What Makes an Epic Hero Essay

What Makes an Epic Hero Essay

Length: 1826 words (5.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

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...

... middle of paper ...

...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.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

What Makes An Epic Hero? Essay

- References to epic hero stories are around us all the time, although we may not realize it. For example, why do we have trophies. What are they for. Well the answer to this lies in Beowulf; the trophies are put up to remember the deeds that we have done. Epic heroes have been around for a very long time, their stories born as the creation tale for the places of their origin. The people needed their epic heroes to outline the proper way to act and to tell the story of their creation. Some of the most famous epic heroes include: Achilles, Odysseus, Aeneus, Socrates, Gilgamesh, Beowulf, and Arthur....   [tags: heroes, Beowulf, Achilles, Odysseus, Arthur]

Term Papers
2041 words (5.8 pages)

What Makes an Epic Hero in Homer´s The Odyssey Essay

- A Greek epic hero is the main character of an epic poem that is typically strong and uses his or her strength to battle monsters throughout a long lasting journey. “The Odyssey” written by Homer is an epic poem about a captain who leads a group of soldiers back to their homeland of Ithaca. Odysseus is considered an epic hero because he travels to various lands, fights monsters, and the Gods interfere with the human world to make his journey more difficult. One of the traits that make Odysseus an epic hero is that he travels to many far-off lands....   [tags: travels, fights, journey, human]

Term Papers
650 words (1.9 pages)

Beowulf : The Epic Hero Essay

- Thomas Smith ENG 201 9-20-15 Beowulf the Epic Hero A hero can not simply be defined as someone who has outstanding qualities and abilities, a hero also has distinguished courage and is admired for having these aspects of their character for brave and noble acts. An Anglo-Saxon hero is a person who has tremendous leadership qualities, is able and willing to provide people with a sense of security, and is willing to go into danger despite possible harm to themselves. All of these qualities is what distinguished Beowulf above others by doing a good for the greater of everyone....   [tags: Hero, Courage, Epic poetry, Leadership]

Term Papers
1064 words (3 pages)

The Heroes Of The Epic Hero Essay

- We all have heroes; in fact without them we would simply be lost. It is what makes a hero that guides us in our lives, but there are many deceptions of heroes. The best ways to describe them by the view of the common peoples is, “To believe in the heroic makes heroes.” (Benjamin Disraeli)Many people believed in the hero Beowulf. The epic poem of Beowulf has travelled through centuries to grace the hearts of those who believe themselves to be virtuous. It is the guide to how a hero should be. Beowulf is the ultimate leader....   [tags: Beowulf, Epic poetry, Hero, Grendel's mother]

Term Papers
1101 words (3.1 pages)

Gilgamesh An Epic Hero Research Paper

- In the The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh sets on a journey to uncover his individuality and transforms from a brutal leader to a mature and astute king. The quasi-divine Gilgamesh debilitates his people by battle, forced labor, and his abuse of power. Gilgamesh is considered to be the greatest of all men until Enkidu is sent and counterweights Gilgamesh’s virtues and flaws. When Gilgamesh becomes fearful for his own death, because of the loss of his partner, he seeks eternal life. He unfortunately does not obtain eternal life, but instead he obtains the wisdom he needs to rule as a better king....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Epic poetry, Hero, Enkidu]

Term Papers
1177 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on The Epic Of Epic Hero

- An epic hero is a character that goes on a quest to achieve his goals, but sometimes encounters danger on the way. The hero is usually a king, prince, or a person of honor. The hero has a supernatural power that makes people respect them. The hero usually goes on a dangerous adventure to reach their goal or quest. The hero battles a creature or supernatural being that gets in their way during the adventure. The hero in the end usually does good deeds for people as well as finding themselves in the process....   [tags: Hero, Epic poetry, Life, American films]

Term Papers
704 words (2 pages)

Beowulf : An Epic Hero Of His Time Essay

- What is a hero to you. Your definition of a hero is likely to be different from a lot of other people’s. For some it could be a parent, a community hero, such as a fire fighter or police officer, or even just a regular person that you find to be heroic. For the time of Beowulf, A hero was somebody that held amazing attributes that made them superior. Such as, having super strength. Beowulf is a man of legend that lives in the form of a myth that has been told for thousands of years. His story tells of how he conquers an evil that had become peril to many lives in a land that he was not his own....   [tags: Hero, Beowulf, Superhuman, Superhuman strength]

Term Papers
1471 words (4.2 pages)

Beowulf is an Epic Hero Essay

- A true hero does not fear death or, but instead risks all that he is for what he believes to be right, moral, and just. Beowulf is an epic and tells the story of a legendary hero, conquering all obstacles as if he was immortal. Up until the end of Beowulf’s life he was constantly looking to be the hero. However, his humanity is exposed by his death. Heroes all share the characteristic of their willingness to die in their effort to accomplish their heroic act, thus making the act in itself heroic....   [tags: The Epic of Beowulf]

Term Papers
951 words (2.7 pages)

Beowulf is an Epic Hero Essay examples

- Every epic hero possesses certain heroic characteristics. The epic poem Beowulf describes the most heroic man of the Anglo-Saxon times. Beowulf is the hero. He shows that he is a great man by always putting other things before his own needs. He is important and needed by his people and is known by many as a strong, courageous and a helpful person. He shows all of the qualities and traits that a true hero possesses. Beowulf, like other epic heroes, possesses the following heroic qualities: epic heroes are superhuman types of beings....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Term Papers
459 words (1.3 pages)

Essay about Beowulf is an Epic Hero

- Epic battles, terrifying monsters, extraordinary strength, and great leadership; these characteristics and encounters are what make up the epic hero that is Beowulf. The heroism exemplified by Beowulf is defined by many different qualities. Beowulf is truly a hero because he is willing to put himself at great risk for the greater good. Beowulf's defeats of Grendel and Grendel's mother establish him as a hero because he did it to save his people, rather than for his own glory. Beowulf is brought from his homeland to Heorot as an aegis for Hrothgar's people....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Term Papers
1399 words (4 pages)