Detective Archetype

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Detective Archetype Essay

Sherlock Holmes and the Doctor share qualities such as higher intelligence, isolation from society, and hyperactivity that shape them into the only ones capable of providing justice for the threatened. The two fit the detective archetype quite well and whether explicit or not, the archetype is prevalent in their stories as well as others. Qualities of the detective archetype are represented through each “detective’s” habits, actions, words, thoughts, and choices. It is complex, interests the reader, and is used by nearly every author of detective fiction. Holmes and the Doctor express and put forth their higher level of intelligence in everything they do. Their frequent and effective use of deductive reasoning tells them where to go and leads them in their endeavors. Before they can deduce what happened in the situation they are dealing with or find the solution to the problem at hand they must gather the facts. Both pay attention to detail, Holmes even said, “To a great mind, nothing is little.” (27) They consider everything – the unordinary to the obvious and the perplexing to the straightforward. Each of the characters has attained a myriad of knowledge which aids them in their reasoning. For the Doctor; he has learned things through experience. He has lived for thousands of years as he is not human and is like an eternal being, in that it can be assumed that he knows just about everything. Holmes’ knowledge, however, comes from experimentation that he conducts in his free time. Curiously, neither was formally educated, yet has a particular interest in sciences. When investigating a clue Agatha Christie commented, “there you go with the science stuff again!” (Dr. Who) which implies that he has already demonstrated his efficacy of science. With their arsenals of intelligence, Holmes and the Doctor will always prevail. Members of the detective archetype tend to be isolated from society and Holmes and the...
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