Character Archetypes

archetypes

When creating your characters for your story, you might want to use one or more of Jung’s archetypes. In order to do so, the information below might help you to give your character a personality.


THE INNOCENT

Motto: Free to be you and me
Goal: Happiness
Fear: Punishment
Core desire: To get to paradise
Strategy: To do things right
Talent: Faith and optimism
Characteristics: Openness to experience, trust, honesty
Challenges: Naiveté, denial that problems exist

Innocents are the exemplars of optimism, and will always be kind and trusting. They help to make the world a brighter, nicer place, but sometimes they need a reality-check because they see everything through rose-tinted glasses and that clouds their vision of the truth.


THE ORPHAN

Motto: All men and women are created equal
Goal: Belonging
Fear: Exclusion
Core desire: Connecting with others
Strategy: Develop ordinary solid virtues, be down to earth, the common touch
Talent: Realism, empathy, lack of pretense
Characteristics: Fairness, stewardship, accountability
Challenges: Righteousness, recklessness

The orphan is also called the ‘everyperson’ or ‘citizen’. They believe that everyone is equal and everyone belongs. They are honest and hardworking, but may create resistance if a leader tries to take the reins.


THE HERO

Motto: Where there’s a will, there’s a way
Goal: Change world
Fear: Weakness
Core desire: To prove one’s worth through courageous acts
Strategy: To be as strong and competent as possible
Talent: Competence and courage
Characteristics: Strength, courage, stamina, faith, competing against great odds
Challenges: Arrogance, delusions of grandeur

Heroes aim high and demonstrate discipline, focus and courage. They inspire people around them, lead teams to success, but their uncompromising nature can lead to burnout and even to aggression.


THE CAREGIVER

Motto: Love your neighbor as yourself
Goal: Help others
Fear: Selfishness
Core desire: To protect and care for others
Strategy: Doing things for others
Talent: Compassion, generosity
Characteristics: Compassion, steadiness, loyalty, empathy
Challenges: Being exploited, martyrdom

A caregiver is responsive, consistent and trustworthy. They are natural parents, offering a hand, an ear or a shoulder to those in need. Their support can, however, grow excessive, leading to dependency and martyrdom.


THE EXPLORER

Motto: Don’t fence me in
Goal: Freedom
Fear: Entrapment
Core desire: The freedom to find out who you are through exploring the world
Strategy: Journey, seeking out and experiencing new things, escape from boredom
Talent: Autonomy, ambition, being true to one’s soul
Characteristics: Independence, testing limits, bravery, non-conformity
Challenges: Aimlessness, alienation, self-indulgence

Explorers don’t like to follow the map. They would much rather see what is on the edge of it. Often they have a childlike curiosity and enthusiasm but their unilateral ‘wherever I lay my hat’ attitude can make it hard for them to fit in with others.


THE REBEL

Motto: Rules are made to be broken
Goal: Revolution
Fear: No power
Core desire: Revenge or revolution
Strategy: Disrupt, destroy, or shock
Talent: Outrageousness, radical freedom
Characteristics: Leadership, risk taking, individuality, bravery, honesty
Challenges: Negativity, lawlessness, fanaticism

Also called ‘The Revolutionary’. They believe rules are made to be broken and the status quo should be challenged. They can bring true innovation and real change, but they might leave some damage in their wake.


THE LOVER

Motto: You’re the only one
Goal: Connection
Fear: Isolation
Core desire: Intimacy and experience
Strategy: To become more and more physically and emotionally attractive
Talent: Passion, gratitude, appreciation, and commitment
Characteristics: Belonging to a group, willingness to sacrifice for others
Challenges: Lack of own identity, obsession, jealousy

Lovers love to give all five senses the best experience. They are natural artist and connoisseurs. They believe that money is there to be spent on the good things, but can be overly susceptible to flattery.


THE CREATOR

Motto: If you can imagine it, it can be done
Goal: Realize vision
Fear: Mediocrity
Core desire: To create things of enduring value
Strategy: Develop artistic control and skill
Talent: Creativity and imagination
Characteristics: Nonconformity, imagination, sense of aesthetics
Challenges: Over-dramatization, perfectionism

Creators combine art with science, finding fluidity in order. They believe that inventions must be beautiful and functional. Creators might risk becoming mired in the frustrations of their own pursuit of perfection.


THE JESTER

Motto: You only live once
Goal: Levity and fun
Fear: Boredom
Core desire: To live in the moment with full enjoyment
Strategy: Play, make jokes, be funny
Talent: Joy
Characteristics: Humor, originality, irreverence
Challenges: Cruelty, being misunderstood, inefficiency

Jesters are innovative and outspoken and people around them are drawn to their fun-loving ways. They can take the pain out of life’s hardest moments, and lift others with a smile or a joke. Their downfall comes when situations call for more gravity and jesters might be judged tasteless or foolish.


THE SAGE

Motto: The truth will set you free
Goal: Knowledge
Fear: Deception
Core desire: To find the truth
Strategy: Seeking out information and knowledge; self-reflection and understanding thought processes
Talent: Wisdom, intelligence
Characteristics: Wisdom, intelligence, clarity of thought, rational decision making
Challenges: Feeling disconnected, passiveness, arrogance

Sages are methodical and objective and they take their time to come to the best evidence-based decision. They are smart to the point of nerdy, but their systematic approach may try the patience of those around them, and sometimes real life doesn’t give us all the information needed.


THE MAGICIAN

Motto: I make things happen
Goal: Alter reality
Fear: Unintended
Core desire: Understanding the fundamental laws of the universe
Strategy: Develop a vision and live by it
Talent: Finding win-win solutions
Characteristics: Surprise, powers of perception, intuition, cleverness
Challenges: Trickery, manipulation

Magicians are lead by big dreams and transformation. They dazzle with their ability to accomplish the impossible and force those around them to adjust to their perspectives. They might burn out because they struggle to maintain the levels of expectation and it takes great energy to do the undoable.


THE RULER

Motto: Power isn’t everything, it’s the only thing
Goal: Prosperity
Fear: Overthrown
Core desire: Create a prosperous, successful family or community
Strategy: Exercise power
Talent: Responsibility, leadership
Characteristics: Order, stability, control, tradition
Challenges: Entitlement, greed, irrelevance

Rulers or sovereigns naturally step into the lead and start giving orders, and everyone listens and falls into line. They make things happen by pure force of their personality, but may irritate other people by doing so.


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