Back in the days of the Odyssey and The Iliad, heroes were classified by their accomplishments. From Odysseus to Achilles, all of the men who were idolized as heroes were so idolized because of their world-altering deeds and conquests, unfathomable wealth, and achievements that would forever be remembered in history. But today, in a world pillaged by war, poverty, controversy, drugs, disease, and economic blunders, who truly deserves to be called a hero? No longer are there titans on the earth, bloodthirsty men with chain mail armor, lances and swords, leading enormous armies into battle. And yet, though circumstances have changed, people haven’t, and the need for heroes, for role models and beings of unfathomable perfection, has not dissipated from society even as the ancient hero has. In America today, the concept of a hero is much different. People in the ancient world were idolized because of inconceivable strength, wealth, or intelligence, however the people that modern Americans admire and model themselves after poses qualities such as selflessness, bravery, and determination that make them true role models.
We’ve all had are moments when we wanted to be a hero, to wear a cape, and help others who felt they needed a helping hand. Being a hero can be so much more than saving someone from a life or death situation. In the ancient Greece modern time, a hero was a woman who was well-known and would obtain a status after a death of a lover. To the Greeks, the urgency of heroes was a mythical thing because it molded the future “heroes” (Kreyche p. 82). This dates to today’s heroes. Every mythical and non-mythical story has its heroes, especially the ones kids have created in books and movies. The definition of heroes has progressively changed throughout the years. Today, our heroes consist of a person having “great courage, especially for a noble purpose” (“heroism”). Throughout the years, heroism has been created to show one’s grateful purpose, their effects of being a hero, and what it took to keep the status of a “hero”.
...heir time to work beyond the scope of their occupation, in response to a communal need or the need of an individual (Olsson, 2002). In most cases, heroes have a strong impact on the lives of others by helping the less fortunate in their communities. Knowledge and familiarity with their community provides heroes with the proper insight to understand what heroism requires. Strength of character provides the ability to enact heroism. Heroic virtue does not depend on one’s time, place, or condition, but on one’s willingness to rise above circumstances with an ingenuity and determination that can overcome all odds. Anyone that cares for the well-being of others and their community can be a hero. Heroes are all around us; they do what they do without expecting to be recognized for what they do so you may think there are not many heroes today, but they are everywhere.
The word hero is a familiar word to most, and many people believe they fully understand that meaning. Quite often, they really do not. Expressing kindness is not a difficult task all it takes is a bit of caring and consideration to do something for the benefit of someone else. As Barron (2002) states, “here’s another way to think about it: A hero does something truly important, regardless of whether anyone ever notices. Heroism, then, is about character. The qualities a person carries down inside” (p. 12).
The concept of heroism has been explored by every author in every generation of writing. The earliest heroes were “self” described heroes that existed within Greek mythology and gained the actual title “Hero” by completing feats that, while they were humanly possible, were only accomplishable by those at peak human form, both physically and mentally. For as long as heroism has been used in literature, and spoken word, they have all had the common theme of humanity. The most prominent heroes were all human, some were “underdog” heroes starting at a disadvantage, some were a manifestation, or reflection, of the average person of the time, and yet others were supposed to represent the peak of humanity. The hero embodies the ideals of the society but is often helpless at the hands of fate.
In “The Thematic Paradigm”, Robert Ray explains the principles and significance of the official hero. An official hero “embodies the best attributes of adulthood: sound reasoning and judgment, wisdom and sympathy based on experience” (452). Official heroes
In conclusion, there is no indifference against the form we take or the life we lead but what we make of what we have been given. Every story has a hero, no matter how insignificant or secondary they may seem, and any individual does not require any extra powers to make a difference in someone's life than can affect tens, hundreds, even thousands of people. A person is bestowed with the title of a “hero” in the same manner any other person has to earn respect. Our stories shape our character, and lead us to becoming influential people despite our origin. A hero can be anyone, and can come from anywhere. Our literary figures today face their struggles and come out victorious which make them the ideal warriors to role model and aspire to become. A hero's origin is merely the basis for leaving an everlasting impression on the world.
There is an ever growing dispute in society where some people view others as heroes either when they physically put themselves in danger to defend a cause or to safeguard others, or when they say what they are thinking out loud when others are not brave enough to do so. The recognition of a hero should go to those who are able to stand up for others against the oppressors or conflicts in society by voicing their opinion and by stating the opinions of the people who do not have the courage to do so. However, some may believe that heroes are those who seek danger to protect others or a cause, an example being a firefighter or cop who goes into work every day to protect the people in society, even though they know their lives are in stake. The articles, "Inspired by a hero: What Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life means to me" by La Prensa, "Profiles in Greatness - Gandhi" by Success, and "Nelson Mandela, hero to the world" by New Pittsburgh Courier, support the claim that heroes are those who are the voice for the voiceless. There has been many people in history who have put their lives at stake due to their courage to stand up for others, an example being Martin Luther King, Jr.
When we were kids, we all had that one person we looked up to. Whether it was a princess, a celebrity, a fictional superhero, or a family member, we gave this person the title “hero.” We selected these people to be our heroes because they had specific qualities like bravery, strength, and intelligence, but not all heroes are required to have these qualities. A hero is someone who, based on perspective, can be found almost anywhere because they make sacrifices and do actions for the better of others.
His self-bias opinion clouds the essay and doesn’t give way for a true discussion on heroism and the different forms of heroes. He puts up a weak front, such as his comparison between Martin Luther King Jr. and 50 Cent, to make his argument seem stronger. In the end, although LaBarge uses examples to back up his stance that “Today, it is much harder to detach the concept of heroism from morality (LaBarge. 1),” his essay contains flaws and he contradicts his own words. He says it is hard to separate, in our minds, heroism from morality, but in the end he forgets that heroes are mortals who do extraordinary
Recently, students of Olympian High School have stumbled upon the question, "What is a hero?" In the school's 2013 Young Minds Essay Contest, students are expected to consider universal concerns and ideas. Many times when people think of a hero, they think of Superman, Batman, and many other Marvel characters who display unattainable superpowers. However, heroes are prevalent throughout the world. A hero can be anyone who has the desire to help others, brave in dangerous situations, and does not look at exterior gain from helping others.
From the beginning of time, mythology has appeared to be one key method of understanding life’s confusions and battles. Within these myths lies a hero. From myth to myth and story to story, heroes experience what may be called a struggle or a journey, which lays down their plot line. Bearing tremendous strength, talent, and significant admiration, a hero holds what is precious to their audience, heroism. Over time however, no matter the hero, the hero’s role remains indistinguishable and identical to the position of every other hero.
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.
Throughout history, there have always been heroes. Those strong-willed, brave individuals who perform courageous acts for fame and glory are prevalent in most cultures.. Societies have these heroes as standards of their cultures’ moral codes. Every society has their own definition of these codes are, so a unifying definition of hero can be hard to achieve. However, Philip Zimbardo says “Simply put, then, the key to heroism is a concern for other people in need—a concern to defend a moral cause, knowing there is a personal risk, done without expectation of reward.” With this basic definition, I will be examining various epic heroes I’ve studied throughout the course of my senior year for characteristics. From the copious amounts of studying, I’ve deduced that Achilles, Odysseus, Aeneas, Socrates, Gilgamesh, Beowulf, and Arthur all have characteristics that make them heroic.