The Archetypes of the Lion King
Simba: Hero or Cold-blooded Murderer?
The "unconscious" is a psychological concept that is interpreted differently by many psychologists. Sigmund Freud interprets the unconscious as a place where thoughts, feelings and memories are kept, and cannot easily be brought into the conscious mind. However, some neo-Freudians, such as Carl Jung, thought differently. Jung believed that there was not only a personal unconscious, which is what Freud describes, but a collective unconscious as well. The collective conscious contains universal human memories, ideas and patterns of thinking called archetypes. Some archetypes include the anima/animus, (which is the feminine side of a man/the masculine side of a female), the "hero" and the "villain", among many others. The characters in the movie, The Lion King display a diverse variety of archetypes through their own character traits.
Simba, the main character and protagonist of The Lion King, shows a number of archetypes throughout the course of the film. The film starts at his birth and shows his experience as a lion cub. His behavior as a youth attributes to the child archetype, in which he is many of the things a young child is. Simba is outgoing and curious and explores wherever he can, even going places as dangerous as an elephant graveyard. He is also tricky and rebellious, as he goes outside the areas of Pride Rock, even when his father, Mufasa, strictly tells him not to. These are all traits that would normally be associated with children or teens. As Simba grows older, he starts showing different traits. Specifically, the older Simba displays the hero archetype. Feeling he was responsible for his father's death, Simba leaves Pride Rock in shame. However, upon learning of the state of Pride Rock under his uncle Scar's rule, he goes on the journey back to save his kingdom, which is something heroes typically do. Simba also goes on an internal journey of discovery...
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