The Greek Hero vs. the Anglo-Saxon Hero

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The hero stands as an archetype of who we should be and who we wish to be. However, the hero has inherent flaws which we do not wish to strive towards. In literature, these flaws are not used as examples of what we should be but rather as examples of what not to be. This is especially dominant in the Greek hero. While the Greek hero follows his fate, making serious mistakes and having a fairly simple life, the Anglo-Saxon "super" hero tries, and may succeed, to change his fate, while dealing with a fairly complex life. The Greek hero is strong and mighty while his wit and intelligence are highly valued. In the Greek tragedy, the hero struggles to avoid many flaws. Among these flaws are ambition, foolishness, stubbornness, and hubris-the excessive component of pride. He must overcome his predestined fate-a task which is impossible. From the beginning of the tale, it is already clear that the hero will ultimately fail with the only way out being death. In Oedipus, the hero is already confronted with a load of information about his family and gouges his eyes out. At this point, when he tries to outwit his fate he has already lost and is sentenced to death. The Anglo-Saxon hero must also deal with his "fate" but tries, and usually succeeds, to change it. While the Greek hero battles his fate with his excessive pride and intelligence, the Anglo-Saxon hero tries to eliminate his doom by force. The Anglo-Saxon hero is considered a barbarian of sorts due to his sometimes unethical and immoral views and courses of action. At the end, the Anglo-Saxon succeeds in altering his fate though. The Greek hero is so normal, that the reader can relate to him. He is usually a "common" human being with no extraordinary life. His story seems believable, even possible. We would have no hard time imagining the hero's conflict as being ours. As in the case with Oedipus, we can understand how he feels it would be possible for his circumstances to be applied to our lives. Although...
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