A hero or a heroine is a character who is willing to help others in the times of danger. He has such qualities as physical strength and bravery. According to heroic myth, folk tales, and fairy tales, the heroes have an extraordinary life and are often in close relationship with Gods. Their actions are extraordinary; they have superior strength, which makes them no match to other people. These qualities alone will not make a true hero. Heroism is an act of humanity which shows an excellence in expressing the moral values. True heroes have superior characters, which make them immortalized by their subject. They can be born with these traits or they get them throughout their lives exposed to some unusual circumstances. The unique traits make them extraordinary in relation to the ordinary populace within the society. A true hero is a character who is honorable and courageous, virtuous, has strength in the mind; however, other traits for instance love, selflessness, self-sacrifice, royalty, intelligence may be included as well. Nevertheless, certain traits may destroy a true hero and these include hatred, vengefulness and pursuing fame.
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Love is the main virtue that makes up true heroes. This is the human compassion, kindness, and affection towards other humans or animals. This love can be through friendship referred as familiar love, religious love, or romantic love. Many true heroes have made their name through fighting to protect those people that they loved. Love makes people to withstand difficulties, challenges. They risk their lives as they protect their loved ones.
In the book Odyssey, Odysseus left home and joined the war of Trojan. After the Troy has fallen, he headed home but the unfortunate thing happened. Odysseus was trapped on Calypso Island. It was believed he was dead. His son Telemachus and his wife Penelope are the only ones who thought otherwise. People in the village of Ithaca wanted to Penelope to get married again. She declined everyone’s offer and believed she will soon be reunited with her husband. Telemachus set out to look for his father. The Goddess Athena was helping him. Odysseus boldly found his way out. He boarded on a ship and his journey back home has started. On his way, he faced a series of temptations such as the wonderful looking and amazingly singing sirens he remained faithful to his wife. At last he was home with a wife who has been stubbornly faithful. Penelope was a heroine because of her strong belief that she would find her who many believed was dead. Odysseus fought off temptations sent by the Gods and other mankind. He fought boldly and was determined to get home (Schein 35). His reunion with the rest of the family is a heroic story.
Beowulf is a heroic poem where young Beowulf fights with Brecca, a fire breathing dragon. Beowulf alone fought Brecca after he attacked and killed his people. He risked his life to fight the dragon so that people could live peacefully (Liuzza 340). This expresses the love he had for his people that he even risked his life in order to save then=m and ensure their peaceful life in many centuries in advance.
Loyalty is another virtue that makes a true hero. A hero is the person who remains loyal to the course and does not get persuaded to act otherwise. A hero is a strong character who is self-driven to what he believes in despite of many challenges he may face. A hero sets up goals and strives to achieve them. Aeneas is a Roman hero. His destiny was set by the gods as the person who will lead the people of Trojan to Rome, their new land. This was a difficult task, but he fought for the creation of the new empire (Virgil 26). In this poem, Aeneas explain that is not his desire to fight the Turnus, but he must to follow his destiny. This is a strong expression of loyalty, where even though he did not want to fight, he had to do it to fulfill his destiny. Beowulf remained devoted and trustworthy towards his people and fought for them.
Intelligence is another traits that makes up a true hero. A hero must always make decisions with intelligent and use of witty methods encouraged Odysseus who was an intelligent man. His intelligence was shown in their dialogue with the Goddess who wanted to go to bed with him. He tricked the Goddess to a deal that would reverse the spell that had befallen his people (Schein 35). The people were healed from the spell.
Experience is another trait which also makes up true heroes. Heroes are faced with misfortunes, temptation, and challenges. Different challenges bring new experience and make them fair well when faced with a similar challenge in the future. When Beowulf first fought with dragon, he did not know they are capable of breathing fire; he left his shield and was unarmed. After learning this, he prepared better and was always equipped during the battle.
Courage is the other virtue that is necessary for making of a true hero. Courage is the ability to conquer fear and express the bravery and ambitions. Most heroes had the courage to face the difficult situations, and this made them achieve their target. Odysseus had the courage to start the journey back home. It was extremely dangerous (Schein 33). He was prepared to fight the monster that killed people. His courage was an act of heroism. Beowulf fought the fire breathing dragons alone (Liuzza 313). The heroes encounter many dangerous creatures on their way, yet they find the courage to face them.
