33 The Warrior Archetype

Episode Thirty-Three: Those Who Loved Him

Alexander’s closest generals were his dear friends Craterus and Hephaesteion.

Each represented a different (and conflicting) aspect of the Warrior Archetype.

Alexander stood in the middle.

In today’s episode, we’ll get more deeply into the dark and light sides of the Warrior Archetype.

Subscribe here for the full series, or watch previous episodes here

Subscribe here for the full series, or watch previous episodes here


  1. Joe Jansen on December 7, 2020 at 9:26 am

    Good case example on how this might look on the page — where characters are embodying elements of the theme. It’s also interesting to note how many of these storytelling devices work at the level of the subconscious. I’m guessing that many people won’t read a passage and say, “Ahh. I see how Rick Blaine is the embodiment of the theme of ‘self-service versus self-sacrifice’ in ‘Casablanca.'” Or “When Karen says she wants to sew the buttons onto Denys’s shirt, she’s embodying the theme of ‘possession’ in ‘Out of Africa.'”

    It enriches the story and makes it “work,” even though we might not consciously be able to put a finger on just why. Conversely, if “characters who embody the theme” is missing, we feel the story feels flat — a can of Coke that opens with no fizz — but can’t quite identify why it’s not working. Love having these tools at hand.

    And glad to see that Steve is using some of his own material to illustrate some of these story devices.

  2. Lita on December 7, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    I’m currently developing the arc of one of the major characters. That advice you give, Steven –

    “Every character must represent not just himself or herself, but an aspect of the story’s theme.”

    – has jumped out at me. Thank you so much.

  3. Jim Gant on December 7, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    I am no writer. These videos hit me right in the chest. War. Life.

    • Joe on December 8, 2020 at 3:10 am

      It’s haiku if you lay it out:

      I am no writer.
      These videos hit me right
      in the chest. War. Life.

      There, you earned your ribbon. (And One Tribe strings words together in a meaningful way. So that counts.)

  4. Carl Blackburn on December 7, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    Thank you Steven for the clarity of your analysis. I appreciate you.

  5. Andrew lubin on December 7, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    I’m probably missing the point, but the argument between these two seems to reflect that of last week’s between Alexander and Porus about being a king or being a conqueror. A high body count might be effective, but is it truly necessary, and if it is, then who us left for the victor to govern? Hesphalon (sp!) and Porus clearly understand this; Alexander is just beginning.

  6. Benjamin R. Tong on December 7, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    Let’s look ‘East’ for a moment and consider what I have called ‘the lost of philosophy of the (Chinese) martial arts.’ Specifically, we are looking at the Taoist understanding of warriorhood, which would very likely warm the heart and sensibility of a Craterus. Chapter 68 of the Tao Te Ching: “The brave soldier is not violent; the good fighter does not lose his temper…” (Lin Yu Tang translation). Those who do not train thoroughly in the martial arts under the tutelage of wise mentors find this passage puzzling: Why would one who works hard at becoming a fighting machine not be violent? (Even more puzzling is the understanding that “The power to kill is also the power to heal.”) The idea is that the central tenet of the (lost) philosophy of the martial arts is: Stop or prevent violence by any means necessary. The reference is to one’s own violence, ie., the violence potential of the martial artist, NOT the violence of the opponent. The opponent’s violence is not an issue: If I, the martial artist, were to respond to his moves, he would be disarmed, knocked out cold or dead.

    The issue IS: What can I do to keep from hurting him? Any and all actions are to be attempted, INCLUDING pretending to be a coward, which involves the last word in ego detachment. Furthermore, if I find I must hurt the opponent, I am committed to (1) hurt minimally, (2) heal immediately, and (3) educate incessantly.

    Chapter 68 of the Tao Te Ching implies the existence of an intriguing paradox: The martial artist in order to act with COMPASSION must first be LETHAL. The ordinary person who is threatened by another wanting to assault, hurt or rob is apt to feel intimidation, shock, indignation, etc, etc. — anything but COMPASSION. Lethality (maximum yang) and compassion (maximum yin) coexist within the highly trained. The existence of a cultivated, controlled killing potential makes possible the “coming out” of heart energy.

    • Andrew+Lubin on December 8, 2020 at 5:21 am

      Benjamin – An interesting PoV; thank you! But while pairing lethality with compassion is most interesting, does it not matter who is being killed? Or do you think it’s acceptable that that your lethal killing machine kills women and children? So much for the Geneva Convention and the laws of war then; or was Saddam Hussein gassing the Kurds OK, or are atrocities acceptable of they’re committed up close and personal?

  7. Jim Gant on December 8, 2020 at 4:30 am

    Thanks Joe!
    Hold the Line…

  8. Jurgen+Strack on December 8, 2020 at 6:43 am

    I’m hanging on in there.
    Getting to the end of my debut non-fiction book folks!
    Love, Jurgen

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    Good analysis and detailed describe.

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