Importance of a Hero

Topics: Heracles, Greek mythology, Hero Pages: 4 (1520 words) Published: June 20, 2005
Flames are coming out of every opening in a building and a firefighter runs in to save someone that is inside. A police officer is shot while trying to ensure that no innocent lives are taken of those being held hostage inside a bank. A lifeguard jumps into the deep end of the pool to save a drowning child. Firefighters, police officers, lifeguards or even the next door neighbor could be considered heroes. Why does society have a need for heroes? What traits should heroes have? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hero in the following ways: a) a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability b) an illustrious warrior c) a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities d) one that shows great courage. Most of society considers a hero to be someone that saves another person's life. The person doesn't necessarily have great strength or ability. In mythology, a hero is a role model with extreme courage that does something to change or improve life for everyone. Heracles, from Greek mythology, is one of the greatest examples of a hero. The story of Heracles is a simple one. Alcmene, a mere mortal, is tricked by Zeus when he turns himself into her husband. She becomes pregnant with Zeus' child. Heracles is born part mortal and partly immortal because of the situation. Hera, Zeus' wife, became angry that Zeus has been unfaithful once again and tries to kill Heracles. As Heracles began to grow older, Hera became more and more jealous of him. She became jealous of his strength, prowess and good looks. Knowing that every other scheme she had failed, she decided to drive him to a state of insanity. In his insane state of mind, he murdered his wife and children. He exiled himself and didn't know what he was going to do. Feeling extremely remorseful and wanting to atone for his sins, he was told to serve his cousin, Eurystheus, king of Mycenae and perform twelve labors. Each task became more...
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