Archetypes in Mythology

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Baughn 1
Jonathan Baughn

Professor Spencer

English 123

1 March 2012

Archetypes in Mythological Stories

An archetype is defined as an original model on which similar things are patterned

(Archetypes). They are reoccurring themes that represent experiences. The power of the archetype

comes from their ability to evoke themes that a mast majority of people can relate to (Archetypes).

Myths and other stories that have been told for generations have had a significant impact on the human

psyche. Archetypes are present in all mythology and stimulate certain responses when we associate

these themes with what we've been taught. Some examples of archetypes that are spread throughout

mythology are the hero, the mentor, the threshold guardians, the shadow, the herald, the shapeshifter

and the trickster. I will use the mythology of the 2008 film, “The Dark Knight” to provide specific

examples of archetypes.

The hero is one of the central characters in mythology. Heroes are often, but not always,

associated with bravery and self-sacrifice. The hero will undertake a journey to change and

grow. They will encounter mental and physical challenges that will complex their path and ultimately

pay a heavy price to achieve their goal. In “The Dark Knight”, the hero is called Batman. His real

name/alter ego is Bruce Wayne. He is a masked vigilante who fights crime in the fictional city of

Gotham. He possesses courage in situations where he is impossibly outnumbered and fights for the

safety of the citizens of Gotham. The mentor is a positive figure that aids or trains the hero (PBS).

They offer knowledge, motivation, wisdom and sometimes gifts to the hero for them to complete their

task. Batman's butler, Alfred Pennyworth acts as his mentor. He often gives wisdom, compassion,

confidence, motivation and logical reasoning to Bruce Wayne during his quest.

Baughn 2

During a hero's journey in mythology, heroes...
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