Comparison between Modern and Epic Heroes

Topics: Homer, Achilles, Iliad Pages: 4 (1245 words) Published: October 20, 2013
The word “Hero” refers to a figure that possesses extra human abilities and status. Heroes serve as protagonists of epics and myths and are widely celebrated for their deeds (Ogden 2010, 102). A hero is defined by certain outstanding characteristics. Throughout his works, Homer shows that the most important of these include arete, hubris, and kleos; however, none of his characters have all of these attributes. Castle (quoted in Harker 1996, 53) defines “arete” as the ability to fully maximize physical and mental endowments. Hayward and Hambrick (1997, quoted in Lorenz 2011, 21) consider hubris as a state of extreme confidence engendered by internal disposition and external stimuli. Finally, Blondell, Gamel, Rabinowitz, and Zweig (1999, 51) stress that kleos pertains to being spoken about by others. The main goal of a hero’s life is to have his continually spoken across different epochs even after his death (Wians 2009, 147). The only way they can become “immortal” is to have their name last throughout the ages. Over time, the concept of “hero” has evolved from the ancient notion that encompasses possession of superpower abilities and physical achievements, to the modern idea, which involves moral nobility and achievements (quoted in Morris 2010, 21). Hector exemplifies an ancient Greek hero that has no superhuman strength or intellect. He privately confesses to Andromache that being courageous is not something inherent, but something he has had to acquire and learn (Iliad 7: 317-320). However, although he is a hero, he displays cowardice twice when he flees upon encountering the great Ajax (Iliad 26: 318-325; Iliad 6: 180-181). Iliad's 22nd book portrays Hector outside the walls of Troy waiting to kill Achilles. Again his is stricken by fear at the sight of Achilles, so he flees (Iliad 6: 293). As well as cowardice, Hector shows bad judgment. He makes a grave error and has the Trojans to sleep outside the City’s wall with the absence of Achilles from battle. As a...

References: Blondell, Ruby, Mary-Kay Gamel, Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz, and Bella Zweig. 1999. Women on the Edge: Four Plays. USA: Routledge.
Harker, Barry
Hirschman, Elizabeth. 2000. Heroes, Monsters & Messiahs: Movies and Television Show as the Mythology of American Culture. USA: Andrews McMeel.
Homer. 2000. Odyssey, 16.19-23. USA: Hackett Publishing.
Homer. 2003. The Homeric Hymns. USA: Penguin Books.
Krensky, Stephen
Lorenz, Annika. 2011. Acquisition vs. Alliance. Verlag: Germany.
Morris, Tom
O’neil, Dennis. 2008. Batman Unauthorized: Vigilantes, Jokers, and Heroes in Gotham City. USA: Benbella Books.
Wians, Williams
White, Mark, and Robert Arp, eds. 2008. Batman and Philosophy: The Dark Knight of the Soul. USA: John Wiley Sons.
Wilson, Andrew. 2009. The Price: The Education of a Past-Oxidixer. USA: AuthorHouse.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Heroes Comparison Essay
  • Epic vs. Modern Heroes Essay
  • Epic Heroes Essay
  • Epic and Modern Heroes Research Paper
  • A Comparison between the Poetry of Homer and Ovid Essay
  • comparison between old and modern treatments Essay
  • Essay about A Comparison between Traditional and Modern Society
  • Comparison Between Iliad and Odyssey Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free