Self-sacrifice is another virtue that makes up a true hero. Heroes sacrifice and risk their lives to help others even when faced with a difficult and dangerous to their own life task. The heroes fight superior forces that affect the people. Their self-sacrifice often results in their deaths. In the Odyssey, Odysseus had suffered in the sea as he was trying to save his life and that of those who were with him (Schein 33).
The gods played a part in making of the true heroes. There was a relationship between the Gods and heroes. True heroes were either in conflicts with or the Gods helped them. In the Odyssey, Odysseus had been detained by the Goddess Calypso. He was trapped him large caves. The Goddess wanted him to marry her. Neptune is another God who was persecuting him and would not let him go home. Beowulf worked with the Gods who gave him the magical power to hold the mighty sword (Schein 33). Aeneas in the Aeneid was a son of Aphrodite, the Goddess of love, and Anchises a hero in Trojan War. He had royal and divine parents and this made him unique. He became the founder of Rome (Virgil 27).
Obeying the rules set by the Goddess and the Gods were a must to overcome for one to become a hero. Obeying the rules increased the fame, honor, and the fortune of those involved. One of the rules set was that of the relationship between the guest and the host. They had to treat each other with respect for a peaceful coexistence. Odysseus obeyed this throughout in his epics (Schein 33). He refused not to be drawn by greed and take the entire gift presented to him. He instead presented them to Cyclops as it was the custom those days. Aeneas obeyed the rule that he was the one the Gods had chosen to lead people of Trojan. He obeyed the rule and did not abandon his people by joining other Empires (Virgil 30).
The traits that make up a true hero can either be cultured through life experience or may be heritable. The hardship the characters face early in their life molds them into strong individuals. They are determined to change the situation and work hard to help others facing similar problems. The heroes experience a difficult childhood. They are not the most valued due to their natural weakness they might be handicapped, or others people hate them because of their relative success. The challenges they face propel them towards change. In the heroic poem Beowulf, young Beowulf is treated as lazy by many people rose to become a hero. He became a man with extraordinary strength who would kill monsters with a single strike without the aid of weapons. Aeneas was born to a Trojan hero and a goddess, and so his fate was sealed (Virgil 23). His superior parentage made him rewarded with honor and responsibility of leading Trojan people to Rome.
True heroes also possess power that separates them from other people. They have massive body strength and extraordinary powers that are given to them by Gods. Beowulf was said to have the power to kill monsters without using a weapon. He possessed power that separated him from other men. He could carry a magical sword that no other man could carry (Schein 13).
Selflessness is the other trait of character that makes a true hero. True heroes worked for people without asking for anything in return. When Beowulf sailed with his men to Herot he had one aim to destroy the hall of Grendal (Schein 22). He risked his life and did not ask for compensation. A true hero is a person who put peoples need before his own and would not ask for compensation for the services offered.
They are other characters that weaken a true hero. One of them is the desire for fame. A hero does not need to prove himself to anyone of his bravely and courageousness. Although Beowulf was a strong man, he nearly got killed by engaging in unnecessary battles with Brecca. He wanted to prove he was much superior and this made him vulnerable (Schein 23). A true hero should fight to help other people but not his personal ambitions.
Revenge is another trait that destroys true heroes. A hero has no grudge to settle with anyone. He should fight to help other and not to settle personal duels. Revenge creates hatred which is an evil that is not necessary in battle. When Beowulf was killed by a dragon, he was out for revenge because of the people who had been killed by the dragon (Schein, 26). He was defeated by Brecca.
Hatred is the other vise that destroys true heroes. Hatred is born when an individual is angry about a certain subject and wants to revenge. Hatred is an evil, and it is not a good tool to fight other evil. Beowulf had a strong hatred for Breeca. The dragon had killed his people and this pained Beowulf. Dragon was an evil and fighting him with wickedness demonstrated hatred and that was never successful in the long run (Schein 27).
True heroes have unique traits that make them different from other men. Although these heroes have exceptional power, it is their humane personality that makes them unique and likeable. A combination of all this traits makes up a true hero whereas lack of either of the traits weakens the individual and makes him less competitive. These traits include love, intelligence, loyalty, courage, self-sacrifice and obedience. Beowulf, the hero in the heroic poem is a man of courage, he fought Dragon so as to protect his people. He sacrificed himself to fight this dangerous beast so that he can protect the people he loves. Aeneas showed loyalty when he agreed to lead the people of Trojan to Rome. Odysseus’s wife is a heroine as she remains faithful to his husband even when she is not sure whether her husband is dead or alive. The above traits make up a true hero.
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