Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade August 2001

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What is a hero? The definition for a hero is a legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength and ability. A hero is admired for what he does, and glorified for it. A hero must have intelligence to perform the brave deeds he will have to overcome. In the movie, Braveheart, William Wallace demonstrates strong qualities of a hero.

To be a hero he must have superhuman strength and intelligence, but most of all courage. Wallace demonstrates all of these qualities throughout Braveheart. Wallace was known to be seven feet tall. He killed 100 men and could shoot fire out of his body. Whether all of that is true is doubtful. Wallace shows his intelligence in so many ways. One example of this is that he knows that a small stone is more effective and more accurate than a large one. He shows this in his stone throwing contest with Hamish, his lifetime friend.

Wallace also knows intelligent war strategies. He knew the English would start with their horsemen, so he made spears extending to the length of two men. He used these at the precise second the horsemen stampeded towards them, in order to kill the horses. This all took courage, of course, but the most important amd strongest characteristic of courage was his own fear of dying a coward. He was not scared to die, but how he would die. The French Princess offered Wallace a potion to ease the pain from his tortured death. He took all of it-the hanging, the stretching, and the humiliation without screaming for mercy.

Performing many brave deeds without showing fear is one more characteristic of a hero. Wallace was a very brave man throughout his entire life. The English nobles were attacking his wife, and Wallace didn't think twice about attacking them. This kind of act was punishable by death. He also went after the King of England and his men by himself, with an arrow in his chest. One of the most courageous and bravest things he could have done was to go to Robert the Bruce's alone. Wallace wasn't sure if it was a trap, but he went alone so that his army would not be harmed. This was a smart choice for Wallace. Unfortunately, he was right. It was a trap, and he was captured. Wallace did not show fear, and he went down courageous.

To prove a true hero he must be significant and glorified. If anybody was glorified or admired it was Wallace. Wallace started the entire revolt against the English rule, with a little help from his clan. Clans from all over came to help and fight with the infamous William Wallace. These commoners risked their own lives for Wallace and his beliefs. The nobles of Scotland thought he was significant enough to be dubbed the sole protector of Scotland. Wallace was greatly admired by a very important and high leader, Robert the Bruce. Robert wanted to be like Wallace. Robert wanted to have Wallace's courage, strength, and loyalty that Robert, himself, did not have.

These are just a few of the characteristics of a hero. They are also some of the most important. A hero must have strength and courage, and Wallace had this. He must be brave to have followers, and Wallace had this. If you have followers you are significant and glorified, and Wallace also had this. William Wallace is a perfect example of a hero; he has all the qualities and more.