What is a Hero?

What is a hero? This question can be answered a number of ways depending on what time period you are in a hero can be half a god, or a hero can simply be a man who is doing good in the world. A “hero” has changed a lot over the years. From Greek mythology to the modern heroes a lot has changed.

In Greek mythology the term hero was given to someone that had done something out of the ordinary, or someone that was a demigod.   Usually a hero in Greek mythology kills monsters or somehow defies the gods. Heroes are thought of people that are cosmically important to their culture such Achilles to the Greeks. He was said to be untouchable anywhere, but his heal. He defied death everywhere he went, killing and rescuing countless armies. In the end though with most of the Greek Heroes he died as a result of his one weakness.   Paris the Trojan prince killed him by shooting an arrow in his heals.   Aside from having a weakness all the Greek heroes were selfish if they did do something for the betterment of others it always somehow benefited them.  

In the Victorian era the hero changed to gentlemen, and Romance the epic. The idea of the gentleman was changing during the Victorian era. It was no longer strictly a title given to those of high birth. The word gentleman began to take on a moral sense as well and the role and duty of the gentleman was focused more on conduct than on property wealth or station in life. One still would not call a coal miner a gentleman, but the dominant male characters in both Jane Eyre and Villette hold positions in life (clergymen, property owner, doctor, professor) that would have required they follow that gentlemanly code.

Today many people think of heroes as everyday people. You don’t have to do something miraculous or perfect to be considered a hero. All you have to do is believe. Believe that you can survive cancer, that you can jump out of an airplane, or that you can run into a fire and save a life. Heroes today...