The Trickster

In modern literature the trickster is a clever mischievous man. In mythology the trickster is someone who exhibits more intellect or secret knowledge and uses it to play tricks or go against the normal rules. In some cultures like the Native Americans, the trickster exhibits form and gender variability. The trickster archetype puts value on disruption and misconception.



The Tortoise and the Jackrabbit

In the Tortoise and the Jackrabbit, the jackrabbit acts like he knows more than the tortoise and takes a nap during the race because he thinks he will still be able to be the tortoise.

"By now he'd left Tortoise far behind. Under the mesquite trees, he saw a patch of tender, sweet, delicious grass, and he stopped to nibble it. By the time he had eaten his fill, he felt so drowsy that he lay down in the shade and fell fast asleep."

(Lowell, Susan, and Jim Harris)


Prometheus, Thief of Fire

In the story of The Thief of Fire, Prometheus steals the fire from Zeus in order to give it to the humans. Prometheus used trickery and his knowledge to steal from the gods in order to give something good to someone else and go against the normal rules.

"Prometheus, known for his wit and intelligence, had an immediate plan – to trick the goddesses throwing them a golden pear (in some version – apple) into the courtyard with a message: 'For the most beautiful goddess of all'."

"Prometheus happily left the Gods’ playground and took the fire with him either in a hollowed pumpkin or hollowed reed (depending on the interpretation) and brought it to Earth and gave it to humans."

(Myth of Prometheus)

(Hamilton, Kim)

The Notorious Jumping Frog

The narrator ends up tricking his friend by using intellect and secret knowledge in order to get the man's name who tricked him.

"In compliance with the request of a friend of mine, who wrote me from the East, I called on good-natured, garrulous old Simon Wheeler, and inquired after my friend's friend, Leonidas W. Smiley, as requested to do, and I here unto append the result. I have a lurking suspicion that Leonidas W. Smiley is a myth; that my friend never knew such a personage; and that he only conjectured that if I asked old Wheeler about him, it would remind him of his infamous Jim Smiley, and he would go to work and bore me to death with some exasperating reminiscence of him as long and as tedious as it should be useless to me."

(Twain, Mark, and Bruce Rogers)

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