Heroes of the Ages

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Throughout the ages, there have been many epic heroes in which we hear about through stories. However, there is a rather common question of what makes them an epic hero. Not only do humans look for the bravery and good deeds in a hero, but they go deeper than that. They wish to know what lies beneath the skin. Literally, what makes them act the way they do. Psychologically speaking, there is no sure way to tell why each person acts the way they do. However, what people can analyze is the actions within a story. Of the numerous heroes in which one could extrapolate upon, there are a few who are ideal for finding the true characteristics that make a hero, those being: Achilles, Odysseus, Aeneas, Socrates, Gilgamesh, Beowulf and of course…show more content…
Ironically, he is quoted as saying, “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” (Plato). As it is found that Robert Eisner says, “Hence many of the traditional traits of the Homeric warrior are found in the Platonic Socrates, but they have been substantially modified to sustain the new philosophic content of the hero’s role.” (Eisner). Socrates never fights in epic battles or goes to far off places. However, Socrates does develop the top thoughts in philosophy for ages to come. He is still remembered today as the greatest philosophy. Socrates is aptly named the Father of Philosophy because he is still remembered even to this day. Next in line in the search for characteristics is a sort of obscured man named Gilgamesh. Though he seems a bit selfish in that he wishes to live forever, it is in fact simply fear that drives him to such an act. However, he does show tremendous appreciation for his friend and is extremely sad when he does. As the poems relate, “How can I rest when Enkidu whom I love is dust and I shall too die and be laid in the earth for ever?” (Gilgamesh). As also seen here, Gilgamesh has the fundamental fear that makes him seem almost human, that he will someday die. Gilgamesh learns to overcome this fear and accept that he is human, thus he shows the trait of acceptance. As N. Sandars says, “At the end, it (fame) turns to mockery with lost opportunity and wasted hopes; till the final scene of the
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