Essay on Heroes of the Ages

Essay on Heroes of the Ages

Length: 1140 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Throughout the ages, there have been many epic heroes in which we hear about through stories. However, there is a rather common question of what makes them an epic hero. Not only do humans look for the bravery and good deeds in a hero, but they go deeper than that. They wish to know what lies beneath the skin. Literally, what makes them act the way they do. Psychologically speaking, there is no sure way to tell why each person acts the way they do. However, what people can analyze is the actions within a story. Of the numerous heroes in which one could extrapolate upon, there are a few who are ideal for finding the true characteristics that make a hero, those being: Achilles, Odysseus, Aeneas, Socrates, Gilgamesh, Beowulf and of course Arthur.

The first hero to analyze for characteristics is Achilles. Although some do not necessarily believe him to be the grandest man, he is still the basis of a lot of stories in which young men feel they should model. Achilles has certain qualities, such as willpower and a care for his men, as Graham Zanker says, “The loss of his armor would among normal heroes be considered a loss of honor, but Achilles makes no mention of honor in this connection, instead lamenting the loss of his friend, as the dominant theme of his speech, and denying that Zeus’ restoration of his honor gives him any pleasure now that Patroklos is dead.” (Zanker). This is also displayed plainly within the Illiad, “Why have you come to me here, dear heart, with all these instructions? I promise you I will do everything just as you ask. But come closer. Let us give in to grief, however briefly, in each other's arms.” (Homer). Speaking of the first quality, Achilles is quite often remembered for his stubbornness; however, it d...


... middle of paper ...


...eowulf Handbook. Ed. John D. Niles. N.p.: U of Nebraska, 1997. Print.
Eisner, Robert. Socrates as Hero. N.p.: John Hopkins, 1982. Print.
Malkin, Irad. The Return of Odysseus: Colonization and Ethnicity. N.p.: U of California, 1998. Print.
Putnam, Michael C. J. Virgil's Epic Designs: Ekphrasis in the Aeneid. N.p.: Yale U, 1998. Print.
Sandars, N. The Epic of Gilgamesh. N.p.: Penguin Group, 1960. Print.
Wheeler, Bonnie. Quondam et Futurus. N.p.: Scriptorium, 1992. Print. http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/27870210?uid=3739984&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21102923820723
Zanker, Graham. The Heart of Achilles: Characterization and Personal Ethics in the Illiad. N.p.: U of Michigan, 1994. Print.
Beowulf translated by Burton Raffel
Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory
The Illiad by Homer
The Odyssey by Homer
The Aeneid by Virgil
The Epic of Gilgamesh
The Republic by Plato

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Heroes Of The Medieval Ages Essay examples

- The word “Heroism” is defined as being brave, great, and courageous. In the quote from James E. Faust, he states that “In the pain, the agony, and the heroic endeavors of life, we pass through a refiner 's fire, and the unimportant in our lives can melt away like dross and make our faith bright, intact, and strong.” One of the greatest heroes of the European Medieval Ages was Beowulf. Beowulf was a strong, great, and a good warrior. He fought to destroy evil, and restore good. I try being like Beowulf in my life, because I love his goodness and what he stands for....   [tags: Beowulf, Grendel, Hero, Beowulf]

Strong Essays
1293 words (3.7 pages)

Beowolf, The Art of Courtly Love, and The Wife of Bath and Essay

- The term “Hero” has been in our civilization for centuries. On the surface, a hero is a person of honor, integrity, and the will to fight for what he or she believes in. Nearly every story that is told is centered around a character who in one way or another is a hero. They are a person whom the common people are supposed to strive to be; but does this icon truly exist. While the author of Beowulf is still a mystery, the greatness of the character that he or she created will live on forever. Beowulf is the model of what a hero was supposed to be in the middle ages....   [tags: heroes in literature through the ages]

Strong Essays
800 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about The Metallic Ages of the Past

- The Norse “Metallic Ages,” so called because they date the periods when the Norse people are recorded to have been working with metals such as copper, bronze, and iron. We also include the Migration Period, the Age of Heroes, because the happened during the time of the Germanic Iron Age. The Norse Metallic Ages are: The Nordic Bronze Age 1700 BC –500 BC. The Pre-Roman Iron Age 500 BC – 1 AD. The Roman Iron Age 1 AD - 400 AD. The Germanic Iron Age 400 AD – 800 AD. The Migration Period (“The Heroic Age") 400 - 800 AD....   [tags: Norse, Nordic, Romanic, Germanic civilizations]

