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Psychological Archetypes

DOI: 10.4236/ojmp.2023.121001, PP. 1-16

Keywords: Psychological Archetypes, Medusa, Persephone, It, Harley Quinn, Vampires, Jekyll and Hyde, Langoliers

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Background: Psychological archetypes are according to Carl Jung universal, archaic patterns and images that are derived from the collective unconscious and are the psychic counterpart of an instinct. Besides fundamental Jungian archetypes (persona, shadow, anima, animus, great mother, wise old man, hero, self and self-realization), there may be plenty of other psychological archetypes, existence of which can be deduced indirectly through stories, art, myths, religions or dreams. Purpose: This review article is to discuss the myths of Medusa, Hades and Persephone, as well as psychological archetypes present in art and stories. Methods: Several famous psychological archetypes deducted from myths, art and culture, are presented in this article and discussed from medical, psychological and philosophical perspective. Results: Interpretation of psychological archetypes deduced from here presented myths and works of art are posttraumatic embitterment disorder (Medusa), arranged marriage (Hades and Persephone), duality of human nature (Jekyll and Hyde), shared psychosis (Harley Quinn and Joker), fear, phobias, child abuse and childhood traumas (It), instinctive fear of clinical and psychic/emotional vampirism (vampires), the mystery of time (Langoliers). Conclusion: Psychological archetypes represent the powerful source of artistic and scientific inspiration originating from collective unconscious. Research, discovery and understanding of psychological archetypes may be of great value as these reveal universal human thoughts, fears, desires, tendencies, and problems being present throughout the history of humankind. Investigation of psychological archetypes may significantly improve our knowledge of human psychology.


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