The Tain: Cuculain Hero?

Topics: Ulster Cycle, Táin Bó Cúailnge, Kill Pages: 3 (845 words) Published: November 23, 2012
Amber Borkowski
Reading Literature Myths

Cuchulainn: A Hero or a Killer?
A mythic hero is a story figure that embarks on a journey in order to complete tasks that make them into legends of tales. Cuchulainn is a mythic hero in the Tain, a story of a war between the North and South of the land in Ireland. A hero is a term that can be a homonym with many other meanings. A person can consider a police officer, their mother, or many other examples as a hero. Even with the broad spectrum of the word, every example does surround the feeling of being protected by the person. I consider Cuchulainn to be a war-hero. Cuchulainn is a well-trained warrior that is able to perform stunts of throwing a javelin, stone, just fighting with his fists, and many more while leaving every opponent dead or too terrified to fight him. But does being able to defeat every opponent make a character a hero or just a person to be feared?

Cuchulainn was raised and trained by the best of all the instructors to become a great warrior that would be remembered, and that is just what he did. When Cuchulainn was just a boy he left his mother and went off to join the boy troop where he would train and be protected by the troop. The war in the tale began at the point where Medb and Aillil, the queen and king of Connacht, had an argument over who had the most possessions. The two were equal until the point came where Aillil owned one great bull more than Medb. Medb was so enraged that she waged war to retrieve the equally great bull from Ulster. At this time, the Ulster army was in their pangs, unable to have the strength to fight. Cuchulainn protected the land from Medb and Aillil’s army, killing thousands of their soldiers. With Medb and Aillil’s army becoming weaker, Cuchulainn agreed to fight one great warrior a day. Every day the opponent would be defeated and this continued until the pangs lifted from Cuchulainn’s Ulsterman army. Eventually, Medb and Aillil were defeated and there was...
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