Greek Mythology : Greek Heroes Essay

Greek Mythology : Greek Heroes Essay

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As defined by Merriam Webster dictionary a hero is “ a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities” (Merriam-Webster, 2015). That means by proper definition none of the Greek heroes qualify. Nevertheless, Greek mythology has a different definition of what a hero is and it is defined by distinctive characteristics. According to Momi Awana, Greek heroes are valued by the embracement of their mortality, superhuman abilities, un-heroic behaviors, and impermanent death (Awana, n.d.). Although some may argue because of how we today define a hero, based off of the Greek values Achilles was a courageous, loyal, and epic Greek hero who fought and led the Trojan War. He encompasses all the qualities valued by the Greeks of this time and therefore makes him the hero that he was and still is today.
Achilles was set up to be a hero in the making from the time we was an infant. He was born to the Myrmidons king Peleus, who was a mortal, and Thetis, a nymph. When he was just an infant Thetis wanted to make him immortal, so she immersed him into the river Styx, the river that separates the land of the living from the land of the dead. She did this to make him invincible in battle. Nevertheless, while being immersed she held him by his left heel and forgot to dip this heel in as well. Hence this part remained mortal. Therefore, despite his great strength Achilles had one vulnerable spot, his “Achilles heel” which ultimately led him to his death.
Although Achilles mother attempted to make him immortal she failed in doing so. As stated by Michael Nelson, “ Achilles knew from a young age that his life was fated to be either short and imperishably glorious or long, peaceful, and unremarkable” (Nelson, 1996). Nevertheless, Thetis...

... middle of paper ...

... in his heel, which led him to his death. Although Achilles is dead, to the Greeks heroes live on in their memory, spirit, and even body. Therefore Achilles has an impermanent death to those who believe these heroes can return to earth. Achilles birth is also seen has impermanent in Homer’s The Odyssey.
But you, Achilles,
There’s not a man in the world more blest than you—
There never has been, never will be one.
Time was, when you were alive, we Argives
Honored you as a god, and now down here, I see,
You lord it over the dead in all your power.
So grieve no more at dying, great Achilles (Homer, 265 )
These verses show that even though Achilles is dead and wishes he could still be living Odysseus is jealous because he is still being worshipped as a God. This shows that Achilles is still living on.
In conclusion based on the Greek definition, Achilles is a hero.

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Greek Mythology : Greek Heroes Essay

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