Disney Heroes MBTI Chart – Part Two

I like typing fictional characters because they offer good examples for how the different types can show up in “real life.” This project, though, is mostly for fun. I’ve written posts typing Disney princesses and heroines, and I also have  a two part post on this blog typing Disney villains. Seemed like it’s about time for the Disney princes and heroes to get their own posts as well.

There are so many Disney princes and heroes who could go on this list that I had to make some tough choices about who to include. The characters I picked: appear in an animated Disney film, they’re human, they’re fairly popular/well-known, and I’ve seen the movie they’re in. I’ve put half in this post and half in Part One (click here to read that).Disney Heroes MBTI Chart - Part Two | LikeAnAnchor.com

I don’t like using stereotypes as a basis for typing characters, but I’m afraid that’s what I’ve done in some of these descriptions. When the characters development doesn’t go really deep (some of these princes don’t even have names!), we just have a few key characteristics to base our typing on and you have to try and match them with defining traits of a personality type. Unfortunately, sometimes that means relying on an overly simplistic view of each type. Just wanted to make that disclaimer before we dive into talking about Milo, Prince Naveen, Rodger Radcliff, Prince Philip, Peter Pan, Prince Charming, Snow White’s Prince, Quasimodo, and Tarzan. Read more

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Disney Heroes MBTI Chart – Part One

I like typing fictional characters because they offer good examples for how the different types can show up in “real life.” This project, though, is mostly for fun. I’ve written posts typing Disney princesses and heroines. I’ve got a two part post on this blog typing Disney villains. Seems like it’s about time for the Disney princes and heroes to get their own posts as well.

There are so many Disney princes and heroes who could go on this list that I had to make some tough choices about who to include. My criteria are as follows: the characters appear in an animated Disney film, they’re human (sorry Simba, Tramp, and Pongo), they’re fairly popular/well-known, and I’ve seen the movie they star in. I’ve organized them alphabetically, then put half in this post and half in a second post that will come out on Wednesday.Disney Heroes MBTI Chart - Part One | LikeAnAnchor.com

I don’t like using stereotypes of any Myers-Briggs type as a basis for typing characters, but I’m afraid that’s what I’ve done in some of these descriptions. When the characters development doesn’t go really deep and we have just a few key characteristics to base our typing on, you have to try and match them with defining traits of a personality type. Unfortunately, sometimes that means relying on an overly simplistic view of each type. Just wanted to make that disclaimer before we dive into talking about Aladdin, the Beast, Prince Eric, Flynn Rider, Hercules, John Smith, Kristoff, Kuzco, and Li Shang. Read more

The Curious Case of the INFJ Hero

Today we’re going to talk about INFJ heroes in fiction, especially male heroes. But before we get to that, let’s talk about Russian literature for a moment. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky opens with an apologetic explanation from the narrator about his hero, Alexei Fyodorovich Karamazov. Here are a few highlights:

“While I do call Alexei Fyodorovich my hero, still, I myself know that he is by no means a great man …

One thing, perhaps, is rather doubtless: he is a strange man, even an odd one. But strangeness and oddity will sooner harm than justify any claim to attention …

If I, that is, the biographer himself, think that even one novel may, perhaps, be unwarranted for such a humble and indefinite hero, then how will it look if I appear with two; and what can explain such presumption on my part?” (p.3-4, Pevear/Volokhonsky translation)

As you may have guessed from the title of this post, Alyosha is an INFJ (most characters and the narrator use this nickname throughout the novel. In the Cyrillic alphabet, Alyosha is two letters shorter than Alexei, which makes this something like calling a man named Robert “Bob”). And I suspect that it’s his personality type that makes the narrator so worried about how people will respond to his hero.

It’s not that there aren’t other INFJ heroes in fiction. Just take a look at my post about 10 Stories You’ll Relate To If You’re An INFJ if you want some examples. Jane Eyre, Amélie, Yoda, and Atticus Finch are all INFJs in fiction who play a hero role. But even though there are male characters on this list, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if Alyosha was a woman with all the same personality characteristics the narrator wouldn’t have felt the need to apologize for her.

Read more

Robin Hood Meeteth the Lord of Time

I knew I would love the latest Doctor Who episode, “The Robots of Sherwood.” I’ve been curious about it since the first set photo of Clara in a Medieval dress was released, and giddy with anticipation when the title let me know it had something to do with Robin Hood. I can’t remember not being fascinated by Robin Hood. The first time I met him was in the animated Disney film, which my Mom says we brought home from the library so often that the librarians teased her, “Aren’t you ever going to buy that movie?” I vaguely recall finding a copy of Howard Pyle’s “The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood” in a little back corner of the library, then buying my own copy and wearing it out (quite literally — the cover fell off).

