An epic hero is someone who goes down in history as being brave, courageous, and obviously heroic. They don’t have to be asked to save the day, and often times, they aren’t even saving their own people. There are several epic poems that come to mind when thinking about European culture and where it came from. These stories are held as sacred to many different people, and will always be studied whenever the topic of government or culture comes up. In these poems, or stories, there is always a hero that the story is centered around, often times even named for. These heroes include Achilles, Odysseus, Aeneas, Socrates, Gilgamesh, Beowulf, and Arthur; there are certain things about these men that make them heroes.
Achilles is the ideal hero, the obvious hero. He is the son of a goddess and a man, a demi-god. He is handsome and kingly in stature. He is strong and courageous. Though Achilles is not a king, he is willing to fight to the death for his country. “At Troy, Achilles distinguished himself as an undefeatable warrior. Among his other exploits, he captured twenty-three towns in Trojan territory, including the town of Lyrnessos, where he took the woman Briseis as a war-prize.” (Hunter) His confidence in himself speaks volumes about him as a person. He knows that virtually, he cannot be killed. “So he wavered, waiting there, but Achilles was closing on him now like the god of war, the fighter’s helmet flashing, over his right shoulder shaking the Pelian ash spear, that terror, and the bronze around his body flared like a raging fire or the rising, blazing sun.” (Book 22; Pg. 546-547) This confidence sometimes causes problems though. He argues with the king many times, and pretty much does whatever he wants. He is a hero, but he is ...
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...lgamesh, Socrates, Odysseus, and Achilles, have these specific characteristics. They have what it takes to be an epic hero.
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