Evolution of Heroism: Comparing Qualities of Ancient Heroes Versus Modern Heroes

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Heroes are prevalent in everyone’s life. Whether someone’s hero is a living person or a fabled character from a movie, everybody has come into contact with some sort of hero. In fact, the concept of heroes has existed for hundreds of years, dating all the way back to Ancient Greece. However, heroes have not always been people who dress up in costumes and fight crime, as our current society would lead us to believe. No, heroes started out differently and have evolved throughout the centuries. Heroes generally reflect the ideals of their society, and while they are not perfect, they demonstrate the qualities and traits valued by their society. Heroes have always possessed distinguishing qualities, but these traits and qualities have changed …show more content…
Hanging on to the tree and paddling to avoid the vicious (are they? Anyway put a strong adj. here) Charybdis and Scylla would have been an impossible feat for any other mortal, who would have surely perished. Odysseus then demonstrates his incredible battle skills when he mercilessly slaughters the suitors occupying the palace of Ithaca. With impeccable accuracy, Odysseus ravages the suitors with his bow, and “every shot brought down one of his enemies” (Homer, 413). Even though Odysseus and his men are vastly outnumbered by the suitors, Odysseus (blessed with boundless strength and skill) is somehow victorious.

Similarly, Hercules also exemplifies the ideal Greek hero. Hercules, seen as “the strongest man on Earth” (Hamilton, 225), proves his excellence as a warrior when he defeats Cerberus the three headed dog and “forces the terrible monster to submit to him”. Hercules does not have a sense of logic and proves to be very rash. He relies solely on his physical demeanor to maintain his power and heroic status, not his brains.

Contrary to the Greek heroes, contemporary heroes are not excellent warriors with astounding physical traits but instead are intellectually advanced individuals who are usually defiant of social customs. Jane Eyre of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is a famous Byronic hero and a perfect example of a contemporary hero. Jane lives in the Victorian Era, when women generally do not get schooled or even think for themselves, but Jane defies this

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