Grant Weigel #20Honors World LiteratureArchetype ProjectGold 4
The chief archetype can be associated with your classic hero. These heroes are the natural leaders who have go on quests to achieve certain goals. They tend to be full of pride and use their power to their advantage however some are also humble and put others needs before their own. They are also usually excellent warriors and the kings of whatever land they inhabit.
One of the first epic poems , it originally came from the Sumerian culture. It tells the story of the ruler of Uruk, Gilgamesh, who is two thirds god and one third man. Gilgamesh is full of pride so in order to bring him down to earth the gods send Enkidu to fight him. This plan fails however as Enkidu and Gilgamesh become best friends. During the course of their friendship they rid the land of many evils. Ishatar the goddess of love falls in love with Gilgamesh but he rejects her. Her father Anu, the father of the gods, sends the bull of heaven to kill Gilgamesh. However he and Enkidu defeat it. Because they kill the bull one of them must die and Enkidu is chosen because he isnt part god. Gilgamesh grieves when Enkidu dies and embarks on the journey to achieve eternal life. He seeks Utnapishtim who was granted eternal life by the gods after he survived the flood and he almost receives eternal life but it is stolen from him by a serpent. What Gilgamesh learns is to enjoy the time he has on earth as well as to live in harmony with both his divine and moral attributes. After learning this he returns to Uruk where he resumes his reign as king.
Gilgamesh represents the chief archetype because he is the king of Uruk and he is a natural leader. He is also a great warrior which he proves by beating many evils with Enkidu. Finally he embarks on a quest which in this case is for eternal life and even though he does not succeed he comes back a wiser and more just ruler. The Sumerians portray the chief archetype in this epic as someone who has power and can do whatever they want but when tested they fight for good and for who and what they believe in.
The Odyssey is a Greek epic poem written by Homer. Odysseus goes to fight in the Trojan war but is prevented from returning home and so he gets lost at sea. While he is away his wife has to deal with the suitors in his homeland of Ithaca who think he is dead. Odysseus is lost at sea with his crew for around 20 years and eventually returns to Ithaca where he and his son, Telemachus, defeat the suitors and restore order to their kingdom. In this Epic the chief archetype is depicted as a hero who must overcome many challenges to reach his final goal. Along the way Odysseus shows the true characteristics of a leader by keeping his crew together and inspiring them to overcome the many challenges that they face. He perseveres through adversity and eventually is successful in returning home and restoring peace.
In the Indian epic the Ramayana the main hero, Rama, has his wife abducted by the evil king Ravana who has ten heads. Rama looked everywhere for his wife but he couldn’t find her so he asked Hamuman the king of the monkeys for help. The monkeys found Sita for Rama so goes to where she is help captive and battles Ravana. Rama gets divine aid from the gods and he defeats Ravana using a divine weapon given to him by the gods and he recues Sita. The chief archetype portrayed in this epic is most similar to the odyssey because Rama overcomes many obstacles throughout the story to conquer the evil and rescue his wife just as Odysseus did.
In the ancient Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf, Beowulf journeys into a rival country to help the protect people there from an evil monster, Grendel. Beowulf fights Grendel one night with his bare hands and rips Grendel’s arm off at the shoulder and Grendel then eventually dies. Beowulf is celebrated as a hero but then Grendel’s mom comes for revenge and Beowulf fights her in her underwater lair and brings Grendels head back as a trophy. After defeating the two monsters Beowulf is treated like a son by the king and Beowulf later becomes the king of the country and is a very good and just ruler. However, when a dragon threatens the land Beowulf attempts to kill it to protect his people and he does end up killing the dragon but dies from the injuries sustained. Beowulf is an excellent representation of the chief archetype because he is your classic hero who goes into a foreign land and rids the land of evils. However unlike some heroes, Beowulf doesn’t get greedy from the power he remains a just ruler, is humble, and he cares for his people which set him apart from some of the other examples of the chief archetype such as Gilgamesh.
In ancient Greek mythology the chief archetype can be found in various stories. Perhaps the best representation though is Theseus. Theseus was the renowned hero of Athens. He was strong and courageous and he was also the king of Athens. He led the Athenian army to many victories and he developed Athenss democracy. Theseus also slayed the minotaur on Crete which took immense courage. He is similar to Beowulf in that he was selfless and put others needs before his own and he was known for helping the poor and oppressed. These qualities make a true chief and he is an excellent hero and a natural leader
The Lord of the Flies is an American story in which a plane crashes on an isolated island and the only survivors are a large group of boys. The boys vote on Ralph as their leader and they come up with plans for their rescue as well as how they ought to live and what rules they will follow. However Jack breaks away from Ralph because he doesn’t agree and he mainly wants to hunt and have fun. During the book Ralph represents the chief because he is the chosen leader of the boys, he outlines the basic rules as well as how they will be rescued, and he stays strong even when the other boys break away and he meets his goals and gets the boys rescued.
In this ancient Greek epic Aeneas and his comrades escape from Troy after the Trojan war and Aeneas learns that he will be the founder of the Roman Empire. He survives many challenges throughout his journey to Italy and inspires his troops to stay strong during their journey with him. When Aeneas is entrusted with a shield made by Vulcan depicting his prophecy it gives him new strength and when he and his army encounter Turnus and his troops in Italy a major battle ensues. Both leaders fight valiantly but in the end Aeneas slays Turnus and lays the foundation for the Roman Empire. Aeneas had to go many places before he arrived in Italy. He stayed in Carthage with Dido for a long time and he also had to journey to the underworld to see his father. However through all these obstacles he stayed true to his mission and laid the foundations of Rome. This shows his perseverance which is key for a chief. He was an excellent leader and during his journey he inspired his troops to stay with him the entire way and they were rewarded in the end.
This is an ancient African safari story. It tells of a man whose mother constantly was disappointed with him so he said every magical incantation he knew and the chair he was sitting on flew to the moon. When he got to the moon he started his journey looking for the moon chief and in return for information about the moon chief he worked for the people. He introduced the moon chief to fire and because of this he was hailed as a great magician and was praised by all. He was also given many gifts and became very wealthy. He returned to earth to show his parents how he had become wealthy and successful and he made a promise to the bull who carried him back that he would never eat him. Over time the family forgot about the one bull and killed him. As they were about to eat it, the meat talked to Murile and reminded him of the promise. Then the earth swallowed Murile up. In this Book Murile goes on a quest to prove himself to his parents and along the way he becomes very wealthy and is praised as a great magician. As we somewhat see with Gilgamesh the wealth makes Murile ignorant of his promise to the bull and in the end it leads to his death.
Julius Caesar is a story written by William Shakespeare. It tells the story of Julius Caesar who starts out as just a normal man but through friends and the army he work his way up the ranks of both the Roman army and the Roman government. HE becomes the consul of Rome and has an immense amount of power. The people of Rome thought he had too much power, especially a group of Roman senators. Led by Brutus Caesar’s best friend Caesar is assassinated because the senators think Caesar has too much power in the government and army. Only after he is dead do the Roman people realize what a great ruler Caesar was and Marc Antony tells the masses this in his famous speech. Caesar defied all odds to achieve his lofty status and is a great example of the chief archetype. He persevered through his life to achieve his goal of becoming consul. He was a perfect mix of an excellent military leader and a powerful senator. This combination helped him to become the most powerful man in Rome.