The Sage archetype by Carl Jung
The Sage archetype by Carl Jung, also called ‘senex’ – meaning old man in Latin, has knowledge and wisdom, hence a free thinker. They endeavor to fathom their existence and the world in general through the analytical skills and intelligence they possess. The sage archetype has power and, according to Jung, appears in a person’s life through various symbols while also representing the inborn mystical side of a person’s disposition in the unconscious. It may take the form of people, dreams, insights, or our life’s learning we pass on to others. A sage may be depicted by a philosopher, Deity (supernatural being), a scholar, a wizard or magician, an expert, a teacher or a mentor. In literature works or films, the sage archetype is usually depicted in the form of a teacher, an advisor or a mentor to the hero or a main character, playing a central part in the journey of a hero. A sage often has a quote, a logical argument or a fact on the tip of his/her tongue (Robertson, 2016). This paper will discuss three characters Professor Albus Dumbledore from Harry Porter series, Yoda from the Star Wars movies and Morpheus from The Matrix.
Albus Dumbledore is a sage he was wise and kind. He is the good-natured Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’s Headmaster. He is an old man with great judiciousness and the magical mentor, who gives unrushed guidance and counsel to Harry Porter in order to help him in his quest, while also allowing him choose the path to take towards destiny. Dumbledore always appears to discern a lot about surrounding events as well as Harry Porter than he is willing to say. He has always displayed great supernatural abilities. When he was a student at Hogwarts, he was recognized as the most bright student ever in Hogwarts, receiving “every prize of note that the school offered”, and in his N.E.W.T.s, “… did things with a wand [the examiner had] never seen before”. According to Rowling, despite the fact that Dumbledore “had access to superb teachers at Hogwarts,” he is mostly self-taught. He is immeasurably powerful; he is recognized as the most powerful magician or wizard in the entire universe. He is only wizard ever really dreaded by Lord Voldemort. Nonetheless, Dumbledore can lack empathy and become detached, as well. He, at some point, gets lost in his area of knowledge and overlooks the significance of applying the wisdom he had in the real word. He also seems to be a little cold, isolated and detached (Barron et al, 2001 – 2011).
Yoda from Star Wars was a renowned Jedi Master as well as powerful than many in his link with the Force. He was an old, however, influential, strong, sage-like and wise diminutively-sized creature or alien. He was an expert, a mentor as well as a teacher and thus trained Jedi for more than 800 years. He played vital roles in unlocking the path to immortality, the Clone Wars, the instructing and directing of Luke Skywalker. He tells Luke “a Jedi uses the Force for Knowledge and defense, never for attack.” Due to his sagaciousness, he became the Jedi High Council member, notwithstanding his old age, Yoda still had the ability to hold and sustain the Jedi against opponents, some even far younger than him. Moreso, Yoda was among the most powerful as well as influential force-users since the formation of the galaxy. Furthermore, Yoda embraces his emotions and teaches those he mentors like Luke to do the same (George, 1977).
Morpheus from The Matrix film is depicted as a sage because he plays the role of a leader in the actual world. He shows bravery as well as persistence and determination in the face of difficulty and great danger. Morpheus pulls Neo out of his comfort zone in the Matrix where he is living comfortably in the realm of illusions and makes him see the reality, and he believes right away that Neo is the One. He tells Neo, “you have been living in a dream world, Neo. This is the world…as it exists today. Welcome to the desert of the real.” Morpheus also act as a mentor or teacher to Trinity, Neo, together with the entire Nebuchadnezzar’s crew as he is a type of father figure to them and even though Neo in the end outstrips him in terms of power and fighting skills, he pays the crucial role of leadership and wisdom. In the film, Morpheus epitomizes the best type of mentor, teacher and leader as he directs Neo to the right track and teaches him from his experience and knowledge, then stands aside and allows him to carry on and make decisions on his own. Additionally, Morpheus is self-sacrificing and seeks not glory, and this makes him hero by his own right (Silver et al, 1999).
In a nutshell, the Jungian archetype of sage wisdom has been defined and depicted in different forms throughout literature works across cultures. its presence is also felt in contemporary popular fiction movies, for example, as Professor Dumbledore in Harry Potter series, as Yoda from Star Wars, and as Morpheus in The Matrix to mention a few. These three characters from different fiction films exemplify the quintessential sage archetype in the somewhat mind-numbing histories of science fiction culture. Their brainpower and understanding are their purpose for living, their quintessence.
Barron, D., Columbus, C., Heyman, D., Radcliffe, M., & Rowling, J.K. (Producers), & Cuaron, A., Columbus, C., Newell, M., & Yates, D. (Directors). (2001 – 2011). Harry Porter Series [Motion Picture]. United Kingdom & United States. Warner Bros. Pictures & Heyday Films 1492 Pictures.
George, L. (Producer). (1977). Star Wars. [Motion Picture]. United States. Walt Disney.
Robertson, R. (2016). Jungian archetypes: Jung, Gödel, and the history of archetypes. Open Road Media.
Silver, J. (Producer) & Wachowski, L., & Wachowski, L. (Directors). (1999). The Matrix [Motion Picture]. United States. Warner Bros. Pictures.