The Hero Expanse

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In modern today, we have all sorts of heroes. A hero can be someone you admire and aspire to be, someone who had maybe once taken a burden off your shoulders, or someone who had brought a better change to your life. Heroes today can be measured by a variety of ways, from motivators to high achievers. You can find them next door as easily as finding them within your comic books. However, the meaning of a hero was not always this versatile, and is in actuality an emergence of gathered thoughts and ideas delivered throughout history. In ancient Greece, heroes and their conquests were notably comparable to their Olympic Games. This was because, in the eyes of a hero, the meaning of life was similar to a game itself. A hero had a structure of three notions: ananke (necessity), moira (fate) and arête (heroic excellence) (Ambrosio, L3, 10:45). Moira is your fate, what you’re destined for. Ananke is more or less life’s fate; it is the unavoidable obstacles brought by nature or the unknown. Then there is arête, your accomplishment, the success of your fate. Closely connected to arête is agon, meaning contest or struggle, the path someone takes to achieve their arête (Ambrosio, L3, 18:40). Ultimately, the game of the hero is to reach their arête, overcoming ananke on their agon by their moira. A hero’s life meaning was a competition; their fulfillment was to be the best. Beyond the Olympic Games, dramas were also celebratory and competitive, and within these we discover the life of the tragic hero. The word tragedy comes from the Greek words, tragos: goat, and oide: song. This was because tragedies were first performed as dithyrambs, songs dedicated to the god Dionysius, usually involving animal sacrifices (Ambrosio, L4, 9:30). During the evolution of plays, Greece was also evolving, introducing the Greek alphabet and phalanx fighting. Within the phalanx structure, we can see a society in which individualism is no longer the primary goal, but cooperation and social...
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