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Archetypal stories last over time because they speak directly to fundamental truths about the human condition.
Common archetypical stories among all cultures that persist throughout human history:
Overcoming the Monster (Hero, Villain)
Rags to Riches
The Quest (Determination, Perseverance)
Voyage and Return (Odyssey)
Ask yourself, which archetype am I? The answer? You’re all of them at the same time. That’s what makes them relatable. You see them in your everyday life, in the people around you, as well as within yourself. You see them in the TV shows and movies that you watch; in the video games that you play; and in the stories that you read. You hear about them in the news and through social media. We’re surrounded by them. They are a constant and inescapable companion throughout our lives.
Lets examine the hero archetype. The hero’s story begins with a call to adventure, to confront an injustice or cause of suffering. The second part of the story is the ascendancy of the hero. In this phase the hero makes significant advancement against the injustice and is perceived to be invincible. In the third part of the hero’s story, the primary villain is introduced and the hero begins to question his vulnerability. The forth phase of the story is the darkest part of the story; seemingly all is lost; the hero is on the edge of defeat. The fourth phase ends with an “Its always darkest before the light”, or a sort-of rebirth/awakening moment. The fifth part pits the hero against the villain in a final battle with the hero prevailing. The sixth and final phase, having reached transcendence, the hero is presented to the people.