Archetypes in The Little Mermaid

8 August 2016

There are four archetype characters that are prominant in The Little Mermaid. They include Ariel as the hero, Flounder and Sebastian as the hunting companions, and Ursala as the devil figure. Some of these characters have a color or situational archetype that surround them. Ariel, the main character, is seen as the hero of the movie. She shows characteristics of a hero when she risks her own life to save other people and again when she fights the evil Ursula to become a human.

This archetype reveals the inner-strength of this character, while she seems to be a simple-minded young girl; we realize by the end of the film that she is very strong minded and cunning. She is also tied into the star-crossed lovers archetype, as she falls in love with a human, while she is a mermaid. Flounder and Sebastian, a fish and a crab, can be seen as Ariel’s hunting companions. An example of when this archetype is shown is when Flounder ventures with Ariel into the abandoned ship, even though he doesn’t want to.

Archetypes in The Little Mermaid Essay Example

Another example could be when Sebastian tries to help Ariel get the prince to fall in love with her. This archetype reveals that these to characters are not inconsequential, and help aid Ariel on her quest. Ursula, the witch, is considered the devil figure of The Little Mermaid. Throughout the movie there are many examples of this, the biggest one might be considered when she attempts to kill Ariel and the prince after her plan to take King Trition’s throne is ruined. It shows that she is completely evil and has no hope of redemption.

Thus it pinpoints her as the devil figure. The archetype color black is coupled with her to show the viewer he true intentions throughout the movie. The over-all archetype symbolism displayed throughout the movie is the Heaven vs. Hell archetype. Indicating that Ursuala would represent hell, or the devil and Ariel would represent heaven or an innocent angel. This knowledge helps us better understand the purpose of the film by providing the viewer with a clear concept of what the roles of the characters are throughout the movie.

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