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A Warrior After the War Is Over: An Insight into the Flaws of the Warrior Archetype

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Fear of death has no place in warriorhood, in fact death is glorified. In 300, Stelios reassures King Leonidas “We’re with you sir, to the death’’ (Chapter-5). This evidences that every warrior is expected to give the ultimate sacrifice in war. Hotspur is ready to go to war even though he is heavily outnumbered, he says with a maniacal fervor, “Come, let us take a muster speedily. Doomsday is near. Die all; die merrily” (4.1.133) He does not retreat, despite being weakened by the absence of his father and Glendower. This reckless disregard for one’s life is an integral aspect to the warrior archetype. However, such men cannot de depended upon as it causes insecurity, instability, financial and mental distress in families. The notion of glory in death is unfounded in civilian society.

The trademark of stereotypical warrior is his violence and impetuousness. Rigorous, almost inhumane training in childhood and exposure to war during adulthood has a devastating effect on the psychology of a warrior. Violence is aptly illustrated in the graphics of 300. The book is titled in blood red. Almost every page and every person in the book bleeds in red colour depicting the harsh realities of war. There are gore scenes of walls built out of dead bodies and dead Persians with spears through their mouths. In 1 Henry IV, Prince Harry mocks this brute nature of the warrior Hotspur. “I am not yet of Percy’s mind, he that kills me some six or seven dozen of Scots at a breakfast” (2.4.99-102). Violence becomes a necessary second nature for a warrior because of which they are perceived as threats to peaceful societies.

Poems are written in the glory of warriors and songs are sung of their extraordinary strength and bravery. But while they are revered, they are also feared. A warrior may on the mild end of the spectrum be selfish and vain but on the severe end they can be violent and emotionally instable. Hotspur, a gallant warrior is killed because of his foolhardiness, blind hubris and unrealistic notion of honour. In his lust for revenge and glory, Ephialtes betrays the Spartans. Both these warriors reveal the underlying flaws of the warrior society. But even though warriors are misfits in mainstream society, a society cannot function without them. In his essay “Soldier or Society?’’, University professor Dr. Christian Stadler states that the military does not represent any contradiction to the civilian society, but it rather constitutes the heart of the republic. In the present day, the traditional warrior archetype has ameliorated and is replaced by modern warriors who must be communicators, organizer and leaders. A warrior class springs from the peaceful society which it exists to defend. It behoves us to reflect on this matter.


Frank, Miller Varley,Lynn. 300:Dark Horse Books, 1999. Print.

Knightnon, Candace. Machiavelli Quotes. Simon Fraser University, Surrey, B.C.

December 2011. Lecture.

Shakespeare, William. King Henry IV Part 1:Arden Shakespeare, 2002. Print.

Stadler, Dr. Christian. “Soldier or Society? Remarks on the Domestic Importance of being

Valiant.” n.d. Web. 27 February 2012. .

Sparknotes. Web. 24 February 2012 n.d.>.


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