Characteristics Of A Hero In Homer's The Iliad

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In cultural literature, there are usually two types of literature. An author generally chooses to compose either an epic, or a tragic. What is the difference between the two? An epic is usually a long narrative poem that recounts the deeds of a hero. Typically, this poem is exaggerated and/or elevated and the deed the specific hero performs are described as to be legendary. Furthermore, the epic, on most occasions, originates as an oral tradition. An example of this would be Achilles in Homer’s, “ The Iliad”. Contrastingly, a tragic is a drama in which the protagonist faces obstacles that are of a superior force and/or circumstance. The protagonist succumb to these forces and circumstances, which then tends to incite the themes of terror, …show more content…
The set of characteristics of what makes a hero a tragic or epic hero must be defined. Both tragics and epics have several characteristics. There are around half a dozen main characteristics that define an epic. First, the hero is outstanding. This means that the hero of the epic is essential to the plot, and more importantly, historically or legendarily significant. Second, the setting is large. Potentially, the setting could cover several nations. The third characteristic of an epic is that the actions in the plot are made of deeds of great valour or requiring superhuman courage. The fourth characteristic, and in some people’s eyes, the most important characteristic, is that the epic itself involves supernatural forces—gods, angels, demons—insert themselves in the action. This means that the gods, angels, or demons, take individual actions in the plot and have an effect on the storyline. The remaining characteristics of an epic consists of: an objective narrative, it being written in a special style (verse not …show more content…
He has greatness about him. In a tragedy, the hero usually have elements that include: of noble birth, hamartia (tragic flaw/sin that leads to the hero’s downfall), hubris (overarching pride), peripeteia (reversal of fortune). The hero himself is of no ordinary quality, but one of outstanding excellence. However, although he is great, he isn’t perfect. The hero usually has some sort of weakness that plays a part in his downfall. Furthermore, because he is doomed by fate, the tragic hero will face a tragic downfall. According to Aristotle, the tragic hero’s fall is generated by "some error of judgment". Thus, with all his great qualities the tragic hero is usually stained with some fault of character such as inordinate ambition, quickness to anger, a tendency to jealousy, or overwhelming pride. These flaws (hamartia) in his character leads to his downfall. Accident, villainy, or fate may contribute to the downfall. The blend of the hero's heroism and his responsibility for his own downfall is what makes his downfall tragic rather than purely pathetic. Nevertheless, the hero's misfortune isn’t deserved as usually, the punishment doesn’t fit the

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