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Jungian Character Archetypes

Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung introduced the concept of archetypes as models of people, behaviours or personalities. He suggested archetypes were inborn tendancies that play a role in influencing human behaviour.

The archetypes represent universal patterns that cross eras, borders and cultures, but are expressed in different ways across various stories, art, myths, dreams and religions.

Below are succinct summaries of Jungian personality types to inspire and inform character development - including both positive and negative traits for more interesting, realistic characters.

Scroll down to see the information in a colourful infographic.

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Innocent

Innocents are the exemplars of optimism, and will always be kind and trusting. This means they help make the world a nicer, brighter place, but that they may sometimes need a reality check when their rose-tinted glasses cloud their vision of the truth.

Everyperson

The everyperson believes that everyone is equal, and that everyone belongs. They are honest and hardworking, but may create resistance if a leader tries to take the reins.

Hero

The hero is one who aims high and demonstrates discipline, focus and courage. They inspire those around them, leading teams to victory, but their uncompromising mentality can lead to burnout and even aggression.

Caregiver

Caregivers are responsive, consistent and trustworthy. They are natural parents, offering an ear, a hand and a shoulder to those in need. However, their support could grow excessive, leading to martyrdom and dependency.

Explorer

Trail blazers, Explorers don’t like to follow the map - they’d prefer to see what’s off the edge of it. Often with a childlike curiosity and enthusiasm they like to set their own agenda, but their unilateral ‘wherever I lay my hat’ attitude can make it hard for them to fit in with others.

Lover

Natural artists and connoisseurs, Lovers delight in giving all five senses the experience of a lifetime. They believe money is there to be spent on the good things, but can be overly susceptible to flattery.

Revolutionary

Revolutionaries believe rules are made to be broken, and the status quo is there to be challenged. They can bring true innovation and real change, but they might leave some damage in their wake.

Creator

Creators combine art with science, finding fluidity in order. They believe that inventions must be both beautiful and functional. Take this two far however, and Creators risk becoming mired in the frustration of their own pursuit of perfection.

Ruler

Rulers are the ones who naturally step into the lead and start giving orders – and everyone falls in line. They make things happen with the force of their personality, but may put others’ noses out of joint in doing so.

Magician

Big dreams and transformation lead the Magicians. They dazzle with their ability to accomplish the impossible and force those around them to adjust their perspectives. But doing the undoable takes great energy and they may struggle to maintain levels of expectation, and may burn out.

Sage

Methodical and objective, Sages like to have all the information and take their time coming to the best, evidence-based decision. They are smart to the point of nerdy, but their systematic approach may try the patience of those around them, and sometimes real life doesn’t give us all the information we need.

Jester

Jesters are innovative and outspoken, and people are drawn to their fun-loving attitude. They can take the pain out of life’s hardest moments, and lift us with a smile and a joke. Their downfall comes when times call for a bit more gravity, and they may be judged tasteless or foolish.

 

Jungian Character Archetypes for Novel Writers

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