Archetypal Characters

Anti-Hero: A central character that lacks the traits of a traditional hero and is often self-absorbed and worries very little about the characters around them. They are often isolated and act as an outcast.

Byronic Hero: A seemingly ideal hero, though one with a hidden dark side. Byronic Heroes usually have a troubled and mysterious past, the weight of which causes them to be weary and cynical. They generally are very charismatic, gaining them many fans, though they have little attachment for others and prefer to act as lone wolves.

Epic Hero: 

Martyr: A character that is put to death or endures great suffering on behalf of any belief, principle, or cause.

Messiah: A character whose role in the story (but not necessarily personality) echoes that of Christ. They are portrayed as a savior, whether the thing they are saving is a person, a lot of people or the whole of humanity. They endure a sizable sacrifice as a means of bringing salvation about for others, a fate that they do not deserve up to and including their death.

Persona: A façade. A false face that an individual puts on in social settings to hide their true self / agenda.

Proto-Feminist Hero: A female heroine who is able to rise above patriarchal cultural bias.

Self: The soul of a character. Who they truly are beneath the surface.

Shadow: They are a physical manifestation on the dark side of the protagonist’s psyche (IE: their repressed urges).

Tragic Hero: A character in a dramatic tragedy that is destined for a downfall, suffering, or defeat. Suffers from a fatal character flaw and/or faces odds or a force that is insurmountable.

Tragic Villain: A character who, although acting for primarily ‘evil’ or selfish goals, is either not in full control of their actions or emotions and the reader or viewer can sympathize for due to them not being evil by choice; but rather by them being a victim of circumstance. These villains can face a crisis of conscience in which they submit to doing evil. These villains often have confused morals believing that they are doing moral when in fact they are doing evil.

Trickster: Individual who points out the flaws in carefully constructed societies. He rebels against authority and pokes fun at the overly serious. He creates convoluted schemes. He exists to question and to cause us to question and not accept things blindly. He appears when a way of thinking that has become outmoded and needs to be torn down and built anew. He is the destroyer of worlds.