Discusses the characteristics of the Ancient Hero, defines the specific features of the epic genre.

Essay by demottoUniversity, Bachelor's February 2004

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Ancient Hero

Homer's epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey created a classical setting for Greek Heroes. The poems are full of battles, peril and adventures that allow the heroic characters be courageous. The heroes face a barrage of arrows with out flinching and are merciless enough to kill many men with out regret. The heroic characters battle for love, duty, and to protect there homes and families.

A hero is defined in Greek mythology as a person of divine ancestry who has courage, strength and is celebrated by both the gods and people. Ancient Greek heroes characterize traits of strength, ability, resourcefulness, honor and pride. Homer's heroic characters portray these characteristics by facing many challenges through out the poems. Heroes in ancient times where important because they where the first mortal humans portrayed in stories. Homer's poems show change in the central theme of literature in that time. Stories, for the first time, where about people instead of just the mysterious and powerful gods.

Homer's poems exude with heroes on every level that reveal the human side and the heroic side of a person. The depth and personification of Homer's hero laid the ground work for the "modern day" hero.

In Ancient Greece, it was a widely accepted value to strive for a hero's excellence. Homer's Iliad and Odyssey do not explicitly detail the characteristic of excellence or a hero, but the behavior of the heroic characters can be analyzed to derive these attributes. Odysseus, Achilles and Diomedes are three of Homer's most note worthy characters in his epic poems that demonstrate the values of a hero's excellent. They personify what was expected of a classical Greek hero.

One of Homer's most controversial heroes is Odysseus from the Odyssey. Odysseus, the king of Ithaca, is a key example of...