top of page


Updated: Apr 24, 2022

The Innocent Archetype

There are twelve main literary archetypes derived from Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung's findings. The Innocent is one of the twelve:

As the adjective indicates, the Innocent archetype, would represent a character who is innocent, naive and vulnerable as well as kind, honest and righteous. The character Marina from the play Pericles, Prince of Tyre — believed to be written in part by William Shakespeare and perhaps a collaborator George Wilkins — is an example of the Innocent.

Marina responds thus to Leonine who is tasked with killing her by his lady Dionyza, wife of Cleon, the governor of Tarsus:

Why would she have me kill'd? Now, as I can remember, by my troth, I never did her hurt in all my life: I never spake bad word, nor did ill turn To any living creature: believe me, la, I never kill'd a mouse, nor hurt a fly: I trod upon a worm against my will, But I wept for it. How have I offended, Wherein my death might yield her any profit, Or my life imply her any danger?


Marina's defence fits squarely with the qualities attributed to the Innocent. She comes across as naive, vulnerable, kind, honest and righteous.



bottom of page