Recap of Archetypal Characters

Now that we have become familiar with Archetypal characters and some of their limitations, let us recap our list of the eight Archetypal Characters as a prelude to resolving the inconsistencies we saw in The Wizard of Oz and Jaws:

PROTAGONIST: The traditional Protagonist is the driver of the story: the one who forces the action. We root for it and hope for its success.

ANTAGONIST: The Antagonist is the character directly opposed to the Protagonist. It represents the problem that must be solved or overcome for the Protagonist to succeed.

REASON: This character makes its decisions and takes action on the basis of logic, never letting feelings get in the way of a rational course.

EMOTION: The Emotion character responds with its feelings without thinking, whether it is angry or kind, with disregard for practicality.

SKEPTIC: Skeptic doubts everything -- courses of action, sincerity, truth -- whatever.

SIDEKICK: The Sidekick is unfailing in its loyalty and support. The Sidekick is often aligned with the Protagonist though may also be attached to the Antagonist.

GUARDIAN: The Guardian is a teacher or helper who aids the Protagonist in its quest and offers a moral standard.

CONTAGONIST: The Contagonist hinders and deludes the Protagonist, tempting it to take the wrong course or approach.

Splitting Archetypes Into Action and Decision Characteristics

Re-examining the list, we can learn something new that will help us in analyzing The Wizard of Oz and Jaws: each of the Eight Archetypal Characters contains one characteristic pertaining to actions and another characteristic pertaining to decisions.

PROTAGONIST

Action Characteristic: Pursues the goal. The traditional Protagonist is the driver of the story: the one who forces the action.

Decision Characteristic: Urges the other characters to consider the necessity of achieving the goal.

ANTAGONIST

Action Characteristic: The Antagonist physically tries to prevent or avoid the successful achievement of the goal by the Protagonist.

Decision Characteristic: The Antagonist urges the other characters to reconsider the attempt to achieve the goal.

GUARDIAN

Action Characteristic: The Guardian is a helper who aids the efforts to achieve the story goal.

Decision Characteristic: It represents conscience in the mind, based upon the Author's view of morality.

CONTAGONIST

Action Characteristic: The Contagonist hinders the efforts to achieve the story goal.

Decision Characteristic: It represents temptation to take the wrong course or approach.

REASON

Action Characteristic: This character is very calm or controlled in its actions.

Decision Characteristic: It makes its decisions on the basis of logic, never letting emotion get in the way of a rational course.

EMOTION

Action Characteristic: The Emotional character is frenzied or uncontrolled in its actions.

Decision Characteristic: It responds with its feelings with disregard for practicality.

SIDEKICK

Action Characteristic: The Sidekick supports, playing a kind of cheering section.

Decision Characteristic: It is almost gullible in the extent of its faith -- in the goal, in the Protagonist, in success, etc.

SKEPTIC

Action Characteristic: The Skeptic opposes -- everything.

Decision Characteristic: It disbelieves everything, doubting courses of action, sincerity, truth -- whatever.

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