An archetype is a universal role, motif, or pattern of behavior that evokes meaning and can be copied in a way that we all understand. Archetypes are often used in storytelling, myths, plays, and spiritual teachings across cultures: the fairy godmother, the wise old man, the magician, the outlaw, the caregiver, the jester. In psychology, archetypes were brought to light by Swiss psychotherapist Carl Jung, who believed that archetypes are human patterns emerging from our collective unconscious that transcend the individual and connect us all. Jung described four types of archetypes that allow us to find wholeness: persona, shadow, anima/animus, and self. Many people have utilized all forms of archetypes to help create ways to understand ourselves, our behaviors, and our identities.
Joseph Campbell continues exploring C.G. Jung’s idea of the Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious by looking at Jung’s concept of the Shadow - the aspects of one’s personality that one has submerged - and looks at how it serves as a wellspring for dream and myth.