In Ancient Greece, the culture and daily life was based on mythological tales. These stories told tales from slaying a gorgon to going to the underworld to visit Hades; lord of the underworld. In many epics there was a hero born from noble birth, who went on adventures as far as the mythological underworld. Perseus from the epic Perseus, was a hero, more hero than any other Grecian man. He met all 9. "Epic Hero" criteria, but the three that really stick out, is he was born from a noble birth, he had slain a gorgon(Medusa), and he had slain Medusa out of pride and poverty. Perseus met all these criteria in a way no other hero does from an epic.
Perseus was born, not only from the ancestry of a grandfather as king, but he was an offspring from Zeus, God of Gods and Goddesses. This meets the first criteria to be an "Epic" hero. As being born from royal parentage, he also was born from Zeus. As King Acrisius of Argos traveled to Delphi to ask the priestess if he would father a ...view middle of the document...
That man is Polydectes, who is wanting to marry Danaë, but does not want to take part in anything to do with Perseus. Even though he wants no part with Perseus, he still decides to announce the wedding with Danaë. Polydectes, wanting Perseus out of the picture, tells him about the mythical creatures inhabiting the island. In the Grecian culture, it is customary to bring a gift for the bride-to-be. Perseus was mortified, for he was too poor to give anything. In the end Polydectes got his way, Perseus announced he would leave on a journey to go and kill the gorgon; Medusa, and bring her head back as a gift. This gift, unaided could make Perseus meet his end, because if you look at Medusa you will turn to stone. Perseus did end up slaying Medusa and bringing back her head, with help from the gods and the nymphs of the North's possessions. He fought a supernatural creature and had guidance from a divine power. "...That he was under the protection of the gods." (pg. 149, Perseus). Perseus had help from Hermes and Athena; and they helped him through his journey to slay Medusa.(pg. 148-149, Perseus)
One fatal flaw Perseus does hold, is his pride. Even Odysseus from the Odyssey had several tragic flaws along pride, yet he made it get the best of him when it came to help. Perseus, however accepts help and does not abuse the help. Perseus does though make an "empty boast" towards his mother as a wedding gift. He did fulfill by accepting help from the gods and the people the gods directed Perseus towards. ""At sight of him hope must have entered Perseus' heart, for he would know that this could be none other than Hermes, the guide and the giver of good."(pg. 149, Perseus). Perseus was not afraid of anyone that he believed were gods or goddesses. "Perseus did just as Hermes had said, he held back until he saw one of them take the eye out of her forehead."(pg. 150, Perseus). He also followed the instructions the gods and goddesses had given him, through and through.
Although there are many epic heroes that meet the "9 epic hero criteria"; Perseus shows that he is the better hero by showing that he can overcome his tragic flaw, and defeat one of the most deadliest mythological creatures known during Grecian times. By defeating Medusa, and accepting the help from Hermes and Athena, proved is by far a better hero than any epic hero.