The Hero Archetype – A needed role model.
For the first post of this blog, I wanted to start with something to inspire both you and me. What better to inspire than a hero?
In today’s modern world that increasingly disapproves of masculinity, it is really important to have the right framework to adopt and grow into. We are presently dealing with a generation of young men struggling to find their identity and understanding their roles in the society.
As fathers, we want our sons to get inspired by role models and get to know their masculine energy. We want them to embrace their powers and strength to succeed in life and set an example for others. Legendary heroes and other characters have always inspired children and youth to overcome challenges and do their best.
As a son, you probably have thought about plenty of superheroes that you could imitate. Most likely you are looking up to some of them as well as a role model.
The Hero is one of the most popular archetypes in the society. Introducing ourselves to the representation of this masculine persona is a great way to instill the powers we want to see in both ourselves and our sons as they grow. Apart from the traditional hero motifs, modern day characters exhibit the hero archetypal pattern. A plethora of modern male hero figures can serve as an inspiration to the generation that molds the future of the world.
In this post, we discuss the hero archetype, its significance and interpretation, some popular examples and the traits I want my sons to adopt to become a living legend in this modern world.
The Hero Archetype – What Is An Archetypal Hero?
We have always seen the Hero as the most enduring archetypes in our society. The ancient mythology represented some of the earliest motifs of the hero. Characters from the Greek and Roman tales provide a symbolism of the behavior and traits and the guideline for the journey of any male.
An archetypal hero is a motif based on overcoming the obstacles and achieving goals. The main trait of the hero is overcoming monsters. It symbolizes the unconscious self of a man and manifests itself as the combination of all other archetypes. This means it consists of the persona of a father as well and represents one’s own father as his role model. This is why (as a father), you need to become great as well for your sons.
As described in myths and legends, the hero generally undertakes lots of struggles, fights monsters and comes out victorious. He is an ideal masculine type who leaves everything behind him and proceeds towards his goals. Our sons need to realize that they all have an inner hero and they are on a journey of life that resembles the journey of the hero in many ways.
Carl Jung Hero Archetype
Carl Jung has proposed the existence of archetypes as universal symbols coming from the collective unconscious. These Jungian images or symbols can guide and inspire the masculine behavior and identity of our sons. If our sons are teenagers, they too might have the feeling of independence. They seek to reduce their dependence on parents and take part in activities that test their abilities to overcome fears. They want to prove to themselves and others that they are ‘men’ and have the strength to overcome anything that comes their way.
The Hero’s only goal is to expand personal independence, leave behind any feminine influence and get into manhood to the fullest. It represents the last of the boyhood archetypes and the optimum of the psychological development in boys. It is the final stage of development before our boys can enter manhood. It describes the psychological journey to return to one’s unique potential and emotions which Carl Jung calls the process of transformation. It is this journey that we want our sons to realize and undertake to reach their full potential.
Our media is the primary reference for our children. It celebrates the hero archetype and most films and drama revolve around superheroes. While this representation is often considered a sign of masculinity in our culture, it should be understood as an advanced form of a boy. The purpose of this archetype is to push our boys’ limits, to challenge and inspire him to aspire and to call upon the courage to overcome obstacles.
Popular Hero Archetype Examples
One of the most popular examples of the Hero archetype is ‘Star Wars’. It describes a hero’s journey in a way that can inspire our boys. The story begins as just a farm boy and the character transforms into a Hero at the end of the first trilogy, saving the galaxy from evil.
Some of the common examples of the Heroes in literature include Harry Potter, Beowulf and Katniss from the most loved stories among teens.
In ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ film trilogy, Frodo Baggins and Bilbo Baggins serve as classic examples of the Hero archetypes. They start their life as ordinary Hobbits who live under the hill but undertake an adventure as the Dwarves and Gandalf approach them. Through their journey, they fight the dark lord and dragons before undergoing a transformation.
As described in the Old Testament, the story of Moses has multiple resemblance to the Hero archetype. He was born an orphan and had to fight fears before he could return to his people with Ten Commandments. In this story, not only did Moses undergo a transformation but the entire tribe of Israelite’s got inspired by his journey.
The most popular of all, as modern children and teens love, are the superhero films like Avengers and Justice League as well as epic adventures like Cars and Toy Story which are all centered around the Hero archetype.
Characteristics of a Hero – What You Should Become?
The most important characteristic that defines a hero is strength. Their strength resembles the superpower of the comic book hero. To inspire our sons to embrace these traits, we should encourage them to harness such a power that others look at them as strong.
Heroes often have a clear direction and are great decision makers as they sense their journey clearly. A hero has a strong inner compass that guides him towards fulfillment of the life mission. Heroes are self protective and hard to get through. It is a real challenge for heroes to be vulnerable.
The journey of our sons should be their own and they should be ready to help others along the way while serving them inspiration. This archetype should inspire our boys to have the drive to come out with flying colors in whatever they do. They should not attempt what they think they will not do good at. They would want to be the best. This quality makes them perfectionists.
Heroes love hurdles and challenges. They like overcoming difficulties and would not enjoy something that comes easily. They are highly determined and never discouraged. An important part of the life of a hero’s journey is dealing with the dark side of the things. A hero must face the darkness all by himself.
To become a hero, our boys should be encouraged not to be satisfied with mediocrity and push themselves towards continuous improvement. They should strive to achieve the best and the highest. They should be willing to do things alone and not expect too much help. They should be thriving on the sense of achievement that comes from doing things alone.
And we as fathers, should encourage them to explore and become brave and strong.
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