The Four Types of Men: Part IV – The Bard

Musician with sitar

 Have you ever had your mind changed by a book, been brought to tears by a movie, heard a song that could sum up the end of your relationship, or sat and stared at a painting? At some point, there was a Bard who channeled some divine genius and make you feel that way.


This world is but a canvas to our imagination.

Note: this is the final part of a larger series. Please read my introduction here if you would like some background. I’m a musician, so I’m coming from that perspective.

The Bard only truly lives when he is communing with his Muse. The Bard is deeply emotional, deeply passionate, and deeply creative. The Bard is sensory. The Bard speaks to our id in a deep and satisfying way. Have you ever had your mind changed by a book, been brought to tears by a movie, heard a song that could sum up the end of your relationship, or sat and stared at a painting? At some point, there was a Bard who channeled some divine genius and make you feel that way. The Bard is powerful, whimsical, and beautiful. The Bard feels so strongly that they make you feel. I can’t tell you how many songs I have heard that I wanted to listen to over and over. That I danced too, cried to, laughed to, or just celebrated.

It’s funny that being emotional is normatively considered to be a feminine trait. As men, we are just as emotional, even if we have trouble accessing some of these emotions from time to time. The great actors, artists, and musicians who we love could channel those emotions and make us feel them. So why do avoid them? Why are we so afraid of vulnerability? I guess because it’s hard, and it hurts.

The Bard’s greatest enemy (at least according to Steven Pressfield…credit to my friend Jess for the introduction to his work) is Resistance. Personal issues, friendships, day-to-day responsibilities, procrastination, fear…all of these can derail the work of The Bard. And without the work, what are you? What is the musician without music? The painter without paintings? The Bard has trouble living in the world. That’s why you see actors looking so uncomfortable in interviews, or musicians with no idea how to manage their finances. Their job is to channel their creative muse…they aren’t all that good at anything else.

The Bard is also prone to emotional volatility. Sadness, anger, ecstasy, lust…these are the tools of The Bard. The most beautiful creations come from emotional vulnerability, but it is a tough life exposing your true self to the world. It is hard to stand on stage while everybody judges everything you are doing. The Bard can be driven to depression, drug use, and down other dangerous roads because of that pressure. The Bard might have trouble with relationships, and might have difficulty in 9-to-5 jobs. The Bard’s biggest challenge is committing and doing the work.

Positive Attributes: passionate, loving, creative, fun, mutable, open to new experiences, empathetic, able to think outside the box, sensitive, driven.

Negative Attributes: emotionally volatile, prone to mood swings, difficulty with administrative or ‘boring’ work, poor communicator (except through creative vehicle), unrealistic.

Famous Examples: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Kurt Cobain, Homer, Michelangelo, James Brown, Zhang Zeduan, Ferran Adria.

Energy: passionate, fearless, open, volatile, beautiful.

Example Professions: painter, musician, vocal coach, advertising (creative side), dramaturge, architect, chef.

Animal: spider, chimpanzee, mockingbird, cricket, any of these guys.

—Photo andrewkimmell/Flickr


For Further Reading Check out:

Four Types of Men: An Introduction

The Four Types of Men: Part I – The Warrior

The Four Types of Men: Part II – The Philosopher

The Four Types of Men: Part III – The Monk

Zhang Zeduan

About Josh Bowman

Josh Bowman is a professional fundraiser, story-teller, comedian, and blogger. He has worked and consulted in Vancouver, New York, and now Toronto for almost a decade. Josh improvises around Toronto, including regular shows with Opening Night Theatre, and also blogs for the Huffington Post. You can email Josh here.. If you want to know more about Josh, check this post and this post out first.


  1. Nice series- though I think you need to write about a 5th guy, the wimp.

    • Michael Philp says:

      I’m interested in this. Can you define the wimp further? What exactly makes someone a wimp? Are there benefits to being one? I may be considered a wimp, but that is only because I am not a warrior, and when confronted with a warrior I realise I am outmatched on his grounds. I am also a bard, and I know that if the warrior were to come onto my turf, he would be outmatched. Does that make him a wimp?

  2. While I appreciate the effort, the premise behind this set of essays–and all that most web browsing folks are likely to see–is a reductive list of four kinds of men when in fact there are billions.

    • It’s a bit reductive, but it’s more about four different aspects of men. He did state in the introduction that most of us are some mixture of these aspects.

      Kind of like colours on a paint palette.

Speak Your Mind