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The Trickster or Fox Archetype

The Trickster or Fox Archetype

The trickster is an example of a Jungian archetype. This archetype is characterized by his wit and charm as his main defense in getting out of situations. The trickster in mythology, religion and folklore can be a god, animal, human who plays tricks and ignores rules.

The trickster breaks the rules, sometimes unconsciously but with ultimately positive effects. When they break the rules it is usually in the form of tricks or thievery. They are cunning or foolish and sometimes both.

One of the more famous tricksters in literature is Reynard the Fox. He was summoned to the court of King Leo the lion to answer for various crimes which he allegedly committed. Other animals like Bruin the Bear, Baldwin the Bear, Tybalt the Cat and Hirsent the she-Wolf gave testimony against him which Reynard always proves false by using different strategies and explanations that outwit the evidence of the accusers. In the end Reynard became a hero.

In modern media, Reynard has evolved into various trickster types like Bugs Bunny who always seem to outwit Elmer Fudge and Daffy Duck. Aladdin from the Disney movie is another hero-trickster type of character who used his “street rat” knowledge to win the hand of the princess Jasmine. We also have Wile E. Coyote who always plays tricks Roadrunner and was patterned after the Native American trickster figure Old Man Coyote.

Last updated on January 9, 2018 at 2:38 am. Word Count: 229