What Defines a Hero?

2061 Words9 Pages
What is a hero? What does it take to be one? Do all heroes share same qualities? How are they unique and how do they differ? Throughout our ancient times, many well-known writers have written numerous heroic stories, which reveal the outstanding exploits of some heroes. Although our world embraces various cultures, countries, and generations, the definition of a hero has remained unchanged. In it’s simplest description found in the dictionaries, a hero, who’s often represented by men, is the one who exhibits the characteristics of being larger-than-life, possess unique fortitude, recognized for his great beneficence, admired for the bravery deeds, has noble or superior qualities, at times is blessed with godlike prowess, and eventually gets honored for being a divine person. Two such heroes who profoundly uphold the hero’s image were King Arthur from Le Morte d’Arthur, and Beowulf from the epic poem, Beowulf. Though they come from different cultures, time periods, and lands, King Arthur and Beowulf do share some similarities and differences. The first and the most vital differences between them is that King Arthur is defined as a romance hero, and Beowulf is said to be an epic hero. According to the myths, an epic hero is a central figure in the epics where he reflects the particular values and heroic ideals of his society. Beowulf, one of the ancient England’s heroes- a brave knight, is described to be the perfect archetype of an epic hero. Like all the epic heroes, this hero of ours “possesses superior physical strength and supremely ethical standards”. Besides this, he also embodies Anglo-Saxon culture’s supreme ideals. Going further in depth to justify this thought, we can take into account the very four important characteristics that make up an epic hero- they are always glorified, is on a quest, possesses ethical values, very courageous, and is immensely

More about What Defines a Hero?

Open Document