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The Wise Old Man Archetype

The Wise Old Man Archetype

The Wise Old Man archetype was described as Carl Jung as a person with great judgment and wisdom. The wise old man is sometimes referred to as the Sage.

This archetype is characterized by being old, bearded, father-figure type who uses his great personal knowledge of the world and offer guidance through stories and may impress upon his “student” who he could become, thereby taking the role of “mentor”.

Carl Jung described the Wise Old Man archetype as the” Sennex” or latin for “old man”. Historical examples of Sages in Greece are Solon of Athens who is credited with the political foundations for Athenian democracy. Chillon of Sparta from whom sayings like “Nothing in excess”, “honor old age” and “ do not laugh at other’s misfortune” came from.

In literature, they are Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series, Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda in Star Wars and Gandalf in Lord of the Rings.

In real life, the wise old men may be Benjamin Franklin who had great influence during the American Revolution and Jiyang Ziya the great military strategist and Prime Minister during the Zhou Dynasty of China

Wise Old Men allow the main protagonist to develop or to find themselves and their potential.

Last updated on January 9, 2018 at 2:30 am. Word Count: 205