South Orangetown Central School District

It was a battle of the literary archetypes at Tappan Zee High School last week! Twelfth-grade English students participated in a M-Archetype Madness Championship to prove what literary character best reflects one of the twelve literary archetypes. This project was originally meant to be a competition within each English class but senior Anthony D. recommended that it be expanded to a multi-class competition. TZHS English teachers Laura Sorrese-Lefkow, Diane McLoughlin, Susan Gleeson and Alex Tsironis worked together to create this fun and exciting event that ultimately engaged six senior English classes.

 “We were looking for a way to allow our second-semester seniors to reflect on the literature they read during high school. This project allowed them to do that and refresh their collaboration skills. We also wanted there to be a strong public speaking component to prepare them for college and life after high school,” said Sorrese-Lefkow. 

Students worked together to create a multimedia presentation proving that their character exemplified a specific archetype–a set of traits or qualities in a character that are easily identifiable. The characters and archetypes that were presented included: 

  • Juror 8 from “12 Angry Men”-The Hero
  •   Piggy from “Lord of the Flies”- The Innocent
  •   John Proctor from “The Crucible”- The Outlaw
  • Juliet Capulet from “Romeo & Juliet”- The Lover
  •   General Zaroff from “The Most Dangerous Game”- The Ruler
  •   Chris Chambers from “The Body”- The Caregiver

 As emcee, Anthony created a special, literature-inspired playlist for the event. Each presentation included a theme song, pop culture comparisons (including film adaptations of the book) and character quotes to support each group’s thesis. After the final presentations, students and staff voted Piggy as The Innocent as the winner and the winning group were awarded the M-Archetype Madness Champion belt.

“It was very rewarding to see the project grow into such an epic event due to student interest,” said Sorrese-Lefkow. “It was truly an English teacher’s dream come true to see a packed house of students cheering on their classmates over literary characters.”

M-Archetype Madness at TZHS