Response to “Why Rafiki?”

The following is a pingback response to Nick Anthony’s blog post “Why Rafiki?.

Anthony’s blog post is as much fascinating, as it is insightful into the philosophy of everyones favorite mandrill from The Lion King. For those potentially unfamiliar, Rafiki is a character the 1994 Walt Disney Film “The Lion King”, portrayed by Robert Guillome. Rafiki is the wise shaman of the pride lands, and serves as an adviser to the Lion King and is in charge of ceremonies. In the movie, Rafiki plays a critical role in the redemption of protagonist Simba’s character. It’s through Rafiki’s gentle, eccentric and philosophical guidance that forces Simba to confront the guilt and pain from his past, and return to Pride Rock where he is to reclaim his birthright as king.

Anthony analyzes and presents musings on the methods that Rafiki employs to help Simba come to epiphany, specifically the buddhist overtones and subtexts of Rafiki’s actions. Rafiki councils Simba, an emotionally repressive young lion who’s guilt ridden over the supposed role he played in the death of his father, Mufasa. While Rafiki is unaware of Simba’s exact role in the death of Mufasa (it was actually a set up by Simba’s villainous Uncle Scar), he knows the young lion is struggling with his identity and his past. Anthony writes about Rafiki’s philosophy as “A lot of it is about the illusions of self and the folly of dwelling on the past”, which is true. Simba had constructed himself a carefree personality that didn’t take responsibilities seriously, a defense mechanism brought on by the trauma of the death of his father. Rafiki shatters this illusion by smacking Simba on the head, and telling Simba “the past can hurt, but the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it!

If you want to look more into specifically what Anthony writes about, check out his post! It’s incredibly insightful and worth the read.


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