Archetypal Character

"It may seem redundant at first as strictly speaking an archetype is simply an example of something, in short every trope is a story archetype. However here we are using the term in reference to a concept in Jungian Psychology of the same name."

An Archetypal Character is a character who appears over and over in legends far and wide, even in cultures that have shut themselves off from the world; in other words, a Universal Character. The blood drinking risen dead are an Archetype as almost every culture has come up with their own legends independent of each other. Angel is an archetype: the tragic hero trying to overcome the evils of their past. Coyote is an archetype. Xena is an archetype. Any of these may be disguised as a Space Alien.

Some lit-theories classify archetypes by the role/purpose the character inhabits for the story. These classes are: Protagonist, Antagonist, Reason, Emotion, Sidekick, Skeptic, Guardian, and Contagonist.

A related concept is the 'ectype', a distorted or flawed version of the archetype. For example, Batman is archetypal. He's a rich man who dedicates himself to anonymously fighting crime (protecting society) with a variety of gadgets. Many of the characters in Watchmen are ectypes based on this archetype.


Tropes


Alternative Title(s): Character Archetype

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ArchetypalCharacter