Deeply Moving Storytelling With the Magical Power of Archetypes | Alina | Skillshare

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Deeply Moving Storytelling With the Magical Power of Archetypes

teacher avatar Alina, Psychology, M. Sc. & Content Creator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (15m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Introduction to Archetypes

    • 3. Archetypes in Storytelling

    • 4. The Hero

    • 5. The Shadow

    • 6. The Spirit

    • 7. The Trickster

    • 8. Conclusion & Project

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About This Class

I think your duty as a storyteller is to give people the magic and myth of the irrational.

My goal with this little course is to make you familiar with Carl Jung's concept of the archetype, and then show you how to use them to craft deeply moving stories with examples from Harry Potter and the Queen's Gambit.

We will look at the archetype of the hero, shadow, spirit, and trickster as a first introduction.

By the end you will be able to identify and utilise those archetypes in your own stories to make your characters, plot line, and motifs more moving.

Let's create some more magic.

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Psychology, M. Sc. & Content Creator


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1. Introduction: I think your duty as a storyteller is to give people the magic and myth of the irrational. We like to think of ourselves as these highly rational creatures. And if I encounter that as a psychologist, I always have to laugh because yes, we are rational creatures, but we're also emotional, relational, and spiritual creatures. Beneath all the logic, knowledge, and order. We also have a deeply seeded psychological need for the irrational. And he told me, you know, that, why else would you be so fascinated with Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Queens gambit, you name it. We love these magical stories because they speak to the deepest parts of ourselves that crave a little magic in a world that by now has been mostly stripped of myths and magic. But as a storyteller, the way to write those deeply moving stories is not random or sheer luck. The underlying themes, storylines and characters that make those stories. So moving on, based on what Carl Jung called the archetypes, calcium was a Swiss psychiatrist and his theories have gained massive popularity over the years. In his theory, archetypes are universal, unconscious images on ways of representation that have crystallized over the history of mankind. The main case for using archetypes in your storytelling is that they elicit an emotional response. And that is exactly what you want. You want to move and touch people with your stories. You can recognize those archetypes in the form of the hero and the Hero's Journey. Think of Harry Potter. The shadow figure can think of Voldemort, the archetype of the spirit in the form of the old wise man. Think of Dumbledore. The reason that those plot lines and figures are so intense and compelling and moving is because they allow us to project those deeply held images and ways of making sense of the world onto them and give them an existence in our conscious lives. My goal with this course is to make you familiar with what archetypes are and then how to use them to craft deeply moving stories so that by the end, you will be able to identify archetypes in your own stories to make your characters, plot lines and motifs more moving because we need them, maybe now more than ever. That's great. So magic. 2. Introduction to Archetypes: Why can even ancient stories from a different time and culture ring true to us? Why do we say that a picture, it says more than 1000 words. Carl Jung states that the reason we react and produce certain images and themes so intuitively is that they are universally ingrained in us. We all recognize the image of the hero, the great mother, or the dragon or dark figure that needs to be conquered. And that can be an external or internal task. Young things that we are not born a tabula rasa is other philosophers put it, but that we are born with these primordial thought forms inside of us. In fact, they are part of our collective unconscious that has crystallized over the entire history of mankind. For young, the unconscious was one of the most interesting grades, unknowns that he wanted to discover. The way he discovered and laid out those archetypes was two-fold. It was based on one, once you learn through treating his own patients and to, through his extensive study of religion, myths, and anthropology. When treating his patients, he found that the impact early relationships had on someone was not based on an objective reality. How the patient's subjectively perceive those relationships. Young thought that the discrepancy between the real person and the subjective representations in the mind of the patient must be due to pre-existing unconscious images. Regarding your study of religion and myths, he found that certain patterns kept coming back. And even though those stories might be from an entire different time, people still respond to it. Sometimes the unconscious is represented as this dark place where all are oppressed on the emotions are put to rest. And as if it is in general a very despicable place. But you add is another angle to this. Yes, dark impulses can be found there. But it's also full of germs of future situations and ideas and creativity. Beautiful helpers can ascend from those magical depths, like the Patronas figure in Harry Potter or the chess pieces that manifest themselves on the ceiling and the Queen's gambit. Here we can already see two features of the archetype. One, they can appear as both positive and negative figures. And to the way the archetypes come to life is through projection most easily on an object in the real world. 3. Archetypes in Storytelling: It could easily appear that I'm about to teach you a fixed number of archetypes that are always the same. But unfortunately, it's not that easy and straightforward. The underlying theory is that we tend to perceive reality as formed by those representations. And while the individual images can vary, the basic pattern stays the same, meaning. There is actually no fixed number of archetypes, but some that are more common than others. So keep that in mind when I talk about specific archetypes later in this mini-course that you can use the power of archetypes in your storytelling and many different forms. There are archival events, figures and motifs. And archetypical event, for example, is birth or death. In many cases also rebirth, particularly in the hero's journey. Example of an archetypical figure that we'll dive into in more detail later are the shadow or the devil, the hero of the old wise man on the trickster. An example of an architectural motif would be the apocalypse, bear much a favorite of many science fiction stories. And you can use architectural images, not just in fantasy plots such as Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. If you look at a series such as suits for example. Besides of course, Microsoft's being the gifted child, which reflects the hero archetype. You can notice that whenever an important case needs to be one, it is not just told as a case to be one. It is told as a war. That's about life and death. Because this is how to tell a story that creates an emotional response. So whenever you want to tell a story, think about adding magic and myth of those big themes that characterize humanity. For me, might be modern, but we still crave the irrational. 4. The Hero: The hero certainly is the most important archetype in storytelling, ends together with his counterpart, the shadow. They form the central dynamic of most plots, as in the hero has to overcome the shadow. The hero is the one that you want your audience to identify with. And that means having an emotional response. If your audience doesn't care about your hero, they won't want to listen to your story. And the way your audience will have an emotional response is by making the hero and archetypical figure. The hero is someone who develops a personality starting from a tiny seed and blossoming into full consciousness. This is at the same time what gives him Keras model and also occurs because becoming a personality means to be singled out, which is clear from the phrase often used to refer to the hero as the chosen one. Being the chosen one means to be separated from the rest of the group. It comes down to isolation which is terrifying. There is no one, no family, friends, society that can save the hero from his fate no matter how much the hero tries to fit in. I mean, just imagine the Harry Potter trying to live for the Dursleys family. The hero will be called to his adventure and he will have to pay the price for developing a personality. The reason that the hero is the chosen one, the one that is singled out and has to face the shadow is because she or he has to show that only in the region of danger, watery abyss cavern, forest, island, Castle, etc. Can one find the treasure hard to attain? Jewel, a virgin life portion to victory over death. The way to arrive at this fully developed personality is through facing those hardships. It's through integrating and dealing with the evil out there. Because whatever evil is out there, it is also inside of us. He alone has a genuine claim to self confidence, for he has faced the dog round off his self and thereby has gained himself. This experience gives some faith and trust in the ability in the self to sustain him for everything that matters to him from inside. She has made his own. He has acquired the right to believe that he will be able to overcome all future threats by the same means. 5. The Shadow: The most important thing the hero has to face on his way to becoming a whole personality is a shadow because it is easiest to bring an archetype to live as a projection onto objects in the outside world, the shadow is often portrayed as the evil external figure in the plot of Harry Potter, that would be Voldemort. But the shadow can also be the evil within, in the Queen's gambit. It's Beth Harmons, traumatic pasts and her addictive personality that is both the source of her genius and her shadow. By the way, what makes the line between genius and a psychosis? What exactly keeps Beth Harmon from not having a psychotic break when she'll ventures dangerously close. It's that she can still distinguish her unconscious helping figures from reality. She knows that the chess pieces on the ceiling are not real, but imaginative helpers. She doesn't confuse them both. In the end, she can conquer his shadow and not let it devour her genius and talent. What makes Voldemort's such a powerful shadow figure in Harry Potter, is that both of them carry each other inside of themselves as the parts that