Tricksters


I. 1. What are some of the more important characteristics of trickster figures?


All myths have a hero and an anti-hero. Most myths also have another important character that can act as moral examples and teach us lessons. They are usually a humorous character and also very clever. They are not typically the most moral characters in the myth, but in the end their actions mean well. They are portrayed as lazy, greedy, vain, and even dishonest. Tricksters play an important role however, because they might make it harder or more frustrating for the hero, but in the end, there is a lesson learned. Tricksters are represented with ten different fundamental aspects: creator, culture-bringer, opportunist, mischief-maker, amorous adventurer, hunger-driven manipulator, credulous victim of others’ tricks, lazy work avoider, transgressor, and clown of the body. They are independent creatures with a very significant role to the hero. Sometimes they can even be a hero themselves and not even realize it. In the case of the Coyote, he was a simple trickster, who tricked the wolf family to climb up into the stars. Little did he know, that he created an extremely important constellation that generation and generations have noticed. In many cases such as the Coyote, the trickster is talked about for years and years after the antic he has pulled is over. The trickster leaves a mark in time and is a reminder of the lesson he taught. Tricksters not only make a story more interesting, they also make it more significant to our morals.


II. 1. Coyote:


The coyote is a famous trickster that has many different roles he plays. He is a creator because he tricked the wolf family, in one myth of the coyote, to climb up into the sky and become a constellation. He is also sometimes portrayed as half man and half animal, being able to take any shape he pleases.


2. Raven:


The Raven is a dark character, which is another form of a trickster. He existed before anything else ever did because he always was. He has the ability to transform himself into any form. He was selfish, as many tricksters are, and wanted the only light in the world to himself. He tricked a grandfather and the granddaughter in order to get what he wanted. And like the coyote he left a mark on the world that would be talked about for ages.



3. Brer Rabbit:


Brer Rabbit is a trickster that thought he was clever and thought he was funny and thought he got Brer Fox good by stealing all his crops. Little did he know that the tar baby trick would get him back. This is a case where the trickster is supposed to learn a lesson, but instead just keeps tricking. While Brer Rabbit is stuck to the tar baby, he thinks of a clever way to trick Brer Fox into letting him go. He convinces him into throwing Brer Rabbit out of his “sticky” situation.