Cu Chulainn: Irish Heroic Warrior

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Cuchulainn, a heroic warrior, is referred to as both the Hercules and Achilles of Ireland. Fedelm, the prophetess, describes him as “full of fame.” Like Hercules, Cuchulainn had superhuman strength. He had a “warrior’s fist, the arm of a prodigy.” He was also able to outdo all Ulster warriors with his “brilliance and nimbleness in feats.” His great strength and valor reflect the characteristics of Hercules. Because of his bravery and invincibility, Cuchulainn also resembles the great Greek hero Achilles. Like Achilles, Cuchulainn is known as an undefeatable warrior, with the potential to easily slaughter his opponents in war. Because of these heroic attributes, Cuchulainn can be easily compared to the valiant ancient warriors, Achilles and Hercules. Similar to Hercules, who had to perform the twelve heroic labors, Cuchulainn had to perform near impossible tasks in order to win over Emer. Emer told him in order to win her heart he must perform outrageous tasks, such as “strike down three groups of nine men with a single stroke, leaving the middle man of each nine unharmed.” While these labors seemed impossible, Cuchulainn accepted them with confidence. After hard work and dedication to his training, Cuchulainn returned to Emer, performing all of the labors she asked of him. Emer praised him, saying, “That was a great deed, to kill one hundred armed angry men.” By facing these feats head on, Cuchulainn proved his perseverance to succeed. Cuchulainn’s hard work and dedication are parallel to that of Hercules. Cuchulainn is also similar to Achilles because they are both known as such brave and invincible warriors. Cuchulainn was the only man in Ulster unaffected by the pangs, which gave him an advantage during the Tain. He could easily kill one hundred men. Fergus said, “you’ll find no harder warrior against you, no point more sharp…no fighter as fierce, no one of his age one third as good.” His skill and bravery was known throughout Ireland; he was one of the most...
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