Hercules Archetypes

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Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung created an approach to mythology that completely and utterly opposed all other methods used in other psychologies. This approach to mythology rested on the notion of archetypes and it is in the archetype that we find the crux of Jung’s analysis. Steven Walker asserts, “...myths are essentially culturally elaborated representations of the contents of the deepest recesses of the human psyche: the world of archetypes” (Walker 4). These archetypes are most commonly elucidated upon with examples like the shadow, the positive animus, the negative animus, and the self. All of these archetypes in Jungian analysis of mythology are manifestations of the instinct, or mans physiological urges. One of these physiological…show more content…
These archetypes then present themselves from the perspective of the dreamer, but for these archetypes to present themselves, the dreamer must be thrown into a situation. When Hercules is born, Hades, the embodiment of the shadow (what Hercules must overcome) and the negative animus, is told that Hercules will one day foil his plan to overthrow Zeus and take over Mount Olympus. Hades then sends his minions Pain and Panic, also embodiments of the negative animus, to dispose of the immortal being. They snatch the boy out of Mount Olympus, feed him a serum that would make him mortal, but forget to have him drink a small drop and so he retains some of his Godly powers. We then see years later that Hercules was adopted and raised by mortal farmers and that he still retained some strength, but feels like he does not belong where he is and thus sets out on a quest towards individuation, to achieve the self, or in other words the embodiment of a characters wholeness or goal. This begins his journey and along the way he learns that his father is Zeus who gives him his first positive animus,…show more content…
At this point, Hercules has become a hero and encounters Meg who initially is a negative anima under the control of Hades. Hercules saves Meg and it is at this point that he begins to fall in love with her, further referencing to Walkers claim that the anima is usually a person of the opposite sex which the dreamer is sexually attracted to. Thus, throughout the movie, Meg becomes a positive anima, a helpless heroine that has little control over the situation at hand but tries her best to become the positive anima which Hercules needs. Hades throws many beasts at Hercules and each time Hercules seems to destroy the beasts easily and he is the hero of all of Greece. However, when Hades forces Meg to discover Hercules’ weakness, Meg and Hercules go on a “date,” wherein Meg falls in love with Hercules and then tells Hades that he has no weakness. It is at this point that Hades discovers that his weakness is his love for Meg and he uses this to weaken Hercules so that he may unleash the Titans and take over Mount Olympus. The episodes, or encounters with the many archetypes that Hercules meets along his journey, have all served as a progression to achieve

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