Essay on Epic Of Tragedy : Heroism

Essay on Epic Of Tragedy : Heroism

Length: 1790 words (5.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Two characters could be described as a hero, and could be two completely different characters. This is because what heroism is defined as changes depending on who one asks and on what they’re reading. Form Homeric epic to tragedy, the concept of heroism has been taken on by many different authors, each representing heroism differently. Even the same author can represent heroism differently. Heroism is a dynamic topic, and can change as time goes on, can change as the themes change between plays and poems, and can change from character to character.
From Homeric epic, to tragedies, the idea of heroism has changed with the passage of time. Around 8th century B.C.E is when Homeric epic first defined heroism. From heroes, such as Achilles from the Iliad, to heroes like Odysseus from the Odyssey, a hero was represented as a brave, strong, and cunning individual. Homeric heroes also can be god-like, such as Achilles, who is a demi-god, born from the sea-nymph Thetis and Peleus, another Greek hero. While the heroes are the best of the best, they also tend to be very stubborn at times, and act childish. For example, in the Iliad when the Embassy goes to Achilles to try and persuade him to return to battle, and Achilles responds with “I don’t think that Agamemnon son-of-Atreus, or any other Greek, will be able to persuade me, since it was made clear that there was no thanks or reward for all the fighting I did against the enemy day after day after day” (9. 311-314). This shows that instead of following the heroic code and fighting for glory like a standard hero would, he acts like a child because Agamemnon upset him and is sad he is not being rewarded. Another example of a Hero acting stubborn is the Greek hero Ajax, who also fought durin...


... middle of paper ...


...t heroism can be represented differently not only within the same genre, but even within the same epic poem.
Whether it is Achilles or Odysseus, the pursuit of glory or ignoring the truth when it is presented, or 8th century B.C.E or 4th century B.C.E, heroism changes depending on the situation. This is proved by how heroes differ depending on what the theme is, such has how the hero is brave and strong when the theme is about glory, but when the them focuses on using less strength, the hero is more cunning. It is also proved by how two heroes within the same poem or play can even be slightly different, such as Achilles or Hector. Lastly, it is proven by how heroes from different time periods are different, such as Homeric heroes in 7th century or tragic heroes in 4th century. Heroism has been proven to be a very fluid subject, not having a set definition or rules.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Ancient Greek Values : The Ideal Epic World

- Ancient Greek Values in the Ideal Epic World Iliad is one of the commonly understood pieces as epic that based on the Trojan War in ancient Greek. However, the meaning of the piece goes deeper and reflects more on the ancient Greek. The Iliad is a story about the evolution of Achilles persona and emerges as an epic of the war. Homer puts the elements of anti-war relatively on display portraying the ideal epic world that progresses through elements that defines the coexistence of the society. In a reflection of an ideal epic world, the book focuses more on the elements of war since the act binds up with the act of humanity....   [tags: Homer, Trojan War, Achilles, Iliad]

Better Essays
809 words (2.3 pages)

The Epic Of Beowulf By William Tolkien Essay

- Over time, many experts criticize the poem Beowulf. According to J. R. R. Tolkien, most critics talk about how Beowulf’s plot has unnecessary characters and how certain pieces of the plot are not in the right places. Tolkien, who is a fan of Beowulf, writes a speech of why Beowulf is a great piece of literature. He states that the poet writes the poem so well that most people see it historically incorrect (The Monsters and the Critics). Tolkien does agree that Beowulf is not historically accurate, but that is not the point....   [tags: Beowulf, KILL, Hero, Grendel's mother]

Better Essays
1045 words (3 pages)

Religion, Greek Tragedy, And Heroism Essay

- Religion, Greek Tragedy, and Heroism: An analysis of Miguel de Unamuno & San Manuel Bueno, Martyr: In Miguel de Unamuno’s novella San Manuel Bueno, Martyr, readers learn about the life of Don Manuel, a Catholic priest secretly holding atheist beliefs and doubts in the afterlife. Despite these disbeliefs, Don Manuel works tirelessly to help his community and is regarded as a saint by all who meet him, hence the handle “San Manuel,” which literally translates to “Saint Manuel.” Don Manuel’s struggle and affiliation with sainthood receives further analysis and context from Francisco LaRubia-Prado, who parallels Unamuno’s novella to elements of Greek Tragedy and heroism....   [tags: Tragedy, Drama, Theatre of ancient Greece]

