Wild Woman Archetype

What is a Wild Woman Archetype?

A wild woman archetype shows the idea of a woman whose image shows physical strength in femininity. Such a woman is not only brave but also honorable and makes things easy for the rest of the women by fighting for their rights or overcoming dominating patriarchy through femininity or matriarchy or whatever means she has, even if she has to come out in the open to fight for the rights of women. It includes killing and getting killed. She is often a free fellow who follows her instincts and does not submit to domination.

Types of Wild Women Archetype Characters

Although such women only emerge in the folk tales, ancient myths, and cultural folklores, they really exist in some parts of the world, such as the Amazons. That is why there are several types of wild women archetypes, as they appear in different stories and legends. Some of the major types of wild women archetypes are as follows.

  1. The rebel women archetype
  2. The revolutionary women archetype
  3. The brigand women archetype
  4. The outlaw women archetype

Character Traits of Wild Women Archetype

Although in Jungian psychology, she is instinctive and wild in nature, like nature itself, she is highly sexual and seductive. Living close to nature makes her aloof, proactive, and ambition-driven, but it also makes her dynamic and incomplete. She is perhaps a nebulous character whose understanding lies between the complete and incomplete women archetype. She is neither jealous nor hysterical but rebellious and revolutionary. Yet, she has some negative traits that accompany these positive traits.

Negative Traits of Wild Women Archetype

Some of the negative traits of the wild women archetype characters are that they are full of anger, aggression, and vengeance. They are vindictive and revengeful due to their ambition. However, one sense that has fed femininity in them is their being close to nature but it leads them to the allurement, too, that has brought some negativity in it. They also border on some other archetype characters such as belle or pitiless damsel archetype characters.

Examples of Wild Women Archetype Characters in Literature

Example #1

Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

This character of a warrior queen appears in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. His character is based on the same name of the Grecian queen that Plutarch has mentioned in his history. Although Plutarch presents the Amazons, the women warriors, Shakespeare’s character was set apart when she marries Theseus in the fourth act of the play and then starts her role. She appears as a good example of a woman warrior archetype character.

Example #2

Cordelia in King Lear by William Shakespeare

Although her role as the loyal daughter of the King as a person who does not flatter King Lear is appreciable, she also appears as the queen who rules the kingdom kindly and helps the sons of her sister to grow. Yet they despise her for being a woman and claim to get the kingdom back by raising armies and fighting against the queen. Her committing of suicide in grief after she becomes a prisoner of war shows her as a warrior queen who is unable to accept defeat. She is also a good example of a warrior character archetype.

Example #3

Li Ji in Classical Chinese Tales by Karl S. Y. Kao

Ji Li occurs in several ancient Chinese tales as a character having a goddess-like figure. She lives in her tribe in Fukien mountainous region where a serpent terrorizes the people. When almost all the girls have been sacrificed for the great good of the public, she comes ahead to become the victim and reaches the mountains to fight that snake. She cuts it into pieces, showing her warrior nature. She is also a good example of a warrior woman archetype character.

Example #4

Hua Mulan in The Ballad of Mulan translated by Evan Myntak

Hua Mulan is the main character of this ballad. She has become a legend in Chinese folk tales and historical stories. Being the only daughter, she disguises herself as a warrior to shield her father on the battlefield and became a catchword at that time. Later she became more popular when her figure appeared in several folk tales. She is another good woman warrior archetype example in Chinese literature.