The Hero, Male or Female

heroOne of the archetypes in the hero’s journey is the hero, a male or a female. The hero is the summation of all the other archetypes, such as the mentor, the shadow, the trickster and so forth.

“We’re on a mission from God,” says Elwood, (Dan Aykroyd) in the Blues Brothers. And indeed they were, trying to raise $5000 to help The Penguin (the Blues Brothersnun who raised them in boarding school). Though the movie is tongue-in-cheek, it’s a good description of a hero. The hero must be on a mission of importance, which will change him or her.

A hero is someone who is willing to sacrifice themselves for others.

But a hero must have flaws. Often she has contradictory traits and the audience can identify with her. The hero goes through a characters arc.

The hero takes action. He’s a leader, he knows how to deal with death. There can be group heroes (The Dirty Dozen) or anti-heroes (Casablanca)

Who is the hero among all your characters? Is it the one who changes the most?

Images courtesy of:

  • ramascreen.com
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6 responses to “The Hero, Male or Female

  1. The hero is usually the one who suffers most in my usual story ideas… and with both flaws and qualities, neither good nor bad character. Then as he/she struggles through the story, he/she is triumphant. And the suffering goes away, her/his flaws diminished and being genuinely happy for having accomplished things… good for both the people around her/him and herself/himself. This is my usual hero style.

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