Comparing The Heroic Natures Of Hercules And Okonkwo

1248 words - 5 pages

Hercules, a great figure in Greek mythology who fought off massive beasts with his bear hands, can be considered one of the most popular in Greek mythology. How does Hercules compare to a little known Nigerian boy born to poverty who becomes successful through plain hard work, better known as Okonkwo. These heroes both were helped along by wise men, both had to prove themselves as a hero through tough situations, and They also had to deal with large amounts of pride that initially kept them from fulfilling their destinies. Now let's compare the heroic nature of both Hercules and Okonkwo.
While in hard times or when struck with a hard decision, The heroes both found the advise of very wise people weather it was intentionally sought out for or not. In the story “Hercules” the hero, obviously Hercules, went to “The Oracle at Delphi” to find what he can do about the accidental murder of his own family. The oracle told Hercules to “ Go to king Eurystheus... and submit yourself to any punishment asked of him” (“Hercules”). Afterwards, Hercules went to the king and had to complete the “12 labors of Hercules” (“Hercules”) as his punishment. Hercules completed all of the tasks and the twelve labors ended up being Hercules' claim to fame and it was all to the credit of the Oracle's advice. In Okonkwo's case, The advice came from one of the elders of the village Ezeudu who told him not
“to have a hand in Ikemefuna's death” (Achebe 57). Okonkwo, being a little more independent and stubborn than Hercules, completely ignored the advice and cut Ikemefuna down to avoid being called weak. This moment in Okonkwo's egg-headedness helps you to understand why Hercules's ending is a little happier than Okonkwos while still going through a similar journey.
Along with seeking a wise man's advice, These heroes both had to prove their worth or ability to be a hero. Hercules really capitalized on his opportunity to prove himself by completing the twelve labors which included defeating “Cerberus, protector of the underworld” (“Hercules”). Defeating Cerberus and the other enemies faced during the twelve labors really showed that Hercules was a hero

and he found himself great enough to become an immortal on Mount Olympus. Okonkwo also proved himself well for someone who wasn't a demigod like Hercules. Okonkwo was born a poor man's son. When Okonkwo's father “Unoka had died, he had taken no title and was heavily in debt” (Achebe 8). Good thing for Okonkwo being born into poverty wasn't a big enough obstacle to keep Okonkwo from achieving success. Okonkwo became a very prosperous farmer, a great warrior, and a championship wrestler. Hercules's and Okonkwo's journeys are now beginning to seem very similar as more details of their adventure...

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