Archetypes in Film


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© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Archetypes in Film: Selected full-text books and articles

Literature and Film as Modern Mythology By 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 By 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"
Jesus Christ and Billy the Kid as Archetypes of the Self in American Cinema By Paganopoulos, Michelangelo Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Vol. 22, No. 1, Spring 2010
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Gran Torino: Clint Eastwood as Fallen Saviour By Beard, William CineAction, No. 85, Winter 2011
Screening the Sacred: Religion, Myth, and Ideology in Popular American Film By 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"
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.