Characters on the Couch (Part 14)

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

This Follows on from: Characters on the Couch (Part 13). The first part can be found at: Characters on the Couch (Part 1).

The Sage Archetype

"The truth will set you free."

Sages seek the discovery of truth, knowledge and wisdom. They prize research and intelligence. Their aim is to understand the world. They also guiding others acting as mentors and teacher.

When they go wrong they may slip into inaction, forever debating the best solution in an ivory tower and never acting. At worst they become completely divorced from reality.

The shadow aspect of the Sage is visible in some modern televangelists and gurus of various traditions, who are more interested in financial gain and controlling their followers than in imparting genuine spiritual insight.
Janeway (Star Trek: Voyager), Obi Wan Kenobi (Star Wars), Yoda (Star Wars), Takashi Shimura in The Seven Samurai, Yul Brynner in The Magnificent Seven all serve this role. Sidney Poitier in To Sir with Love and Michael Caine in Educating Rita both provide complex portrayals of this archetype in a modern setting. Fagin
(Oliver Twist) is a twisted shadow of the sage archetype. Darth Vader may be a sage who lost his way but in the end finds redemption at the moment of his death.

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