. The hero comes across a seasoned traveler of the worlds who gives him or her training, equipment, or advice that will help on the journey. Or the hero reaches within to a source of courage and wisdom.

5. CROSSING THE THRESHOLD. At the end of Act One, the hero commits to leaving the Ordinary World and entering a new region or condition with unfamiliar rules and values.

6. TESTS, ALLIES AND ENEMIES. The hero is tested and sorts out allegiances in the Special World.

7. APPROACH TO THE IN-MOST CAVE. The hero and newfound allies prepare for the major challenge in the Special world.

8. THE ORDEAL. Near the middle of the story, the hero enters a central space in the Special World and confronts death or faces his or her greatest fear. Out of the moment of death comes a new life.

9. THE REWARD. The hero takes possession of the treasure won by facing death. There may be celebration, but there is also danger of losing the treasure again.

10. THE ROAD BACK. About three-fourths of the way through the story, the hero is driven to complete the adventure, leaving the Special World to be sure the treasure is brought home. Often a chase scene signals the urgency and danger of the mission.

11. THE RESURRECTION. At the climax, the hero is severely tested once more on the threshold of home. He or she is purified by a last sacrifice, another moment of death and rebirth, but on a higher and more complete level. By the hero’s action, the polarities that were in conflict at the beginning are finally resolved.

12. RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR. The hero returns home or continues the journey, bearing some element of the treasure that has the power to transform the world as the hero has been transformed.

Archetypes

According to Vogler's analysis, the Journey is populated by archetypes -- basic functions that tend to appear in every story. They are recurring patterns of human behavior, symbolized by standard types of characters in movies and stories.

1. HEROES Central figures in stories. Everyone is the hero of his or her own myth.

2. SHADOWS Villains, antagonist or enemies, perhaps the enemy within. The dark side of the Force, the repressed possibilities of the hero, his or her potential for evil. Can be other kinds of repression, such as repressed grief, anger, frustration or creativity that is dangerous if it doesn’t have an outlet.

3. MENTORS The hero’s guide or guiding principles, for example Yoda, Merlin, a great coach or teacher.

4. HERALD One who brings the Call to Adventure. Could be a person or an event.

5. THRESHOLD GUARDIANS The forces that stand in the way at important turning points, including jealous enemies, professional gatekeepers, or your own fears and doubts.

6. SHAPESHIFTERS In stories, creatures like vampires or werewolves who change shape. In life, the shapeshifter represents change or ambiguity. The way other people (or our perceptions of them) keep changing. The opposite sex, the way people can be two-faced.

7. TRICKSTERS Clowns and mischief-makers, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy. Our own mischievous subconscious, urging us to change.

8. ALLIES Characters who help the hero through the change. Sidekicks, buddies, girlfriends who advise the hero through the transitions of life.

The Shadow

In Jungian psychology, the shadow or "shadow aspect" is a part of the unconscious mind consisting of repressed weaknesses, shortcomings, and instincts. It is one of the three most recognizable archetypes, the others being the anima and animus and the persona. "Everyone carries a shadow," Jung wrote, "and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is."It may be (in part) one's link to more primitive animal instincts, which are superseded during early childhood by the conscious mind.

According to Jung, the shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to project: turning a personal inferiority into a perceived moral deficiency in someone else. Jung writes that if these projections are unrecognized "The projection-making factor (the Shadow archetype) then has a free hand and can realize its object--if it has one--or bring about some other situation characteristic of its power." These projections insulate and cripple individuals by forming an ever thicker fog of illusion between the ego and the real world.

Jung also believed that "in spite of its function as a reservoir for human darkness—or perhaps because of this—the shadow is the seat of creativity."

Appearance

The shadow may appear in dreams and visions in various forms. It typically has the same apparent gender as one's persona. It is possible that it might appear with dark features to a person of any race, since it represents a distant and indiscriminate aspect of the mind. The shadow's appearance and role depend greatly on the living experience of the individual, because much of the shadow develops in the individual's mind rather than simply being inherited in the collective unconscious (but see description of layers below).

Interactions with the shadow in dreams may shed light on one's state of mind. A conversation with the shadow may indicate that one is concerned with conflicting desires or intentions. Identification with a despised figure may mean that one has an unacknowledged difference from the character; a difference which could point to a rejection of the illuminating qualities of ego-consciousness. These examples refer to just two of many possible roles that the shadow may adopt, and are not general guides to interpretation. Also, it can be difficult to identify characters in dreams, so that a character who seems at first to be a shadow might represent some other complex instead.

Jung also made the suggestion of there being more than one layer making up the shadow. The top layers contain the meaningful flow and manifestations of direct personal experiences. These are made unconscious in the individual by such things as the change of attention from one thing to another, simple forgetfulness, or a repression. Underneath these idiosyncratic layers, however, are the archetypes which form the psychic contents of all human experiences. Jung described this deeper layer as "a psychic activity which goes on independently of the conscious mind and is not dependent even on the upper layers of the unconscious—untouched, and perhaps untouchable—by personal experience" (Campbell, 1971). This bottom layer of the shadow is also what Jung referred to as the collective unconscious.
According to Jung, the shadow sometimes overwhelms a person's actions; for example, when the conscious mind is shocked, confused, or paralyzed by indecision.
"A superman ... is, on account of certain superior qualities inherent in him, exempted from the ordinary laws which govern men. He is not liable for anything he may do."
Nathan Leopold




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Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:21 am
Kyllorac says...



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monomyth

I believe that is the article. It seems to have been edited and split since then.

In any case, the above is a summary of the stages and archetypes outlined in Joseph Campbell's book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, which is a very interesting read that includes many examples of myths from all over the world.
Screwing with gender since 1995.


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Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:09 am
Tigersprite says...



Thanks Kyllorac! :)
"A superman ... is, on account of certain superior qualities inherent in him, exempted from the ordinary laws which govern men. He is not liable for anything he may do."
Nathan Leopold