“There’s no such thing as Robin Hood”

“The Robots of Sherwood” begins with Clara making a request I can easily identify with: take me to meet Robin Hood. The Doctor obliges by setting course for 1190-ish, though he maintains that Robin Hood is merely a legend even after the TARDIS is shot by the famous bowman. The episode progresses in a lighthearted story that covers classic elements of both Doctor Who and Robbin Hood, and culminates with a conversation between the Doctor and Robin about how history lost sight of Robin the man and turned him into stories, much like the stories Clara tells Robin about the Doctor.

Doctor: “I’m not a hero.”

Robin: “Neither am I. But if we both keep pretending to be, perhaps others will be heroes in our name. Perhaps, we will both be stories.”

Are They Heroes?

As a child-fan of Robin Hood, I saw him as an heroic figure — the good in a good-verses-evil conflict. But even the versions of the legends specifically written for children have a complicated definition of morality. Robin Hood steals and kills people (typically in defending himself or others) to fight against a government which commits worse crimes. But does he really have the right to take justice into his own hands when his country’s law dictates that justice belongs to appointed authority figures and his God says, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay”? (Robin is presented as Catholic in most legends.) I want to root for him and justify his every action, but I can’t always do that.

Errol Flynn (who the Doctor has apparently fenced with) as Robin Hood

It’s much the same with the Doctor. He flies around the universe saving people, but there’s often a lot of things that go wrong. As a show, Doctor Who has a surprisingly high casualty rate. In the tenth episode of “new-Who,” the 9th Doctor joyfully shouts, “Everybody lives, Rose! Just this once — everybody lives!” And as far as I can remember, it really was “just this once” that everyone makes it to the end credits alive. And the Doctor has a thoroughly dark side which complicates defining him as a hero (if you need convincing, here’s an article discussing the Doctor’s 13 Darkest Moments).

So, are they heroes? Depends on your definition.

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. — Joseph Campbell

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. — Christopher Reeve

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

These sound like rather good descriptions of the Doctor and Robin Hood. I couldn’t find the quote (even with Google’s help!), but I read once that heroes are simply people who’ve been observed doing what good men do as a matter of course. There’s some question of whether or not the Doctor qualifies as a “good man,” but he has been seen doing good and heroic things. As for Robin, all but the earliest legends present him as someone who does more good than harm. Even if they’re not “heroes,” they want to be.

The “Real” Robin Hood

Robin Hood by Louis Rhead

Speaking of the earliest legends, I’m going to digress for a moment and talk about my one peeve with how this episode portrays Robin Hood. I’ve done no little research into the history of the Robin Hood legends, and know that the earliest tales set him during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377), not during the time of King Richard and Prince John. The earliest version of his character that we can track down presents him as a “famous cutthroat” and “forest outlaw” who was both intriguingly mysterious and alarmingly unknowable (Stephen Knight; Robin Hood: A Mythic Biography).

Now, for Doctor Who’s version we could say that the Robin legends took on a sinister aspect in the 100-some years following Clara and the Doctor’s meeting with the “real” Robin, before shifting back to something closer to “reality” in the 1590s, when stories of Robin Hood as a displaced earl begin showing up. But it would have been much more in keeping with the records we have of Robin Hood legends, to present Robin Hood in Doctor Who as a clever, outlawed yeoman. Someone could have at least done enough research to know that the legend of Robin Hood splitting his opponent’s arrows at an archery tournament didn’t show up at all until the 1820 publication of Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe (though it did make for a humorous scene with the Doctor).

Perhaps Mark Gatiss, who wrote this episode, agrees with his version of Robin Hood that,  “History is a burden; stories can make us fly.” And I’m inclined to cut him some slack, in terms of how “authentic” Robin Hood has to be for Doctor Who. Most viewers just want to see the typical aspects of Robin Hood — the fight on a bridge between Robin Hood and a stranger, the archery competition for a golden arrow, the battle between Robin and the Sheriff of Nottingham — with the familiar Earl of Locksley back-story. At this point, trying to bring Robin back to something the Doctor and Clara might actually have discovered in history would have been more confusing than anything else. Gatiss made up for ignoring the oldest Robin Hood source material by including references to multiple version of Robin Hood in film, an almost-quote from Shakespeare, and several nods to both classic and new-Who. All-in-all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable, though fairly typical, episode of Doctor Who.

