Most of us have heard of modern day heroes such as Superman, Spider-Man, and Batman. Each is a hero to numerous kids. The idea of heroes are acquainted with individuals right off the bat in life usually as imaginary characters. However, as the young kids become older, their impression of heroes change. Epic and modern day heroes have numerous similarities and differences. Their qualities, identities, and physical abilities vary.
That is what makes the heroes memorable and unique. Many modern day heroes do not go looking for deeds to accomplish.
Their actions are performed spontaneously as to where epic heroes look for deeds to accomplish. These accomplished goals are done for the better of the other person, not themselves. Most modern day heroes do not help for an award, while epic heroes do. They strive off of the attention from the public along to boost their ego. Although they have some differences, modern day heroes and epic heroes have some similarities.
An example of a similarity is that they both have the ability to become defeated in their battles. Another example is that they both can experience fear. Heroes are everyday people and also experience the human emotion of being afraid. Lastly, they both do things that are hard for the average person to do. They take on dangerous encounters and place their lives into risk, even if they know how the outcome may be. In the army and military, heroes such as nurses, generals, and women possess some of the same characteristics as an epic hero like Odysseus.
Odysseus is an epic hero who has been trying to get home for 10 years with his men.
He was very clever and strong but had one weakness. That weakness was in his achilles. He was a good leader who worried and cared about his men. He did everything he could to save as many of his men as possible, even if that meant losing some of his men to save more of them. Odysseus put their needs first and then his own. While on his journey home, he had many encounters with gods. Some of these gods helped Odysseus, others made his journey more difficult. Overall, he manages to overcome the obstacles and make his way home to his wife.
In Book Nine of The Odyssey, Homer writes,“We breached there, and I told the crew to stand by and keep watch over the ship: as for myself I took my twelve best fighters and went ahead” (134-137). This quote demonstrates the leadership skills of Odysseus. He is in charge and gives commands to his men. Being a leader is a huge part of being a hero. Generals have to be intelligent, clever, and have great leadership. They are in charge of the troops. They have to be quick witted. Nurses and surgeons were in charge of healing and saving the lives of the soldiers fighting in battle. They have to use leadership skills, be smart, and clever in order to save lives. The burden of disease and deaths sped up the progression of medical technology and medicine.
This is considered heroic because the advancements they made for the people is used now to save millions of people everywhere. Even though they are not the ones touching the people, their ideas and works are saving them. Like Odysseus, they want/ wanted to save as many lives as possible. In the past, women were not allowed to work or serve in the military but this did not stop them. Women in war started working in areas that were reserved for men. They showed their work ethic and intelligence. Their determination showed that they could do anything a man can do. They created 80% of the weapons used in battle along with aid wounded soldiers.
According to Bill Martinez, a mythology student, “By default, Odysseus’ trickiness and ingenuity have the aspect of feminine qualities. In fact, it is Odysseus’ feminine side which makes him unique and which gives him his special edge. Strong, heroic, and brave, he also has an intellect and a persona that incorporates both masculine and feminine aspects” (1). This quote relates to the women in war showing that the qualities of a women are heroic. Women in the war worked and still continue to work hard. They also have the intelligence, courageousness, and strength of an epic hero.
The characteristics of an epic hero such as Odysseus are strength, authority, intelligence, and courage. Military heroes share these characteristics with Odysseus. They both need strength in order to overcome obstacles. They also need authority so everything is organized and people have someone to rely on. Being intelligent is also a great factor in order to outsmart opposing sides and to treat problems. Finally, they both need courage to go into the dangerous situations without fear and to overcome that battle. Author Shelly Barclay writes, “Epic heroes tend to have military experience. They plan battles, outsmart other military men and sometimes even outsmart kings and gods” (2). This quote explains how epic heroes have military experience and that makes them a hero. They go through a tremendous amount of danger for others which makes them someone to look up to.
Military heroes such as nurses, generals, and women possess some of the same characteristics as an epic hero like Odysseus. The characteristics of epic heroes are the same as military heroes. They have to overcome many obstacles, have authority, intelligence, strength, and most importantly, courage. Their main goal is to help and save people. Heros put their lives at risk to save others. Sometimes people do not even know about the great deeds of heroes as they do not like to share their stories. These types of heros are an inspiration as they impact those around them to do a good deed.