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Monday, July 1, 2013

Character Archetypes 101: The King

We've arrived at the last of the archetype series, and I've got The King on the couch. It's been a fun 12+ weeks, and I imagine there will be some follow-up posts to round out things, but for now, I don't want to keep The King waiting. (He's extremely busy, you know.) He's also known as The Leader, Monarch, Politician, Boss, Chief, Administrator, and Aristocrat.

The "Good"

The King is naturally authoritarian, powerful, and confident, competently carrying many responsibilities and maintaining disciplined, goal-oriented ideals. They have strong personal values and are respected for how they orchestrate the complexities of life by being systematic, detail-oriented, organized, level-headed, and perceptive.

Kings like to use their influence to make things better, whether this is in their work or home environment. It's very fulfilling for them to demonstrate how shrewd and intelligent they are and motivate others to do the same. Kings get things done, period.

They want to empower others to do their best, and they are challenged to create atmospheres were the gifts and perspectives of others are valued and utilized to their greatest capacity. They are often wonderful protectors and peacemakers, able to find common ground among disparate entities. 

The "Bad"

Kings do like outward evidences of status. They often are over the top with their dress, car, home, these are all lavish trappings of success and prestige. Their image
can become paramount to the work and talent that they have.

Kings are susceptible to being corrupt by the sheer amount of power available to them. This can make them harsh or unfeeling in the government of others and manipulatively use their power to dominate instead of defend. Maintaining this type of delusional power and control makes the tyrannical King very insecure, and any perceived threats to his authority are met with anger and swift, reckless punishment and/or abuse.

Kings can also get bogged down in the policies and procedures of their world and become overly hierarchical. Possibly Kings might suffer from an inability to delegate, or even abdicate his position to others, kowtowing to them instead of making his own decisions. Kings can often suffer from paranoia, that people are "out to get them," which may or may not be true, based on what kind of person they are and if they show that to others.

Likely Goals

To be in control
To prosper sphere of influence
To be protectors
To be respected/revered

Likely Fears

To be overthrown
To be in chaos/disarray
To abdicate responsbilitiy
To be corrupt (or caught if corrupt)

Examples in the Media

Sandra Bullock as Margaret Tate in The Proposal
Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as Vito Corleone and Michael Corleone in The Godfather
Candice Bergen as Murphy Brown in Murphy Brown
Ben Kingsley as Gandhi in Gandhi 
Lucy in Charles M. Schulz's comic strip Peanuts
Elizabeth Taylor as Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew
Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes in The Aviator
Lucy in the comic strip Peanuts
Colin Firth as Fitzgerald Darcy in Pride and Prejudice
Viggo Mortenson as Aragorn in The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

Archetypes Who've Completed Therapy

The Innocent                  The Lover
The Orphan                     The Creator
The Hero                          The Jester
The Caregiver            The Sage
The Explorer              The Magician 
The Rebel

Let's Analyze

Now that we've completed the series proper, what sorts of information would you like to see tying it all together? Sky's the limit.