Author Marji Laine did a number of posts on her blog explaining the archetypes of heroes and heroines. I loved her analysis of the different types and her comparison to various book and movie characters. Today, she's sharing an overview of these types of heroes. On November 20, Marji will be back, giving equal opportunity to heroines.--Sandy
Marji: Crafting great heroes is essential to a story. Many best-selling authors would argue that the plot begins within the depths of the main character.
The book by Tami D. Cowden helps with this task. Discovering the archetypes of the main characters means being able to anticipate how they should react to their circumstances.
Here are the 16 types, loosely connected to Hippocrates temperaments and Carl Jung’s personality categories.
- is the boss. (Hippocrates=Choleric, Jung=Executive) Will do whatever necessary to succeed. Viewed as tactless and cold. Believes the end justifies the means. Thrives on conflict. Think Joe Fox in “You’ve Got Mail,” Yul Brenner’s character in “The King and I,” or Nick Fury in “The Avengers.”
- is confident. (Hippocrates=Choleric/Sanguine, Jung=Protector) Will also do whatever necessary, but success is more altruistic. He doesn’t flinch from conflict, nor will he fail. Think “Captain America,” Atticus Finch in “To Kill A Mockingbird,” or the Scarlet Pimpernell.
- is the expert. (Hippocrates=Melancholy/Choleric, Jung=Scientist) Focused and oblivious to everything outside his task, he avoids interaction with people, but will work long hours to accomplish his goals. Think Sherlock Holmes, Columbo, and Mr. Spock from Star Trek.
- is a drifter. (Hippocrates=Sanguine/Choleric, Jung=Mechanic) He has trust issues and prefers to work alone. He appears to care little about anything, and loves to break rules. Think Danny Zuko from “Grease,” Ren McCormick from “Footloose,” and Huckleberry Finn.
- has a creative mind. (Hippocrates=Melancholy/Phlegmatic, Jung=Artist) He cares about everything, though detaches from the life around him. He searches for healing, for forgiveness, for something to make him feel. Think Charlie Brown, Patrick Swayze’s character in “Dirty Dancing,” and the Beast in “Beauty and the Beast.”
- is laid-back and easy going. (Hippocrates=Phlegmatic/melancholy, Jung=Duty Filler) He is people-oriented but has trouble making decisions and doesn’t like center stage. Steady and dependable, he can vary from a hard-working style to a lazy style, depending on the character. Think George Bailey from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Sheriff Andy Taylor, and Frasier.
- is a salesman. (Hippocrates=Sanguine, Jung=Performer) All talk, little substance, and skilled at manipulation. Cares nothing about people, but will follow rules, pushing them to their limits. Think the Music Man, Maverick, Ferris Beuller, and James Bond.
- loves action. (Hippocrates=Sanguine/Choleric, Jung=Doer) Extreme-sports enthusiast, he’s in it for the ride. Low commitment levels. High involvement. Cares little for people, but loves an adrenaline rush. Think Indiana Jones, Peter Pan, Tom Cruise’s character in “Top Gun,” and Iron Man.