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Heroes in The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Ballad of Mulan, and the Film Saving Private Ryan

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Heroes are goals for our own aspirations. Humanity is assembled around the necessity for role models and the transference down of information, this is how we learn. A hero is defined as someone with admirable traits or people who, in the face of danger or from a position of weakness, display courage or the will for self-sacrifice, whether it be moral in a literal or figurative approach. These notions of heroism are portrayed directly through the collection of relating texts, ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh,’ and ‘The Ballad of Mulan,’ and the film ‘Saving Private Ryan.’
A hero can be anyone. The modern day hero does not need physical strength or have super human powers, nor do they need to be of royal decent or obtain a high-flying place in the government. Bernard Malamud explains, “Without heroes, we are all plain people, and don't know how far we can go,” suggesting that heroes are simply role-models we use to learn from. The first introduction to the concept of the Heroes Journey was through Joseph Campbell. In his book ‘A Hero with a Thousand Faces,’ he brings to light the idea of studying the human impulse to create stories that draw on universal themes which is highlighted in his theory of the Heroes Journey. He explains, “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself,” which demonstrates the idea of portraying a hero as someone who gives without the need for repayment. Similarly the founder of analytical psychology, Carl Jung, talks about heroes in his essay ‘A Study in the Process of Individuation,’ through his concept of introversion and extraversion. According to him, archetypes are distinctive universal psychic temperaments, which form the substrate from which the basic themes of human life a...


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...n, the three Epic journeys, the ancient text, ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh,’ the influential poem, ‘The Ballad of Mulan,’ and the film, ‘Saving Private Ryan,’ directed by Steven Spielberg have complementarily proven that the statement ‘Humanity will always need a hero to respect and admire,’ is undoubtedly accurate. I have also used the information I have collected to provide sufficient evidence for my initial argument ‘Heroes are goals for our own aspirations. Humanity is assembled around the necessity for role models and the transference down of information, this is how we learn,’ through the breakdown of these three Epic Journeys, explaining that while heroes need to be admirable and respected characters, they can also be anyone, male, female, physically strong, or mentally strong, royal or not. Heroes are simply goals we set for ourselves to achieve the most we can.



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