Introduction Who is a hero? In contemporary times, usage of the term has become somewhat of a cliché. Over the years, the term “hero” has become representative of a wide variety of individuals, each possessing differing traits. Some of the answers put forth by my colleagues (during our in-class discussion on heroism) as to whom they consider heroes pointed to celebrities, athletes, teachers and family members. Although the occupations differed, each of their heroes bore qualities that my classmates perceived as extraordinary, whether morally or physically. Nonetheless, Webster’s defines “hero” as “a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities.” Thus, it is worth considering that individuals become heroes relative to the situation with which they’re faced. Using the above definition of hero and heroism, this essay attempts to assess three famous heroic characters portrayed in arguably the three greatest literary epics known to humankind, Achilles of Ancient Greece, Sundiata Keita of Ancient Mali and Rama of Ayodhya in what is today Modern India. With references to Stanley Lombardo’s translation of Homer’s Iliad, D.T. Niane’s Sundiata and R.K. Narayan’s translation of Valmiki’s Ramayana, this essay seeks to compare and contrast the attributes of these heroes, the morals associated with their heroism and their reasons for engaging in battle. Achilles The Greek army’s greatest warrior during the Trojan War, Achilles was born of the goddess Thetis and the mortal Peleus. (Murnaghan, 1997, p.xxv)“Strong, swift and godlike” as Lombardo translating Homer puts it (1997, p.5), his presence on the battlefield reverberated fear through his enemies. Being a general in the Achaean army, his original rationale as to engage... ... middle of paper ... ...ry characteristics which ultimately shaped the outcome of their campaigns. Although they utilized different morals and approaches in some instances, they were successful in their strife. Moreover, their attitudes also highlighted the characteristics of their cultures. Achilles mutiny as well as Sundiata and Rama’s humility points to what constituted the code of ethics in each culture. However, the trio are each a heroic representation of their respective cultures, thus inducing the conclusion that heroes are born relative to the situation they face. Works Cited Homer (1997). Iliad. (S. Lombardo, Trans.). Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. Narayan, R. K., and Kampar. (2006). The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version Of The Indian Epic (suggested by the Tamil version of Kamban). New York: Penguin Books. PDF e-book. Niane, D. (2006). Sundiata. Harlow: Longman.
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During the birth of early Greece each city-state had a distinctive style a rather religious, social, and political viewpoint. Homer is considered the earliest example of a writer, whether or not he composed the Iliad and the Odyssey, as a whole remains a question to many scholars. Honor and glory remained as the most prevalent ideas during the time period. It was a moment in history in which honor defined a man and glory allowed for success. A glorious man was one like “Hector” heir to throne of the city of Troy. He was a man that fought his opponent with every inch of strength and willingness to protect his city. Hector is a true hero, and when he dies fighting for his city against the mighty Achilles; he sets the standards of what defines a hero.
...e also existed many differences. Most striking was their view on death; one dreamt of immortality while the other adored death and all its glory. At the same time, one must acknowledge the significant effect their friends had on their lives. One cannot help but wonder how each hero's life would have been without what could be considered his soul mate. Regardless, one must accept the fact that Achilles and Gilgamesh were heroes of their time and will remain epic heroes that are continually analyzed and compared throughout the modern era.
A hero in literature, as defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica, is the main character of a literary work that is celebrated through ancient legends of a society. Most heroes, especially of ancient lore, have extreme and unlimited strength, skill in battle, and courage, while partaking in war or dangerous adventures regularly. They are always studied in literature, which makes them timeless, because they can help us learn different messages about our actions even in today’s world. In comparison it is concluded that even though Achilles and Sir Gawain were created at different time periods they still have similarities and both show us today how society was in the past. These heroes represent more than just a work of literature, but the value systems of entire societies, which is invaluable knowledge for
Great Indian authors have written grand epics that depict heroic characters performing virtuous deeds. Many of these epic tales feature fearsome and godly battles, while others highlight the soft side of human emotions. Despite seemingly unrealistic characters such as talking hawks and ten-headed monsters, and unlikely conflicts that feature bloody battles, many of these grand epics display many traditional values that Americans value in modern society. When construing three particular celebrated Indian epics (“the Mahabharata,” “the Bhagavad-Gita,” and “the Ramayana”), readers would easily glean the values and belief system that Ancient Indian society held in high esteem many thousands of years ago. Moreover, by comparing and contrasting respective ideals and principles, similarities between Ancient Indians and Americans would come to surface.
The epic hero’s journeys hold the hopes for future of ordinary people’s lives. The Epic of Gilgamesh was written in approximately 2000 B.C.E which is highly enriched with Ancient Mesopotamian religions, and The Ramayana was written by ancient Indians in around 1800 B.C.E. The stories were written in two different parts of the world. However, these two stories etched great evidence that show people from generation to generation that different cultures and religions are interconnected; they share ideas with each other. Both Gilgamesh and Rama traveled long journeys in these tales. These epic journeys played a role in the creation of different archetypes. We can clearly see that these two tales share similarities between these archetypes. Although
Ancient and modern epics follow a very Western tradition by defining heroism as the accomplishments of individual heroes to further the good of the whole, which means some must lose if the hero or heroes are to win. In The Iliad, Achilles comes to his senses and leads his troops to defeat the Trojans. In The Odyssey, Odysseus returns to Ithaca after his long journey and restores order by defeating the suitors. In The Aeneid, Aeneas succeeds in foun...
