The archetypes of men is a seriously valid, and sometimes sadly familiar topic. We say this initially with a peppering of lowliness, as on average man today is experiencing a major identity crisis due to the erosion of our societal structures, shifts in gender roles and the disappearance of strong role models. Archetypes have traditionally served men as image-makers, giving them a sense of maturity, legacy and helping them define what it means to be a man. And never before have we faced the kind of conflict that meets the male today. Men are being forced to redefine themselves, yet it is not without some kind of battle that one truly finds himself.
The warrior is not necessarily someone who is armed to the hilt ready to strike with violence like a tyrant, but is rather a well trained, strategic and passionate force against violence. He is willing to meet any threat that is upon his safety and that of his loved ones. He is committed to uphold his values and principles that guide and define his life. Warriorship is not only about physical training and preparedness; it is an attitude and a stance one takes in life, in every arena of experience.
William Wallace (Braveheart)
A 13th century tale of a young boy who tasted the bitterness of war, with the premature death of his father and brother at the hands of the English. Despite this, William returns to his hometown as an adult with desires only of marrying his childhood love and raising a family in peace. It is only when those dreams and his birthright to freedom are destroyed, that his life path becomes a journey of fighting for those incapable of defending themselves and their families. A true man of influence and leadership, he rides into war inspiring the down trodden and forgotten who would otherwise live their lives under the tyranny of an overwhelming enemy. Even in his hour of his death, by means of torture, his last word exemplified the core symbol of his life, “freedom”.
Rob Roy (Honour)
Rob Roy was a man who valued his honour above all else. Set in the highlands of Scotland in the 1700s, Rob Roy tries to lead his small town to a better future, by borrowing money from the local nobleman to buy cattle to herd to market. When treachery and misfortune cause financial burden to Rob Roy and and the community he represents, Rob refuses to compromise his honour to create an easy solution to his plight by slandering a just nobleman. in doing so, Rob’s world is attacked. He is beaten and imprisoned, his wife raped and his community threatened. Rob’s character reminds us if we can’t maintain honour and integrity above all else in this world, we are at the brink of losing the very essence of our manhood, and respect from our fellow peers.
Rocky is the classic underdog, a small time boxer, with average prospects and expectations. When he gets the chance of a life time to fight a champion boxer, everyone chants that Rocky’s only moment of credibility will be that he’s a ‘nobody’ potentially being ‘somebody’ for a few rounds, only to be knocked down again. Yet Rocky humbly finds himself with an opportunity to elevate himself out of the world of mediocrity and society’s label of ‘good for nothing’. What he lacked in his speed and technique, he made up for in heart as he knew his greatest fight was not about fame and wealth, it was about winning respect.
Avatar (Jake Sully)
A disabled solider who was disheartened gets a second chance in rebuilding his life by being assigned to a special military project. Far from earth, and with no familiarity, Jake is looked upon by his peers as an abomination and his identity as a man is nonexistent, yet the completion of his assignment promises restoration to his disabled legs. While living with so called savages Jake discovers the true beauty of life, and the intricate web between nature and its inhabitants. Slowly over time and mentored by the Tribe’s daughter whom he falls in love with, Jake realises that the world he now lives in, is far more valuable than the resource that the marines are sent to extract. This revelation causes Jake to choose between his loyalty to his race, and his ability to walk again and doing what’s right in protecting a world with a spiritual reverence and love for its people…a world he now calls his home.
This is an epic tale of a powerful Roman general who served his country well and lead the undefeated Roman army under the reign of the aging emperor Marcus Aurelius. When the emperor’s son discovers his father’s plans to have Maximus succeed him, to protect his own future he murders his father, betrays Maximus and destroys all that has meaning to Maximus’ life.
Wounded and enslaved, Maximus finds the strength and courage to win the respect of his fellow Gladiators and the hearts of the Roman people, to conquer an emperor and free Rome of a dark future under his reign.
In identifying the destructive nature of the young emperor, Commodus, Maximus understood that his life purpose was much larger than himself.
With greed, jealousy and the madman underneath the gold and jewels Maximus knew the people of Rome would suffer if he didn’t commit his strength and endurance to the justice that needed to prevail. Even in his last moment, a strong will and a heart pushed forward to overpower a cunning opponent. Even the most enslaved have the ability to conquer nations.
And what we do in life, goes into eternity.
Others Worthy of Mention
Leading men from Game of Thrones.