Comprehending the anti-heroine: Scripting order amongst chaos through character archetypes

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


The objective of this article is to define the archetypal features of a television anti-heroine to aid screenwriters with the scripting of their own anti-heroine teleplay. Once this has been accomplished the article will present additional secondary character archetypes which are specific to the storyworld of the television anti-heroine. It will explore how archetypes offer ‘systems of meaning’ (Pryor & Bright 2008: 74), providing audiences a necessary entry point of comprehension. Ultimately the archetypes presented could be utilised to guide
screenwriters as they work to circumvent chaos and fragmentation while crafting the journey of their anti-heroine. Much of the literature centred on archetypal paradigms is heavily influenced by Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces and Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey. While these texts are of some use, they are inherently gender biased in favour of the hero. Therefore the vast majority of archetypes are not entirely compatible with the heroine, let alone an anti-heroine. It should be noted that the outcomes of this paper have
emerged from the author’s scripting of an anti-heroine teleplay, alongside case study textual analyses. To ensure the credibility of conclusions drawn, the article will first provide a short synopsis of their teleplay, Angela.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
JournalText (Australia)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • television
  • anti-heroine
  • characterisation
  • archetypes
  • screenwriting


Dive into the research topics of 'Comprehending the anti-heroine: Scripting order amongst chaos through character archetypes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this