What is a Temptress Archetype?
As the title suggests, such archetype characters are female, young, beautiful, and seductive. Such a woman or lady could have multiple names and multiple identities. They could exist in reality or in dreams, or even in myths. Some of them are highly popular in the world of supernatural creatures, having supernatural powers, too. However, one thing among all of them common is that they are all temptresses having seductive powers of sexuality.
Types of Temptress Archetypes
As things stand that a temptress archetype character has multiple names and multiple identities, this archetype has several types. It could be the Siren or the Femme Fatale, as in Greek myths and even The Odyssey. Some of the types of temptress archetypes are as follows.
- The seductress archetype
- Femme Fatale
- Charmer archetype
- Courtesan archetype
- Enchantress archetype
Character Traits of Temptress Archetype Characters
Although allurement is the key element of a temptress archetype, some of her character traits are unique for such a lady. She has her beauty to add to her allurement with seduction, intelligence, and wit to help her in her beauty. She is seemingly good and behaves in an ideal way to make her allurement effective and impactful. However, it is interesting to note that the negativity with her title does not match her real character, as she could have positive character traits despite being a temptress. Yet, this negativity goes with her archetype.
Negative Traits of Temptress Archetype Characters
The negativity of the temptress archetype character lies in the very term, temptress. It seems that she lures characters to her, causing them to be blind to the danger lurking in her. She uses her persona to grind her own axe even if it causes harm to the victim or her prey. This allurement lies in her femininity and sexuality. Despite having a superior position, several such archetypes undergo exploitation when it comes to their survival. This negativity undermines her position to be the heroin of the storyline.
Temptress Archetype Character Examples in Literature
Calypso and the Sirens in The Odyssey by Homer
Both are temptress archetype characters as both play one or the other tempting cards on Odysseus to stop him from his homeward journey. Calypso is very successful in that she is successful in barring him on her island for more than seven years. On the other hand, the sirens also prove a highly strong temptation for Odysseus to stop his homeward journey or at least prove an obstacle. Both are good temptress archetype characters.
la belle dame sans merci by John Keats
The lady appearing in this poem is a perfect example of an enchantress or temptress character as she consoles the knight, makes him become satisfied with his life, and then leaves when he goes to sleep. In fact, she tempts him to become what she wants him and he does not feel being tempted. Therefore, this short role of the belle shows her a good temptress archetype example.
Nana in Nana by Emily Zola
Although, from the face of it, the storyline presents the simple story of Nana undergoing her best character period as being a popular and elite prostitute, she is actually a danger. Even though she has just started her career as a stage actor and dancer, the penchant of the Parisians with her peak hours and her physical shape reaches its climax, and she proves a good temptress for the entire Paris city. Therefore, she is a good example of this type of archetype character.
Arabella in Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
Although Jude is a simple and innocent, hardworking teacher, Arabella proves a temptress for him in that she forces him to have relationships with her merely because of her condition of being pregnant. Although they part ways, Jude learned how to be exploited by beautiful ladies. Later, Sue also played the same trick with him, causing the family to suffer endlessly though this role is very short as Arabella also returns.