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Discusses The Characteristics Of The Ancient Hero, Defines The Specific Features Of The Epic Genre.

1180 words - 5 pages

Ancient HeroHomer's epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey created a classical setting for Greek Heroes. The poems are full of battles, peril and adventures that allow the heroic characters be courageous. The heroes face a barrage of arrows with out flinching and are merciless enough to kill many men with out regret. The heroic characters battle for love, duty, and to protect there homes and families.A hero is defined in Greek mythology as a person of divine ancestry who has courage, strength and is celebrated by both the gods and people. Ancient Greek heroes characterize traits of strength, ability, resourcefulness, honor and pride. Homer's heroic characters portray these characteristics by facing many challenges through out the poems. Heroes in ancient times where important because they where the first mortal humans portrayed in stories. Homer's poems show change in the central theme of literature in that time. Stories, for the first time, where about people instead of just the mysterious and powerful gods. Homer's poems exude with heroes on every level that reveal the human side and the heroic side of a person. The depth and personification of Homer's hero laid the ground work for the "modern day" hero.In Ancient Greece, it was a widely accepted value to strive for a hero's excellence. Homer's Iliad and Odyssey do not explicitly detail the characteristic of excellence or a hero, but the behavior of the heroic characters can be analyzed to derive these attributes. Odysseus, Achilles and Diomedes are three of Homer's most note worthy characters in his epic poems that demonstrate the values of a hero's excellent. They personify what was expected of a classical Greek hero.One of Homer's most controversial heroes is Odysseus from the Odyssey. Odysseus, the king of Ithaca, is a key example of the traits that were expected from a hero. He was known for his intelligence, resourcefulness, courage and sometimes ruthlessness. Arguments can be forged on both side as to whether or not Odysseus is Greek hero, but my view is that he is definitely an ideal hero of the ancient Greek world. In the beginning of the story, we know that Odysseus was the person responsible for the idea of the Trojan horse and destroying Troy. This action immediately casts him in the role of a war hero, but he was also a hero on many other levels. To me it is apparent that Homer intended Odysseus to be a hero, why else would Homer of set up the situations of the long journey home in which Odysseus had numerous perils. Thought out Odysseus' journey he over cames many extreme dangers and treacherous people. In this sense, Odysseus was a spiritual and physical hero.During Odysseus' journey home, he remains faithful and loyal to his wife. The thing that keeps him alive is the vision of his wife and son waiting for his return home. These actions depict Odysseus as a spiritual hero. Also during his journey, back to Ithaca, he embraces his own mortality, which gave him strength to defy...

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