Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Research Paper on Hero

Hero Research Paper

What characteristics are required for one to be considered a hero? According to ancient philosophy, there were many reasons why Gilgamesh, Achilles, and Aeneas were considered heroes. One of the main qualities that a hero has is that they have problems with women. Gilgamesh had a problem with sleeping with the women of his town. He felt that as his duty of being a ruler, it was his responsibility to sleep with the unwed women before their wedding days to truly determine in fact if they were virgins or not. Achilles has a problem with women in a sense that Agamemnon demands his Achille's war prize Briseis from him as a form of compensation, when it is found out that Agamemnon's prize Chrysies has caused the plague. Feeling insulted, Achilles decides to refuse to in the war any longer. Aeneas has a problem with women because the woman that he fell in love with, Dido decides to commit suicide after Aeneas departs to attempt to fulfill his duty to found Rome.


Avenging a wrong, especially the death of a loved one, is an important element of heroic culture. Gilgamesh mourns the death of his friend Enkindo. He was there to witness his death and has a part of himself die also, since Enkindo made him feel complete. After the death of his friend, Gilgamesh decides that he does not want to suffer like Enkindo did and he goes on a journey to seek mortality so that he doesn't end up like Enkindo. Achilles feels guilty because of the fact that his beloved friend Patroclus was killed by mistaken identity. Knowing that is should have been him who died; Achilles vows to avenge the death of Patroclus and goes after Hector, the killer of his friend. After returning from a voyage to Tiber, Aeneas is furious when he finds out that Pallas, the son of his ally Evander, has been killed. After a battle with Turnus who killed Pallas, Aeneas nearly spares his life, but after remembering the slain Pallus, instead finishes him off.

Although the concept of a hero still exists now in modern society, the qualifications and reasons behind the notion of a hero have changed. The term now a days is used in a much broader sense and pertains to a wide variety of people. It is now based on an individual's belief and can be categorized in different ways. In my personal opinion, the idea of a hero is a person who is willing to go out on the limb and put others first in order to better a situation. For example, the troop and members of the armed services who are across seas risking their lives to help protect us and our freedom. It is not something that they were forced to do, but they do it because they want to help their country. The people who helped with the events that took place on 9-11 are also heroes. Even in tragedy, the idea of a hero prevails and remains in our memories. For it are the heroes who make helped to make this world a better place.

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