Wise Old Man

The wise old man (also called senex, sage or sophos) is an archetype as described by Carl Jung, as well as a classic literary figure, and may be seen as a stock character.[1] The wise old man can be a profound philosopher distinguished for wisdom and sound judgment.
This type of character is typically represented as a kind and wise, older father-type figure who uses personal knowledge of people and the world to help tell stories and offer guidance that, in a mystical way, may impress upon his audience a sense of who they are and who they might become, thereby acting as a mentor. He may occasionally appear as an absent-minded professor, appearing absent-minded due to a predilection for contemplative pursuits.

The wise old man is often seen to be in some way “foreign”, that is, from a different culture, nation, or occasionally, even a different time, from those he advises. In extreme cases, he may be a liminal being, such as Merlin, who was only half human.

In medieval chivalric romance and modern fantasy literature, he is often presented as a wizard.[2] He can also or instead be featured as a hermit. This character type often explained to the knights or heroes—particularly those searching for the Holy Grail—the significance of their encounters.[3]

In storytelling, the character of the wise old man is commonly killed or in some other way removed for a time, in order to allow the hero to develop on his/her own.

A Hard Days Work

Head off to a reading and writing class at the end of a hard day’s work in the fields, their neighbours laugh at them,” she says…
When I’m home everything seems to be right.
Everything is all-right.