This episode dives into one of the most widely-used character archetypes in myth, literature, and cinema: the damsel in distress. The story of the beautiful damsel, who always finds herself in need of rescuing, goes back thousands of years and can be found in cultures all over the world. Why is the damsel in distress such a universal character type, and why has it persisted to this day?


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    • Black, Valeria. “All You Need to Know About the Classic Damsel in Distress.” Medium, The Writing Cooperative, 28 June 2017,
    • Campbell, Kit. “Character Archetypes: The Damsel in Distress.” Where Landsquid Fear to Tread, 9 June 2015,
    • “Damsel in Distress Aka: Distressed Damsel.” TV Tropes, 9 Nov. 2019,
    • “Damsel in Distress  .” Damsel in Distress, The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia, 24 Apr. 2011,
    • Farah, Troy. “Dystropia: How The Damsel in Distress Has Evolved.” LitReactor, 31 Oct. 2013,
    • Kwan, Trixie. “Damsel in Distress.” The Star Online, ANN, 11 Feb. 2006,
    • “Mythology and Archetypes: ‘A Damsel in Distress.’” Owlcation, Owlcation, 7 Oct. 2016,
    • Solis, Michael A. “The Damsel in Distress.” Rutgers University, Rutgers University, 2017,
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About the Author
Sarah Duncan is a lean manufacturing coach for a pharmaceutical company. Her ADD combined with excessive creative energy have led to many outlandish pursuits and activities over the years, including 20+ years as a dancer and choreographer, a brief stint competing in sprint triathlons, and performing in the Raleigh musical theater scene. For years, Sarah has been fascinated with how romance and passion have frequently changed the course of history. Salacious History evolved out of Sarah’s love of history, pop culture, and podcasting.

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