Better Essays
1051 words (3 pages)

Human Condition as Seen in Beowulf and Lliad Essay

- Many cultures in the ancient and medieval worlds found courage as a value and virtue associated with warriors. To a great extent, western cultures also find courage as an attribute of warriors. This courageous cultural tendency gets its imaginative manifestation in literature of heroic societies such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, homer’s Iliad and Beowulf. These Epic heroes which show human conditions are Gilgamesh, Achilles from Homer's Iliad and Beowulf. Although, the actions and lives of these warriors occurred at different times in history, their stories are passed on from generations to generations and they share a lot of commonalities but with some discrepancies based on their lives, thei...   [tags: achilles, gilmaesh, epic heroes, courage]

Better Essays
1065 words (3 pages)

The Epic Of Aristotle 's Poetics Should Beowulf Be Considered An Epic Or Heroic Tragedy?

- Intro Thesis: In light of Aristotle’s Poetics should Beowulf be considered an epic or heroic tragedy. Definitions of an epic and heroic tragedy according to Aristotle. “Tragedy is a representation of an action of a superior kind-grand, and complete in itself- presented in embellished language, in distinct forms in different parts, performed by actors rather than by a narrator, effecting, through pity and fear, the purification* of such emotions” (Poetics 23). “Now tragedy is the representation of action, and action involves agents who will necessarily have certain qualities of both character and intellect....   [tags: Tragedy, Drama, Poetics, Catharsis]

Better Essays
1216 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Civilizations and Heroism in the Epic Poems of Gilgamesh and Beowulf

- Heroism is a theme that has appeared throughout history in the literature of different civilizations. Heroes represent the principles and ideals associated with the varying morals of each individual society. The literature of Mesopotamia and Western Europe is a prime example of this. Beowulf, an Anglo-Germanic tale and The Epic of Gilgamesh, of the Sumerians, demonstrate perfectly, the ability of civilizations to convey the values and customs of their society through their literature. The setting for Beowulf is Scandinavia, before the time Christianity had spread its course....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh]

Better Essays
612 words (1.7 pages)

Heroism in Epic of Gilgamesh Essay

- Heroism in Gilgamesh   Heroism entails several things; a selfless act, courage, or the accomplishments of bold and daring expeditions. A hero can often be of divine ancestry. But every hero has faults and these faults along with heroic deeds make the man, or woman; a hero. Gilgamesh loved his friend Enkidu more than he loved himself. A phrase indicating this love for Enkidu is on page 35: "We must go down into the forest together./. . .I will go before you/And protect you. Enkidu followed close behind" This was a selfless act....   [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]

Better Essays
932 words (2.7 pages)

Beowulf's Epic Heroism Essay

- In Beowulf the poem, Beowulf is considered to be an epic hero, he is different than just a regular hero. At the time, except for the King, warriors were the most honored and respected. Throughout this poem the author expresses that Beowulf is a true epic hero. What makes an epic hero. An epic hero must undertake a quest to achieve something tremendous value to his nation, must be super-human, and protects his people and their ideals. Beowulf is one of the greatest warriors of all time to protect his nation and people, he is a perfect candidate of an epic hero....   [tags: Grendel's Defeat, Sacrifice]

Better Essays
588 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on Santiago's Heroism

- Heroism is different to each person. To someone it might be to look impressive, or act above the ordinary. To someone else, it might be have amazing strength or courage in danger situation. Or maybe it might be having all of the heroic qualities, such as doing brave actions or having great determination. I can’t tell someone what the definition of heroism because there are just so many. But to me, heroism can be well described in this quote from Arthur Ashe. “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic....   [tags: Heroism]

Better Essays
507 words (1.4 pages)

Epic of Beowulf Essay: The Heroism of Beowulf

- Heroism of Beowulf     Beowulf was written in the eighth century by an unknown author. The story is centered on Beowulf, the main character, who goes to Denmark to offer his assistance in fighting off, Grendel, the monster who has been haunting them. Beowulf most definitely proves to be a hero. His heroism is exemplified first when he kills Grendel, then when he kills Grendel’s mother, and finally when he kills the dragon, called Worm. This makes him a hero because he risks his own life to save the people of Denmark....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essay]

Free Essays
404 words (1.2 pages)