Heroes all represent their own cultures, and follow their own values. A literary hero is held to the values of the culture in which they are created and can reveal those values to readers of different cultures. Values of a culture are shown through the actions of the heroes in literature; this is very notable in Beowulf, The Iliad, and Things Fall Apart.
Beowulf’s hero shows the values of the culture he represents. Beowulf shows great strength when he fights and wins many battles: Grendel, the seamonster, and Grendel’s mother. Great strength is also shown in his battle against the dragon, when in which he is killed. Bravery is shown when Beowulf is always willing to fight his battles and never backs down. In his last battles Beowulf tells his men that he must face the dragon alone. This hero is a very noble character who is close to perfectly ideal except for the fatal flaw that he is to strong and cannot use many weapons in his battles.
Achilles, from The Iliad, does only things that support what his culture believes. In the Greek culture the prize is the most important reward. Achilles shows this when he causes his men great trouble by refusing to give up the girl he won in battle. Since Achilles fights in battles when he is needed and he never loses he is considered to be a great war hero. Achilles kills Hector and tortures his body but in the end he supports the values of his culture by giving Hector’s body back to let him receive the proper burial.
In Things Fall Apart the author introduces the values of the culture through the hero, Okonkwo. In Okonkwo’s culture power is very important, and Okonkwo gets his power by having many wives. However, Okonkwo struggles for insight when his own son Ikefuma converts to Christianity and Okonkwo cannot accept it. Human weakness is shown when Okonkwo tries to do everything different than his father because to him his father was a very weak man.
Throughout Beowulf, The Iliad, and Things...