The Romance “presents an idealized world, the black-and-white world of our desires, where good things are really good, and bad things are really bad.
The Romance involves the Journey, and the Journey involves the Hero, the Villain, the Quest, the Sage, the Prohibition, the Sacrifice, the Dragon, the Treasure, and sometimes the rescue of the Maiden.
The epiphany (mountain top, tower, island, lighthouse, ladder, staircase, Jack’s beanstalk, Rapunzel’s hair, Indian rope trick etc.) connects Heaven and Earth” (Frye 203).
In archetypal hero tales, the hero, usually a young person identified as having “special” qualities, sets out on a journey—either real or metaphorical.
The young person does not know what is in store and has probably not made a conscious decision to embark on “the quest.”
Nevertheless, when challenges come, the young hero meets and overcomes them, often making some kind of a sacrifice in exchange for wisdom. A common motif is that help will come from an unexpected source, perhaps from an older and wiser person or from a supernatural source.
STAGES OF THE JOURNEY
The stages of the journey (listed below) can be seen in many of the quest stories and can also be compared to one’s own life.
The Shadow Archetypes result from hyperbole, from developing the hero’s characteristics to such an extreme that they become a negative force as when the caregiver turns into the overprotective mother or the lover into the jealous controller preventing or marring the process of development.
The Innocent moves from an unquestioning acceptance of the environment through experiencing disillusionment (fall) to a return to Paradise as a wise innocent.
EXAMPLES: Brady Bunch, Forrest Gump, Bambi, Gomez Adams, Leo the Late Bloomer, The Little Mermaid, Pinocchio
The Orphan moves from accepting pain and loss through accepting the need for help to becoming independent and working with others.
EXAMPLES: Charlie Brown, Cinderella, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Huckleberry Finn, Frankenstein’s Monster, Maniac McGee, Oedipus, Harry Potter, Peter Rabbit, Dorothy
The Warrior moves from fighting and cheating simply for the sake of fighting to fighting within the rules for others and for what really matters on an unselfish level.
EXAMPLES: Batman, Lancelot, Ulysses, Joan of Arc, Jo in Little Women, Robin Hood, 3 Musketeers, Superman, Darth Vader
The Caregiver moves from overcoming a conflict between one’s own needs and those of others through empowering others (tough love), to a willingness to help beyond immediate family (a global level).
EXAMPLES: Gepetto in Pinocchio, Holden Caulfield, The Giving Tree, Horton, “The Jewish Mother,” Mary Poppins, Pygmalion, Anne Sullivan, Mother Theresa,, The Velveteen Rabbit
The seeker moves from wandering aimlessly and trying out new things through trying to climb the ladder of success to looking for spiritual guidance.
EXAMPLES: Goldilocks, Indiana Jones, Don Juan, Leo the Late Bloomer, Luke Skywalker, Pinocchio
The Destroyer moves from confusion over experiencing pain and death of a loved one through accepting mortality to letting go of what is not important.
EXAMPLES: Beowulf, The Big Bad Wolf, Samson, The Terminator, Darth Vader Lord Voldemort,
THE LOVER OR FRIEND
The lover, friend, or sidekick is incomplete without the other lover, friend, or sidekick.
SHADOW EXAMPLES: Bathsheba, Delilah, Don Juan, Don Giovani, Byron’s Don Juan, Cassanova
LOVERS, FRIENDS OR DOPPELGANGERS
Annie and Daddy Warbucks
Batman and Robin
Mark Anthony and Cleopatra
Robinson Crusoe and Friday
Hansel and Gretel
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson
Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde
Othello, Iago, and Desdemona
Peter and the Wolf
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza
Romeo and Juliet
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Tweedledum and Tweedledee
The Creator moves from daydreaming and imagining through knowing what is really important to allowing dreams to come true.
EXAMPLES: Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, Frederick, The Purple Crayon
The Wise Fool
The Ruler moves from taking responsibility for oneself through working with one’s own group or commnity to concern for society or the planet.
EXAMPLES: Aslan, King Arthur, Max in Where the Wild Things Are, Jupiter, Obi Wan Kenobee, The Lion King, Woden, Zeus
The Magician moves from healing and noticing extrasensory experiences through acting on visions to connecting everything with everything else establishing mental, emotional, and spiritual connections.
EXAMPLES: Abuela, Gandalf, Genie, Hermione, Merlin, Mary Poppins, Harry Potter, Samantha in Bewitched, The three Witches in Macbeth, The Wizard of Oz
The Sage moves from searching for the truth through skepticism to an understanding of the complexity of truth.
EXAMPLES: the professor in Gilligan’s Island, Jimminy Cricket, Dumbledore,The Fairy Godmother, Galdalf, Luke Skywalker, Yoda
THE WISE FOOL/TRICKSTER
The Wise Fool moves from treating life as a game through using cleverness to trick others to living life one day at a time and enjoying each special moment.
EXAMPLES: Anansi the Spider, The Cat in the Hat, Coyote, Ferdinand, Forest Gump, The Hare in the Tortoise and Hare Race, Huckleberry Finn, Raven, Tom Sawyer, Sawyer on Lost, Schererazade, The Wizard of Oz