The Real Heroes in Literature

1890 WordsJun 24, 20188 Pages
What images are associated with the words “hero”? A muscular Hercules saving the world from Hades? A knight in shining armor bravely riding into combat? Words like bravery, strength, pride, and self-sacrifice are commonly connected with a classic hero. But are those the only characteristics that make someone heroic? A dictionary definition of a hero is “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities”; however, this is a very elastic definition and there are many other types and definitions of heroes depending on circumstances. Is there one that is correct? Do all heroes share any common characteristics? According to Orin E. Klapp, a hero is “a person, real or imaginary, who evokes the…show more content…
Throughout the journey, Bilbo is able to defeat a few enemies, such as when he buys time during the troll incident, and helps the dwarves escape from the spiders; however, Diogo Gonçalves, points out that “even when he starts becoming useful for the group… he is humble; Bilbo doesn’t mock on those he defeats, as the classic hero tended to do” (44), rather the mockery is used to defeat the enemies. A clear example is the incident with the spiders, where he angers them by calling them offensive names in order to give the dwarves a chance to escape. Despite all these differences, Bilbo is still accepted as a hero in today’s society and does share some traits with the classic hero. One of the reasons I believe he is accepted in today’s society is because he is easy to relate to, demonstrating pleasure in his domestic lifestyle, but at the same time, possessing a natural curiosity and a desire to enjoy the occasional adventure outside his comfort zone. He also has the admirable quality of loyalty and persistence. Even when “the dwarves wanted to know why he had ever been brought at all, why he could not stick to his friends and come along with them, and why the wizard had not chosen someone with more sense, and that ‘He has been more trouble than use so far,’ said one” (Tolkien 44), Bilbo still stuck by their side and helped them to the best of his abilities. Just like the Cinderella hero, Bilbo was probably not the dwarves’ first choice
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