Archetypes in Film

archetype

archetype (är´kĬtīp´) [Gr. arch=first, typos=mold], term whose earlier meaning, "original model," or "prototype," has been enlarged by C. G. Jung and by several contemporary literary critics. A Jungian archetype is a thought pattern that finds worldwide parallels, either in cultures (for example, the similarity of the ritual of Holy Communion in Europe with the tecqualo in ancient Mexico) or in individuals (a child's concept of a parent as both heroic and tyrannic, superman and ogre). Jung believed that such archetypal images and ideas reside in the unconscious level of the mind of every human being and are inherited from the ancestors of the race. They form the substance of the collective unconscious. Literary critics such as Northrop Frye and Maud Bodkin use the term archetype interchangeably with the term motif, emphasizing that the role of these elements in great works of literature is to unite readers with otherwise dispersed cultures and eras.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Literature and Film as Modern Mythology
William K. Ferrell.
Praeger, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of archetypes in film begins on p. 8
Myth, Mind, and the Screen: Understanding the Heroes of Our Times
John Izod.
Cambridge University Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Archetypes are discussed throughout, esp. in Chap. 2 "Archetypal Images: Signification and the Psyche" and Chap. 3 "Archetypal Images: Symbols and the Cultural Unconscious"
Psychological Reflections on Cinematic Terror: Jungian Archetypes in Horror Films
James F. Iaccino.
Praeger, 1994
Jungian Reflections within the Cinema: A Psychological Analysis of Sci-Fi and Fantasy Archetypes
James F. Iaccino.
Praeger, 1998
Jesus Christ and Billy the Kid as Archetypes of the Self in American Cinema
Paganopoulos, Michelangelo.
Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Vol. 22, No. 1, Spring 2010
Gran Torino: Clint Eastwood as Fallen Saviour
Beard, William.
CineAction, No. 85, Winter 2011
Myth and Masculinity in the Japanese Cinema: Towards a Political Reading of the 'Tragic Hero'
Isolde Standish.
Curzon Press, 2000
Screening the Sacred: Religion, Myth, and Ideology in Popular American Film
Joel W. Martin; Conrad E. Ostwalt Jr.
Westview Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "Evolution of 'The New Frontier' in Alien and Aliens: Patriarchal Co-optation of the Feminine Archetype"
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