Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 12: The King’s Shadow Archetypes – by K.M. Weiland…

on Helping Writers become Authors:

Throughout the progression of the six archetypal character arcs that make up the human life cycle, we see a steady progression of the character’s power. As we explored in the positive King Arc, this final mid-life arc represents the height of temporal power. The King is someone who wields a vast amount of influence not just over his own life or within his personal relationships, but over extended numbers of people. Symbolically, he rules over a Kingdom, but more practically, his empire could be anything from a large family to a company.

In short, he’s the boss. He knows it. Everybody knows it. And he holds within his hand, whether literally or symbolically, the power of life and death over his subjects. Will he wield that powerful responsibly in a way that brings life to the Kingdom? This depends on whether he is centered within his positive aspect of King, or whether he is gripped by his shadow archetypes of Puppet and Tyrant. The Puppet represents the passive polarity within the King’s shadow; the Tyrant represents the aggressive polarity.

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