Throughout history, epic heroes have been born in many ways. Through real life, through stories etc. They come from all sorts of different cultures. They come in many different shapes and sizes. Each one is different in almost every way. Except for being heroes. There are seven heroes that my English class has learned about, that are crucial to epic story history. Each one brings his own spice to the table, or maybe even a round table. The seven heroes that can be compared in history are Achilles, Odysseus, Aeneas, Socrates, Gilgamesh, Beowulf, and Arthur: and they can be because they are seven of the most important people in human history.
To start off, the first epic hero of history that is important is the great Greek, Achilles. Achilles is important for many reasons. First of all, he is considered to be the first real epic hero. The story really comes to life in the Iliad. Where he battles the Trojans, and his own Greeks. He was his own warrior; he didn’t want anybody taking control of him. Achilles was strong in body and not so much in mind. He was the greatest warrior of his time, and possibly ever. “He has all the marks of a great warrior, and indeed proves the mightiest man in the Achaean army, but his deep-seated character flaws constantly impede his ability to act with nobility and integrity.” (Whitman) In the end of Iliad, this is what kills him. He acts with his body and doesn’t think he can be destroyed. But he does get destroyed.
Next, the second hero was actually really good friends with Achilles, and fought alongside him, this is Odysseus. If you didn’t know, Odysseus was also a great warrior; he fought with courage and strength. He wasn’t afraid to fight any man, he should have though. Odysseus was also the mastermind of the Trojan Horse idea. So unlike Achilles, he was strong of mind and of body. He was the complete package. Maybe to complete. He thought he was as powerful as the gods, and tried double crossing one, and that’s why it took him a long ten years to travel back home to Ithaca. But there always is one question “Is the man Odysseus, actually the ideal of the Greek hero in the ancient world?” (Finch) and for me, he is, as long as he doesn’t open his mouth around the Gods.
The third hero is Aeneas, one of the heroes in the eyes of Roman Culture according to the book The Aeneid. “For Virgil and the Romans the ideal man was not interested in his own glory, prizes, gold or fame but the wellbeing and guardianship of the people, of selflessly building upon the idea of what Rome would become while never being able to see it in life.” (Krause) If you read the Aeneid, you can figure out pretty quick that, Aeneas is just a mirror image of that. Always there for the people and trying to figure out what he can do to help. He wasn’t interested in his strength, even though he had plenty of it. Aeneas was one smart cookie. He knew was he was doing. He knew if he helped others, in return he would be helped at some point.