What Makes an Epic Hero Essay

What Makes an Epic Hero Essay

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What is an epic hero? Although we would like to believe that a hero would always be there to save us as needed, that is not always the case. All heroes are different, but what makes them epic? Many would answer that question by saying because they are in an epic poem or story; however, that answer isn’t true. An epic hero, of course is in an epic narrative, but it is what they accomplish in that specific text. First, an epic hero has to make a grand journey and be in the Gods favor or shall we say the chosen one. Also, he has to be seen as superior than any other man. For clarification, the epic hero needs to be bigger, faster, stronger, and wiser than anyone else in the story, except for the Gods of course. Also, and epic hero is also usually selfless, a leader, and honorable. These are just a few of the specific qualities that an epic hero must possess in order to be epic. Another characteristic that any epic hero has is their very own tragic flaw. Anyone can be a hero, but it takes much more to be considered an epic hero. Some epic heroes from several different texts that will be analyzed will be Achilles from The Iliad, Odysseus from The Odyssey, Aeneas from The Aeneid, Socrates from The Republic, Gilgamesh from The Epic of Gilgamesh, Beowulf from Beowulf, and King Arthur from Morte D’Arthur.
The first epic hero is the honorable Achilles from the epic poem, The Iliad by Homer. Achilles is described as a proud and brave man in this epic with a great tragic flaw. Of course, any epic hero had this great flaw that eventually brings them down in the end. For Achilles, his tragic flaw would be the fact that he is proud and gets enraged easily; and he lets it consume him. Homer states in The Iliad, “But any men he saw retreating fro...


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...oesn’t go on an epic journey, he is a great king and he endures an epic battle; he is also the face of unity and peace. All of these heroes are epic for their own reasons, yet some are more epic than others.



Works Cited

Galvin, Rachel. "The imprint of immortality." Humanities. 01 Sep. 2002: 18. eLibrary. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

Heydt, Bruce. "Legends of Arthur." British Heritage. 01 Dec. 2001: 58. eLibrary. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

Keats, John. "The Iliad and Odyssey of Homer." National Review. 17 May. 2004: 23. eLibrary. Web. 10 Nov. 2013.

McAuliff, Coller, Andrea.. "The Odyssey." Scholastic Scope. 06 Sep. 2004: 4. eLibrary. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

O'Neill, Kathleen.. The Aeneid. Barron's, 2004. eLibrary. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

Warsh, Lewis.. Beowulf. Barron's, 2004. eLibrary. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.

Yarbrough, Jane.. The Republic. Barron's, 2004. eLibrary. Web. 13 Oct. 2013.

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