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Answers To The Question: What Is An Archetype?

ARCHETYPE – In this article, we will learn more about what the literary device, Archetype is, its significance, and its importance.

Archetype - What Exactly Is An Archetype? (Answers)
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In a nutshell, an archetype is a typical character, an action, or a situation wherein it presents a seemingly universal pattern of human nature. It is also known as a universal symbol.

It may be a character, a theme, a symbol, or sometimes, a setting. There are a lot of literary critics that perceive this literary device as a recurring representation in a particular human culture.

According to an article from Literary devices, Swiss psychologist argued that the root of the archetype is in the collective unconscious of mankind.

Here are some examples of the common archetypes.

THE HERO – The protagonist of the story. They represent good and a struggle against evil in order to defend society and restore order, justice, and harmony to the world.

THE VILLAIN – The antagonist of the story. Often the hurdle the heroes need to face in order to succeed.

THE MENTOR – The task of this character is to build up the Hero, teach him/her important lessons that they need in order to defeat the Villain.

What is the function of archetypes?

They are used to give literary works a universal acceptance. Readers often identify the characters and situations with real events happening around them.

By using this, writers offer a sense of realism into their works, something tangible and attainable. With this, characters from fiction become drawn towards the real world.

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