Essay on Heroism: Hero and Ar Te

1426 Words Nov 27th, 2005 6 Pages
Heroism is a quality many aspire to but few achieve. Depending on the current culture and view of a particular society the definition of what it means to be a hero varies. Greek culture shared many values and ideals throughout all of its cities. However, some differences can be seen in cities such as Athens and Sparta. The readings from Homer, Xenophon, Aristophanes, and Thucydides explain the Greek ideals about heroism. While the religious groups of Christians, Muslims, and Jews shared some basic concepts they differed greatly from the Greek vision. The Christian Sermon on the Mount, the Jewish Hebrew Scriptures, and the Muslim Koran all praise a similar version of a hero. Greek life during the time of Homer was filled with war …show more content…
Although the Athenians wish for a peaceful and non-oppressive society they still call for citizens to be brave and stand up for the state. "And yet if with habits not of labor but of ease, and courage not of art but of nature, we are still willing to encounter danger, we have the double advantage of escaping the experience of hardships in anticipation and of facing them in the hour of need as fearlessly as those who are never free from them." The hero's of Athens not only helped contribute to the beauty of the community but when that beauty was threatened they were able to fight bravely and give their lives. Spartans valued the basic ideal of Greek hero's; bravery. However the Spartans distance themselves from the Athenians and other Greeks in their radical treatment of young boys. To the Spartans excellence in physical conflicts and war is the ideal of a hero. Strength and bravery was instilled upon the boys at an early age. "Spartan boys were also encouraged to steal food. They stole, too, all other meat they could lay their hands on, looking out and watching all opportunities, when people were asleep or more careless than usual. If they were caught they were not only punished with whipping but hunger." Young boys were taught to prey on the weak, those that were asleep, in order to live and thus instilling a quality of dishonesty. This is a characteristic that would be looked down upon in reference to the Greek ideal of arête. The Spartans lives

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