The Epic Hero Archetype in Films, and Literature

844 Words4 Pages
As Beowulf possessed incredible the strength of 30 men, Luke Skywalker the force, and Harry Potter magic, epic heroes continue in every form of today’s entertainment and storytelling. Every culture from the beginning has had their own tales of heroes accomplishing great feats that no one else could. An epic hero is an icon for everyone to relate to, they symbolize different lessons to learn. The epic hero archetype exists as a source of entertainment but also as a demonstrative tool. Their morals and actions are there to help shape our own actions in life. The archetype of an epic hero is unchanging; it stands against the test of time to give us reassurance in the good moral values of human life. Characterized from the beginning, epic heroes tend to have rather unnatural births. We see this in most every case such as, Hercules being the son of Zeus. The hero will from that point on begin displaying a great prowess in the face of danger. There is also always a learning stage of the hero’s journey, where a more experienced guide must teach the hero how to utilize his powers. The reader feels attached to this guide as they share their infinite knowledge with the hero before ultimately passing on. Even in death however the guide tends to keep watch over the hero and when they require it, will speak to them with words of courage. Heroes are then faced with trials and challenges to demonstrate their abilities, much like Shrek had to rescue Fiona from a dragon. These trials are still part of the learning curve, and often result in the mastery of a specific power. The hero uses these powers in combination with special weapons or objects that they receive on their journey. King Arthur, for instance, was given Excalibur by the lady of th... ... middle of paper ... ...der to find self importance. The epic hero is one of the more recognized archetypes found in all films, literature, poems and novels. These unique characters tackle tasks that no one else can. The heroes have been, and will continue to be found in all sorts of writing and video. No matter how you look at it though, heroes will generally always share similar traits and qualities about their lives. Superman will always be relatable to Odysseus; the cycle of the epic hero will always continue. People will carry on using heroes to connect back to their own lives, with their problems. And while solving an issue at your work place may be on a much lesser scale than killing a 9 headed hydra there is still much to gain by being inspired by these heroes. The lessons we learn from the epic hero archetype are invaluable and will persist to influence our real life decisions.
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