Last Updated 26 Jan 2021

Pop Culture Archetype Comparison

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The archetype of the villain is seen in many Disney fairytales and are usually one of the most important characters in the films. Shan Yu from Mulan and Scar from The Lion King although are from different backgrounds and different plots both display the same characteristics and thought processes. SIMILARITY 1-The primary similarity between Shan Yu and Scar is that they both will stop at nothing in order to conquer the land and power that they think they deserve. This is seen in Mulan, where Shan-Yu feels no hesitation when it comes to taking a life. He kills without remorse, for his own amusement.

This is demonstrated when he asks “How many men does it take to deliver a message? ” to which one of his henchmen replies “one” as he aims his arrow at one of two Chinese spies. This is also seen in The Lion King. Scar the evil brother of Mufasa will do anything to become King of the Pride Lands, even if it means killing his brother and his nephew Simba. Although he only succeeds in murdering Mufasa, he convinces his nephew that it was his fault, leaving Simba to live with the guilt of his father’s death and tells the cub to ‘run far away, Simba, and never come back’.

SIMILARITY 2-The second similarity between Shan Yu and Scar is their similar deaths, in which the hero takes part in taking down the villain. Shan Yu gets thrown off a building by Mulan and Scar is pushed off a cliff by Simba. CONCLUSION- Therefore both characters are seen as the classic archetype villain and have many similarities such as their lust for superiority and power. However, while both characters have many similarities between them they also demonstrate some differences as well.

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DIFFERENCE 1- A major difference between the two characters is that Shan Yu is a Mongolian leader of the huns whereas Scar is a lion from Africa. Although Scar is not a human being, the character still demonstrates the same desire to conquer the land. DIFFERENCE 2- The second difference between Shan Yu and Scar is the means in which Scar grew up, for example growing up Scar’s father spent more time and attention on his other son Mufasa. This ultimately leads to Scar hating his brother and constantly seeking revenge against him.

While, for Shan Yu, growing up because of his cultural and political background he has always hated the Chinese and wanted to take them down. However, the two characters both attempt to conquer and take down their opposing forces whether it is their family or political enemies. Relevance- The significance of the archetype of the villain in both films is that they essentially help the main character, the hero to complete a quest or journey of finding who they really are. In Mulan, if it were not because of Shan Yu and the threat of the war, then she would have never had to change her lifestyle or leave her family behind.

This would not have made her the person she became towards the end of the film. The same goes for Simba, if it were not for Scar telling him his father had died and there was nothing left for him there, furthermore he was able to see how others lived and decide that he wanted to rule. Conclusion- In conclusion, while both characters are archetypes of the classic villain. They both demonstrate the same ideals and desires to be achieve total control and superiority over the people around them.

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