A hero is not only someone who succeeds a great feat or journey, being a hero is much more than that. By overcoming difficult obstacles in one’s inner self and their surroundings, one is created into an epic hero. Hence, the journeys, traveled by two epic heroes in books Life of Pi and The Odyssey, show similarities as well as differences in various incidents throughout the books. Protagonists, Pi and Odysseus, embark on journeys that strengthen their character and prove them to be great leaders and heroes. The guidance received—whether from Greek, Hindu, Christian, or Islamic gods—is truly ideal in the two heroes’ successes. Facing hardships that test their lives both physically and mentally, putting forth all efforts to fight temptations,
What is a hero? A hero can be classified as a number of things. A hero can be a person who in the opinions of others has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal. Ervin Staub, a holocaust survivor from Hungary and as scholar on altruistic behavior, has written, "Goodness like evil often begins in small steps. Heroes evolve; they aren't born. Very often the rescuers make only a small commitment at the start, to hide someone for a day or two. But once they had taken that step, they begin to see themselves differently, as someone who helps. What starts as mere willingness becomes intense involvement." The business man, Oskar Schindler, demonstrated a powerful example
The story of Rama, a main character, has impacted the literary imagination for Indian and Asian culture. It is a fiction of good versus evil and clearly reveals a variation of oral dispersion. The Ramayana of Valmiki is embedded in Hindu tradition and includes characteristics of Western epics similar to Achilles’ story. One of the Hindu principles seen in this work was the concept of dharma; a life lived with moral righteousness. The story endures in its use of dialogue and description that builds an epic tale of rescue and redemption. Valmiki’s Ramayana has long been thought to offer positive models to follow a path of righteous living that has been used throughout the Oriental history.
Greek mythology is a beloved part of literature that has given humans thousands of stories to tell. From stories about deadly quests, powerful deities, to the even more famed aspect of Greek Mythology, its epic heroes. One of the many authors who took inspiration from Greek Mythology, and will serve as reference for this paper, is Hamilton, Edith. Mythology. 1988. The most well known epic heroes from Greek Mythology which Edith Hamilton writes about in her book are Hercules, Jason, Perseus, and Theseus, but the debate lies in which of these heroes is the best. To which the answer is, Theseus is the better epic hero because he possessed superior strength, intelligence, and courage, he was the most just from all other heroes,
Heros are known for their good reputation, qualities, altruism, courage,etc. They can be super stars, famous artists or even ordinary civilians. The definition of heroism in the dictionary is the qualities or attributes of a hero or heroine. Heroic stature is achieved when they “sacrifice” their own lives in order to make others have better lives. There are myriad heroes from past to present, such as Martin Luther King, Bruce Lee, Yao Ming, Aung San Suu Kyi and so on. Learning about heroism allows us to make a better world.
One of the most striking relationships throughout the entire Rāmāyaṇa is that between India's epic hero Rāma and his half-brother Lakṣmaṇa. What is interesting about this affair is Lakṣmaṇa's pure fidelity toward his brother and all his goals. While Rāma is the king on leave throughout most of the Hindu epic, Lakṣmaṇa acts more or less as his royal servant and bodyguard of his most prized possession, that being Rāma's wife, Sītā. Interestingly enough, Lakṣmaṇa is very much an intelligent being himself, and one who revels in the longevity of his brother's interests and aims. This paper will deal with how these Lakṣmaṇa creates himself as the most loyal of companions within the first book of the Rāmāyaṇa. In the Bāla Kāṇḍa, Vālmīki sets forth the ideal relationship between the brothers, which only grows stronger and allows the story to finish at the termination of the Uttara Kāṇḍa.
The idea that some people are strong enough to be completely independent of others might seem true at surface level, but further examination of this concept proves otherwise. Through analyzing the journey of Rama as well as those around him, The Ramayana becomes proof that all characters are relevant in accomplishing big-picture tasks. Characters in The Ramayana which seem to have varying levels of relevance or show antagonistic behavior all have large roles in accomplishing big-picture dharma; this fact becomes clear as their dependencies on each other are recognized, demonstrating that all individuals must rely on others.
The Ramayana is the most famous and well-known of all Indian epics, originally based on an epic poem it has taken many variations and forms over the centuries. Traditionally the story centers on the hero Prince Rama, who is the embodiment of virtue and perseverance, as he is wrongfully denied his birthright of being crowned king and instead is unjustly exiled into the forest where he encounters his fair share of dilemma. In R. K. Narayan’s condensed, modern version of The Ramayana the classic conflict of duality is a predominant theme, as Rama faces many instances of uncertainty and trivial chaos which are eventually balanced by order and goodness under the laws of karmic causation and dharma alike which he virtuously strives to uphold. Nina