A hero can best be described as a person with extraordinary power and courage that makes him or her figure to recognise and admire amongst the people he lives with. The distinguishing factor between the heroes and the ordinary citizens is a hero’s ability to triumph over difficult and evil circumstances. It is the heroes that the world admires, loves and at times desire to be a replica of them. There are many types of hero many of whom are worth the praise but some others receive the praise not for the good deeds that they have committed their lives to doing but for the single deed once done that cannot be forgotten after the fall from the alter of grace. Heroes are often confused with role models and thus the need to distinguish the two in order to satisfactorily analyse the influence of heroes in today’s world.
A role model is an individual that has a personal and touch into the experiences of our lives. This is to mean that a role model unlike a hero has a personal impact that changes the entire experience of our lives. This kind of personal touch and variation in the personal experience of life lacks when talking about some heroes. This essay will discuss the influence of heroes in the world by analysing the different types of heroes that exist in the world and by using the themes as portrayed in the literally of The Iliad, The Odyssey, and The Aneid.
Types of heroes
Classic heroes are not afraid to face any kind of evil in an endeavour to save the human race from the impact of such evil. This class of heroes put themselves at risk for the sake of mankind and thus defined by the pre-heroic circumstances that led to their being viewed as such. The world identifies with these kinds of people. The people give them lots of love and compassion for the connection and feel of their relevance in the people’s lives. It is the character of these individuals that give them the qualities of being termed as heroes.
The second class of heroes is the antiheroes. These are commonly fictitious but use their special powers and abilities in what they believe to be for the benefit of the people. The basis of their heroic acts what they believe to be good while they fail consider the opinion of the world in which they serve. This fact makes this type of heroes perform evil acts for the intention to save the community from evil. This type of hero presents the community with a dilemma of the right path to follow in the effort of doing good to the society. For this reason, the world is hesitant to relate to but still remain admirable. The third class of heroes is the redeemer hero. Their existence is purely accidental. The redeemer hero performs his heroic acts while performing his chores but a t times answers to the people that need his help. Jesus Christ is referred to as the redeemer of the Christian faith. His birth was unexpected but he performed miracles such as healing and raising the dead. The leaders at the time had not predicted his coming but the Christians related to him.
Odysseus was a Greek hero who used his intelligence and disguising abilities to gain his heroism. He had the ability to disguise his verbal and physical appearances to blind the forces he believed as evil. It is this special power that the hero uses to return home shortly after the Trojan War. He uses his disguising abilities to perform his heroic acts. Aeneas is a Greek hero who journeyed to Italy and thus becoming the roman ancestor. Aenaes together with his Trojan followers became the basis of the roman and troy’s culture and dynasty.
Other heroes according to The Iliad include Achilles who has super human powers with a strong relationship with the gods but his contrasting personalities makes him less of a hero in the eyes of the Trojans. His deep rooted desire for glory and significance makes him a ruthless hero. He favoured only individuals who regarded him as their hero while he disregarded and did not help those who were opposed to his action. Agamemnon was also known as a Trojan hero and leader who did not differ from Achilles in terms of personal traits and brutality. Unlike Achilles he was only mindful of himself and for what, in his own view regarded as right. In spite of his heroic acts his people are not utterly sympathetic as they cannot relate to him. This made it impossible for his people to relate to him as an ordinary human being. The third hero from The Iliad narrative is hector. He is known by the Trojan as the greatest hero of all time as he was the first to set a blaze an Achaean ship. He is an ordinary human being often demonstrating such traits as cowardice, humbleness and a home maker. The Trojan hero relates to his people simply due to his humane character traits.
The distinction between the different types of heroes enables us to make a distinction between the different influences that the hero has on the lives of individuals. More often it can be noted that people idolize their hero regarding them too highly and as perfect human beings. The world has been known to lose itself in the glorification of these heroes often without much consideration of the character traits of the said hero. Today’s heroes emanate from as many fields as can be thought of. There are heroes in sports, political, entertainment and cultural heroes.
The adoration of our many types of heroes initially exists amongst the adults who pass down the same kind of worship to the children. The children grow up believing that these individuals are their hero. A kind of fascination that is likely to lead to the adoration of infamous individuals. Many people can relate to the fact that they know very little about their hero or their heroic acts. It has become custom that autographs are demanded every time one comes across an individual who has been known in one way or the other as a hero. In today’s world we have famous people such as Nelson Mandela, Michael Jackson, Tiger Woods and Bob Feller. For most individuals it has become irrelevant that some of the above mentioned individuals have been accused of infamous deeds such as minor’s molestation or infidelity.
Little attention is paid to the character traits of most of the heroes. The integrity and the conduct of these people are disregarded in the effort to fill the emptiness felt in one’s life. Today’s world exceedingly praises the heroes often at times allowing ourselves to become an extension of fame and the super natural characters so believed to be possessed by the heroes. The kind of praise has led to people losing focus of their well being and personal worth while concentrating on the heroes to fill the void in their lives.
There exist heroes who have an inspirational impact in today’s society. Such leaders would among others include Desmond tutu, Martin Luther king, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, mother Teresa and Abraham Lincoln. These are leaders whose work has been used to teach the modern day generation about traits that would be beneficial if acquired. Their contribution has been used as an example in class rooms by teachers to encourage their students to acquire traits similar to these heroes. The heroes are thus used to inspire greater achievement amongst the young people. Heroes are thus an important teaching aid for teachers in encouraging their student to copy their character traits, their problem solving abilities and leadership qualities. Peace heroes such as Nelson Mandela have been used in some societies as bench marks of conflict resolution and peace building initiatives in warring countries. This greatly improves the quality of life of victims of war and animosity.
Heroes can be found amongst the destitute, in slums in hospitals but using their stories to influence the direction of life for those for whom they leave with and have the opportunity to hear their stories. Mother Teresa could be viewed as the root of these heroes who emerge from difficult situations of disease, draught, malnutrition and yet have the human nature to share the little they have or tell the story of their lives and by so doing, influence the direction of the people’s lives. It is the stories of such destitution that often drives people to give handouts, free education and medical care to the people. Nongovernmental organisation and hospitals are guided by the works of these heroes in their service to the people.
There exist different types of heroes whose influence to the people is equally different. Some heroes judged in the current day convention may not be true heroes with positive significance in the lives of the people that look up to them. The influence of some heroes is merely to entertain and increase the love of particular sports and entertainment genres. Other heroes within our societies and from the past should be used as educational benchmarks for the younger generation. Heroes who should be allowed to influence the lives of the people should posses such qualities as courage, compassion for all mankind, have a peace building mentality and character. These qualities are bound to influence the people positively and as a result enrich the quality of their lives. Sport political and entertainment heroes should be evaluated to assess if they have assets of heroism: strength, ability to help, defend and protect mankind.