Strong Essays
698 words (2 pages)

American Servicemen and Women: True Heroes Essay

- It is an honor to have the best men and women defending the freedom of the United States of America. Without them, the celebrities, sports figures, and cultural icons would not be able to enjoy the things that do on a regular basis. The service men and women sacrifice so much for our freedom, they in turn lay their own lives on the line for us daily. In return they receive minimal pay and leave their loved ones behind. In reality these men and women are the real heroes. Today’s heroes are determined by a person’s eyes rather than their heart....   [tags: military issues, military families]

Strong Essays
920 words (2.6 pages)

A Hero of the Ages Essay

- A Hero of the Ages Heroes come from all sorts of places: movies, books, and even everyday life. Jen, a Gelfling, is a hero from the movie The Dark Crystal. Jen's story is one of prophecy, the never ending fight between good and evil, and love. This composition shall trace Jen's quest as well as evaluate his success in that quest, his individual self, and finally he shall be compared to one of the Greek heroes. Jen's quest can be classified as restoring the good kingdom. During a time of great change in the universe, there was a single dark crystal which held the source of balance and truth....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
727 words (2.1 pages)

A Story For The Ages Essay

- PART TWO . THE US ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT A Story for the Ages?The Beginning Through 1968 Chapter 7: In the Beginning?An American Melodrama (~12,000 BC to 1799) The Bering Land Bridge and Native Americans So, let?s start at the beginning?at least in the US. About 12,000 years ago during the last Ice Age much of the earth 's water supply was locked in glacial ice. As sea levels gradually dropped worldwide, a land bridge emerged from the sea and connected East Asia with North America. The first residents on what was to become US soil crossed this Bering Land Bridge and set up shop as Native Americans....   [tags: Native Americans in the United States]

Strong Essays
3499 words (10 pages)

Odysseus and Churchill: Epic Heroes Essay

- Courageous, noble qualities, leadership, bravery, physical and mental strength, outstanding wisdom, and risking his life are just a few characteristics that would describe a Homeric hero. Looking at the nature and work of Odysseus and Churchill, both have essential characteristics that qualify them as heroes. Odysseus’ and Churchill’s many triumphs and courage, intelligence, and leadership skills repeatedly reveal their heroic nature and bravery. For twenty years Odysseus, The king of Ithaca, overcame each obstacle the gods handed to him....   [tags: Literature, British History]

Strong Essays
1362 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Beowulf and Sir Gawain: a Comparison of Two Heroes

- In Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight there are two heroes that help the present day reader gain insight into what the hero of the Middle Ages would have held as ideals and necessary triumphs. Beowulf and Sir Gawain each fill a different role within their unique societies. Beowulf is a leader and a savior in times of need, willing to go to any length to help another group of people as well as his own kingdom. Sir Gawain is also willing to rise during moments of trouble within his court but lacks the altruism that is inherent in Beowulf's leadership....   [tags: World Literature]

Strong Essays
1053 words (3 pages)

Essay on Heroes And Villains

- Is a hero a person who wears tights and a cape and goes around saving the world. And is a villain a person who schemes evil plots against the hero. Even though heroes and villains might be seen differently through the eyes of individual people, we all know that not all heroes and villains are recognized for their actions. A hero can be somebody as big as Superman or someone like your mother and a villain can be somebody like Charles Manson or a fictional character such as DR Evil from Austin Powers....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
712 words (2 pages)

Heroes and the Journey Home Essays

- Heroes and the Journey Home A hero is someone who works to change things toward a certain ideal or succeeds in making change, usually to the benefit of many others besides him or herself. Heroes come in just about every form and almost every group or cause has its heroes. One of the definitions for a hero is that they are someone who is "admired for qualities and achievements and is regarded as an ideal or model."(New World Dictionary, 657) There have been many men and women who I consider to be heroes for the National Parks, because they sought change, preservation, appreciation and protection for our National Parks....   [tags: Hero Muir Adams Roosevelt Essays]

Strong Essays
1645 words (4.7 pages)