Marshall Eriksen is the light at the end of a tunnel. More often than not, Marshall is the guiding light for Ted, and is arguably the most “real” character on the show. His goofy side, characterized by singing about everything he does, winning every game imaginable, and his humility as a friend and lover, is accompanied by his intelligence and compassion in regard to others.
Growing up extremely family-oriented, Marshall leans on his compassionate, loving side in every matter of his life. Even as a child, Marshall was the first to treat others before treating himself, regardless of the circumstances. Although an admirable quality, this often painted Marshall in an innocent and vulnerable light, causing others to take advantage of him. Growing up, his family was always there to support him through these times, and as he got older, we see on the show that he has his friends to lean on instead. For example, when Lily cheats on Marshall during the show, his innocence and vulnerability is at its peak, highlighted by the fact that: for one thing, it happened in the first place; the second thing being that she was forgiven.
Growing up in the tight-knit community of St. Cloud Minnesota, Marshall’s compassion and closeness to healthy ideals stemmed from his environment, and likely led to his job on the show–a lawyer in defense of the environment and the earth. Seen as soft and sweet in his earlier years, Marshall sure grew into this skin, and embraced it to every extent possible; his undying affection for Lily and success in his passion should not, and do not go unnoticed.