Epic Heroes: From the Past and Today
In the world today there are many people we view as heroes. Ordinary people, who stand out in the middle of a crowd, the kind of people we set out a day of the year as a national holiday in honor of them. Our heroes today are very similar to epic heroes in ancient epic poetry, they also are very different. In today's society, Heroes have qualities that resemble epic heroes in Greek culture. Epic heroes have very lucid qualities that make them an epic hero. Epic heroes are significant and glorified, are on a quest, and are of superior or superhuman strength, intelligence, and/or courage. One of society’s heroes that fit one, if not all, of these traits is Martin Luther King Jr.; He as a man was significant and glorified to the African-American population in the needs of speaking out against civil rights. Mr. King was of superhuman courage because, even if he was to do it alone, he was going to stand up for what he believed in, going against the law enforcement and beliefs of others. Martin Luther King Jr. was also on a quest; he was on his self-driven quest to put an end to inequality in the United States. This is much like Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey. "My lady goddess, there is no cause for anger. My quiet Penelope-how well I know- would seem a shade before your majesty, death and old age being unknown to you, while she must die. Yet, it is true, each day I long for home, long for the sight of home" (Homer 754). Odysseus longed for home. Even though he was captured by a beautiful goddess, whom treated him very well, Odysseus was on a quest to see his wife and son, and he was not going to abort his mission. “I carved beeswax into bits and rolled them in my hands until they softened — no long task, for a burning heat came down from Helios, lord of high noon. Going forward I carried wax along the line, and laid it thick upon their ears” (Homer 781). An epic hero is also categorized as someone who is ethical, someone who...
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