they despise the most. They are connected through the scar or similar life story. They both speak parcel tongue. And finally, Harry Potter being the last Horcruxes, meaning literally a piece of Voldemort's soul living inside of him. The shadow in the end makes the hero, the hero for without having to overcome something that would never be an adventure. That can also be the element of surprise. Surprise comes from our expectations not being met. One example is that in Harry Potter, Snape is assumed to be a shadow figure. And in the end we find out spoiler alert, he was actually a helping figure. The surprise again, elicits an emotional response. We feel deeply moved. And we can see here that you didn't have to have obvious archetypes. It can be much more interesting to provide your audience with dynamic characters, meaning characteristics that change throughout the story. Either they change through their own development, as is the case where the hero or the change in the eyes of the audience, which is the case for Severus Snape, who moves from shadow to helper. 6. The Spirit: While the hero is singled out and chosen to embark on a great adventure, he's often accompanied by helping figures, which is the archetype of the Spirit. Most often the archetype of the Spirit comes forth in the shape of the old wise man. Dumbledore, for example, is a clear personification of the old wise man in Harry Potter. This archetype always appears in situations where self-reflection, understanding, insight, planning, or good advice as needed. But the hero doesn't have the resources necessary to do it on his own. But the old wise man doesn't just present a clear cut solution. Rather, he confronts the hero with a problem too, which have already alluded and one which live is always bringing us up against, namely the uncertainty of all moral evaluation, the bewildering into play of good and evil, and the remorseless concentration of guilt, suffering, and redemption. You also mentioned that the spring archetype often makes use of birds, which can be found in Dumbledore us Patronas being in the Phoenix. But also here we have a dynamic character. Dumbledore clearly presents as the waste man in the beginning. And then towards the end, more and more aspects of his own shadow that he had to integrate come to light in the end. That might be his greatest wisdom to pass on. Dumbledore was passing also signified another important step in Harry Potter's journey towards becoming a personality, because now he has to integrate Dumbledore is wisdom into his own psyche to help himself in future situations. 7. The Trickster: Like all archetypes, the one of the trickster can present as both a good and bad figure in stories. One of the uses of the positive trickster figure I want to briefly introduce you to in this lesson is for comic relief. As for example, the Weasley twins DO and Harry Potter. Maybe you're familiar with the Yerkes-Dodson law of the relationship between stress and optimal performance. We can imagine something similar to happen and storytelling after your audience has been through a terrifying encounter with the shadow, together with their beloved hero, everyone needs a good laugh to digest and relieve the tension that was built up. Or your audience needs comic relief together with a hero before they encounter with the shadow to build up strength and together resources, you cannot push tension too far. And every now and then, everyone needs a good laugh to keep going. The trickster not only balances the level of tension for the audience and the characters alike, but they also serve to portray a more realistic and relatable view on life. There is not just horror and challenge, There's also humor and downtime. Last but not least, the trickster often offers a blow to other people's egos, which also provides comic relief. A good example of that is the advertisement in the Weasley twins shop that says why you're worrying about, you know, who she should be worrying about, you know, Pu, the constipation sensation that's gripping the nation. 8. Conclusion & Project: The reason that I would encourage any creative to become familiar with archetypes. Now he's in their power to elicit emotions and being able to catch your audience's attention and tell a truly moving story which requires an emotional response, is any storytellers great task? I believe that stories offer us the ability to bring back some of the last magic into our lives. I mean, look, that's one of the reasons why we go to the theatre, the belay, we listen to songs or read poetry. So number one, I would like to encourage you to start with a few archetypes I described in this mini-course. Study them and see where they come up in your story, either your own life story or the stories you create. Number to identify your whether you serve this psychological need for some magic. And number three, which architectural events, figures, or motifs you utilize or can utilize to tell a deeply moving story. This was indeed a short introduction to archetypes and storytelling for beginners. So I hope you found this helpful. If you want to dive deep into the hero's journey, I can recommend Joseph Campbell's book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, which will give you a lot more detail on that. I hope this was helpful. If you want a more detailed course on archetypes, let me know and I'll see if I can make that happen. Take good care and now go and make some magic.