How Heroes Have Changed Essay

1666 words - 7 pages

Over time the definition of a hero has changed. Today’s hero can be defined as a person who is admired for having performed a brave and courageous act. The definition of a hero has had different meanings during different time periods. The classical hero, the medieval hero, the romantic hero, and the modern hero all have different characteristics that define them.
The main characteristics of a classical hero are he must be born into royalty or half mortal, half god. A classical hero must perform extraordinary feats and be a noble character. The hero’s death must occur in an unusual way. A classical hero will fight for his own honor. An example of a classical hero would be Hercules (Norman). ...view middle of the document...

There are certain qualities that all heroes share. Traits such as bravery and courage are demonstrated in heroes. Heroes are also never frightened. They will stand up for what they believe is right.
Some people may regard one a hero while others may not. Abraham Lincoln, for example, can be considered a hero today in regard to his success for abolishing slavery. While Lincoln was President though, most people did not like him because of his stand against slavery. The fight to abolish slavery led to the Civil War. President Lincoln kept on fighting for abolishment of slavery so that slaves could acquire freedom and the rights that all Americans are allowed. He did not give up hope and continued to encourage Americans to support the war against slavery. Lincoln encouraged Americans to continue supporting the war in his Gettysburg Address while honoring the men who lost their lives in the battle. The men who fought in the Civil War to help end slavery can also be considered heroes. Many soldiers died in the war so that slaves could obtain the rights that all Americans have. Although President Lincoln can be held a hero today, he was despised by many while he was alive. Even after winning the Civil War, Lincoln was still hated and was assassinated shortly after the war. Lincoln is considered as one of the greatest Presidents in America’s history.
Stories that include a hero usually have the hero as the main character. In these stories the hero may be a hero subtype such as a classic hero, a tragic hero, an accidental hero, a superhero, or an anti-hero. The super-hero is one of the most common hero subtypes that is seen today. The tragic hero is one of the most common hero subtypes in the works done by Shakespeare.
The classic hero is a hero whose good achievement from his quest in some way benefits other people. This hero may perhaps save a person who is in some sort of danger or maybe stop someone who has evil intentions that will affect others. A classic hero is a hero that one can look up to (Heroic Characters).
The tragic hero is a hero that will later on have a downfall. Tragic heroes usually die due to their downfall by the end. He may fail to accomplish what he had set out to achieve. A tragic hero is a person of noble birth. Macbeth is an example of a tragic hero. He is at first a brave and honorable person who has helped win battles against the enemy. After being by three witches that he will become king Macbeth begins to think how he can become king. Eventually, Macbeth kills the king so that he can become king. By the end, his castle is taken over and he is killed while fighting. Macbeth’s ambition is what led to his downfall, causing him to go from honorable to deceitful.
The accidental hero is a hero that happens to be where there is action. The hero is often protesting in the action. The accidental hero manages to succeed by stepping up and taking responsibility. This hero generally represents the common person more than the other...

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