PRE-AP CHALLENGE ENGLISH 9
2 MARCH 2013
“It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.” (Mark Twain) Courage is the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. Aragorn, from The Lord of the Rings, Odysseus from The Iliad and The Odyssey, and Katniss from The Hunger Games all demonstrate jarring courage throughout their journey to heroism. As Aragorn leads the Fellowship, they come across many obstacles and interferences. He is required to battle off Urak-hai, Orcs, and Nazgul and protect his comrades, all while continuing his quest to Mount Doom. Aragorn is a very loyal and intrepid leader whom is brought to heroism through his magnificent courage. Odysseus makes a very long journey in order to return home to Ithaca. He is forced to make tremendous sacrifices, survive the wrath of Skylla and Kharybdis, and take the form of an intelligent beggar. Odysseus is brought to his heroic means through his gallant courage and distinctive endurance. Katniss battles for days in order to win victory for her district. She protects fellow members, cunningly kills off enemies, and endures major physical and intellectual damage. Katniss’ stunning dedication and over powering courage lead her to great heroism. Heroes of epic orchestration, such as Aragorn from The Lord of The Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, Odysseus from The Iliad and The Odyssey, by Homer, and Katniss from The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, establish themselves as superior epic heroes through their intelligent utilization of the twenty-five epic hero steps, along with their astounding courage, bravery, and endurance which ultimately transforms them into three epic heroes that will never be forgotten. As an epic hero the first hero journey step, The Call to Adventure, acts as one of most important steps, as it begins ones strenuous expedition towards victory and triumph. Odysseus, The Great Glory of the Achaians, was under oath to protect the marriage of Helen and Menelaus. After Helen was taken by Paris to the city of Troy, the Greeks demanded war upon the Trojans. Odysseus was asked by King Agamemnon and King Menelaus to endure war and bring his fleet of ships and soldiers. This marked the start of Odysseus’ lengthy journey to capture Helen, and defeat Troy. Odysseus proudly led the Walsky 2
Cephallenians, with twelve ships, who were settled in Ithaca, Neriton, Crocyleia, Aigilips, Zacynthos, and Samos. He was forced to leave his wife, Penelope, and his son, Telelmachus, for what soon became 20 years. Odysseus’ tremendous sacrifice to his country and his family along with his outstanding courage to bring home victory prove his title of an epic hero. Katniss, The Girl Who Was on Fire, begins her journey in the square of District 12. As the reaping begins, Katniss separates from her sister, Primrose, and waits for Effie Trinket to announce which two children of the Seam will act as tribute. Effie reaches her hand deep into the ball and pulls out a slip of paper. As she crosses back to the podium, she smoothes the slip of paper and reads out the name in a clear voice, Primrose Everdeen. As a “strangled cry comes out of her throat and her muscles begin to move again,” Katniss screams out “Prim!” (Collins 22). Katniss makes way for the stage and pulls Prim behind her with one sweep of her arm as she gasps “I volunteer! I volunteer as tribute!” (Collins 22). Katniss protects her sister from the dangers of the battle as she unexpectedly volunteers to take her place as tribute. With this, she displays shocking courage and wholesome bravery. Katniss’ great deed is one of many that prove she is a respectable epic hero. Katniss and Odysseus both embark on hearty journeys that force them to make important sacrifices, portray a leader figure, and act courageous in battle, which ultimately prove themselves as epic heroes. Each epic hero...
Cited: Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic Press, 2008.
Homer. The Iliad. Trans. W. H. D. Rouse. New York: NAL Penguin Inc., 1938.
Homer. The Odyssey. Trans. Robert Fitzgerald. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 1998
Tolkein, J.R. R. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the
King. Dir. Peter Jackson. New Line Cinema, 2001, 2002, 2003.
Twain, Mark. The Quote Garden, 1998. http://www.quotegarden.com/courage.html
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