Still No Oven / Hero Archetypes

Since I am still without an oven, I’m going to depart from my schedule and post something other than a recipe today. The repairman is supposed to come this afternoon so, in lieu of writing about food, I’m going to write about writing.

Over on MarisMcKay.com, I’ve been working on a series of blog posts about character archetypes. I’ve spent too much time on the accompanying images not to try and broaden the audience, so this post will be devoted to heroes and I’ll dedicate Monday’s post to heroines. While collecting the examples of each type, I noticed sci-fi/fantasy may be overrepresented, but that’s what I’m most familiar with and I’ve decided not to apologize for it.

This theory of character development is contained in a book titled The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes and Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes. The ideas are based on Jung’s theory of collective unconscious. He identified major archetypes that arise from memories of shared human experience and serve as models for personalities.  For this book, the authors suppose that

 At the very core of a character, every hero can be traced back to one of eight major archetypes, as can every heroine. The core archetype tells the writer the most basic instincts of heroes or heroines — how they think and feel, what drives them and how they reach their goals.

Hero Archetypes

Eight hero archetypesThe Chief His major virtues are that he is goal-oriented, decisive, and responsible. He can also be stubborn, unsympathetic, and dominating. “He is a man who seizes control whenever possible. Active, dynamic, and strong-willed, he urgently needs to fix problems and produce results.” This type of character is not discouraged by challenge, and is typically a born leader or a conqueror type of character.

The Bad Boy This type is succinctly described as “every schoolgirl’s fantasy and every father’s nightmare.” He is typically charismatic, street smart, and intuitive, but is also pessimistic, bitter, and volatile. This character “struts into every room, daring one and all to knock the chip from his shoulder. … All his life, he has been pointed out as a bad example, so he does his best to maintain that reputation.”

The Best Friend “Decent, kind and responsible … He fits in everywhere and is universally liked. Whether he operates out of a sense of duty or genuinely enjoys giving of himself, he is always there.” His main virtues are stability, a supportive nature, and tolerance. His flaws are that he can be complacent, myopic, and unassertive.

The Charmer This is the likable rogue type who can “make you believe in fairy tales” but “is not always there in the ever-after”. He is creative, witty, and smooth, but also manipulative, irresponsible, and elusive.  “Exuding enormous charisma, he showers the people in his life with gifts of laughter and happiness. He is always fun, often irresistible, and frequently unreliable.”

The Lost Soul This character is devoted, vulnerable, discerning, brooding, unforgiving, and fatalistic. He is defined by an isolating event from his past. He “drifts through life with a heavy heart and a wounded spirit. He is dramatic, intriguing, and secretive. … This man has a poet’s voice, an artist’s creative genius, and a writer’s grasp on emotions.”

The Professor Some of my favorite characters — Daniel Jackson, Spock, Sherlock Holmes — share this type. They are “used to being the smartest man in the room,” are experts in their field, and can be absent minded or highly organized. They are analytical and genuine, but also insular, inhibited, and inflexible.

The Swashbuckler This character is an explorer or a daredevil,  fearless and foolhardy. He is exciting but unreliable, capable of finding a solution to any problem, but selfish in pursing his goals. “He loves to leave his mark on every exploit, so he chooses the most rash and flamboyant method of achieving his aim. Impulsive and creative, this man lives for the next adventure.”

The Warrior Tenacious, principled, and noble, this character type is compelled to see justice done. They can be self righteous, relentless, and merciless with their enemies. A character of this type “believes evil cannot go unpunished. He cannot allow the bad guys to walk away, so trouble seems to follow him wherever he goes.” He defends the weak and is the perfect protector.

Writing With Archetypes

I’ve found this book helpful in coming up with ideas for strong characters. For one character, who was disappearing into the background of my finished novel, it’s helped me flesh him out so much that the sequel will be his story. He is a Warrior, and I’m going to layer on some Lost Soul characteristics to make him even more unique.

There is a wide variety within each type, so even if you don’t combine them there is plenty of room for character development. As the writers of this book said, Henry Higgins from My Fair Lady is a chief, like Captain Kirk, but you wouldn’t want him commanding a Starship. If you’re a writer and you can find a copy (the book is out of print, so I use one from the library), I highly recommend this resource.