Archetype (from Greek archetypos, by (αρχή) arche “beginning,” “basic,” “cause,” and typos “pattern,” “model”) is an ancestral way of thinking and feeling.
In textual criticism archetypes are used to describe the initial version of a text that has been passed through the tradition of manuscripts. Often, the original is lost and what remain is only the transcripts of transcripts in several stages. These can be made much later and be manipulated, and be more or less different.
To write a good research paper on archetypes you should know that in analytical psychology (equivalent to Freud’s psychoanalysis) Carl Gustav Jung have developed the concept of archetypes as innate prototypes for ideas. These may affect the way a person perceives and interprets the phenomenon that the person observing. The memories and interpretations of a person’s psyche are closely associated with an archetype called Jung complex. These can be given names that relate to the central archetype, for example the parent complexes.
Jung seemed to often see the archetypes as a sort of psychological organs of the species given morphological features developed through evolutionary processes. Some representative archetypes are the “first mother,” “urfadern,” “the old man,” “the eternal youth.” These archetypes are “embedded” in people from all sorts of cultures, and according to Jung are a reason that similar ideas can be found in tales, folklore, legends of independent cultures. The complexes on the other hand make the archetype in an unconscious and emotional ways alive for us.
Although the archetypal representative is not provided a picture reliable and precise of a subject when it is particular, it is important to understand that the archetype is faithful to a subject in general as it is accepted by all, therefore Alain Delon’s archetype is nonsense because the subject is then defined in particular and not in general. Similarly the archetype of the Troll is also nonsense because the subject here is not defined, in effect a “Troll” is a term that exists in Scandinavians legends, in imaginary worlds like Tolkien’s or in the jargon of the Internet and the definition of each is different and their archetypes will be a fortiori.
It is important not to confuse the archetypal subject and “the average person,” the archetype is not defined by the medium but by the clean intrinsic characteristics and identity common to all specific topics affiliates the general topic.
The archetype always shares all its characteristics with all specific topics covered by the general topic; the converse is false, that is to say a particular subject shares some of its characteristics (major or the most representative of what it is) with its archetype while maintaining its unique characteristics that make an individual in its own right.
Archetype and stereotype, which are two very different concepts, should not be confused; always keep in mind that a stereotype is the vision of a social group by another, while the archetype is recognized as universal.
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