The Evolution of the Concept of Heroes

Humanity’s ideal hero has changed throughout history. The ideals of Anglo» Saxons, Arthurian, and modern day people have many similarities and differences The model for the perfect hero was influenced by the varying lifestyles and beliefs of the three time periods. While fate influenced the Anglo-Saxons, Christianity did the same for the Arthurians. The modern-day heroes depend less on any specific beliefs or attributes Good deeds that require sacrifice or selflessness are usually the mark of a modern hero. In the 8005, the Anglo-Saxons viewed a hero as someone who was courageous, loyal, and died an honorable death.

The best example of an Anglo-Saxon hero is Beowulf He was brave and was known for fighting many monsters When King Hrothgar’s kingdom was threatened by Grendel, Beowulf saved them and killed Grendel and his mother. The Anglo»Saxon hero cared less about how they lived and more about how they died. They believed that a real hero died fighting, Beowulf met this standard and ultimately died fighting a dragon.

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In the 1100s, Arthurian knights lived by an honor code similar to the one the Anglo-Saxons believed in.

They believed in honor, chivalry, a knight‘s moral and social code, and bravery. Besides the introduction of Christian lifestyle to Arthurian life, chivalry is the main difference between Anglo—Saxon and Arthurian heroes. Christianity shifted the primary belief from the idea of fate to the idea of faith It gave them a figure to call the cause of all their joys and sorrows.

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Lancelot is widely viewed as the perfect example of the Arthurian hero. The only time his morals slipped was when he had an affair with Guinevere, undermining the idea of chaste lover His betrayal of Arthur takes away from his perfect image, slightly. Modern day heroes don’t have a clear—cut definition, There are many different types of heroes, but most heroes do have a few common qualities: bravery, selflessness, and an impact, Some examples of modern heroes are Martin Luther King, Jr., Alan Turing, and Kyle Carpenter. Martin Luther King, Jr, was an imponantAfrican-American rights activist and helped to eliminate, or at least reduce, segregation. Alan Turing isn’t as well known for his accomplishments He was a mathematician who was part of a group of people chosen to break the Nazi code Enigma during WWlli He eventually helped break the code, saving millions of lives Kyle Carpenter displayed heroism while in the army He jumped in front of a bomb to save a fellow soldier, getting maimed in the process His actions showed how selfless he could be in life-or»deat_h situationst These three men were brave, smart, and determined, They all made a positive impact on the lives around them and that impact is what makes them heroes.

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The Evolution of the Concept of Heroes. (2022, Jul 25). Retrieved from

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