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The Characteristics of the Greek Hero
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The Characteristics of the Greek Hero

The Characteristics of the Greek Hero

Slide 2

When we think of the word hero, what comes to mind?

When we think of the word hero, what comes to mind?

Masked men in spandex, tights, and capes?

Tortured loners with no one to love?

Cool cars, hot women, and high-tech gadgets?

Superman?

Batman?

Spiderman?

Fireman?

Policeman?

Everyman?

Slide 3

What makes a hero in Greek Mythology?

What makes a hero in Greek Mythology?

Having one immortal parent

Being born into royalty

Having an unusual conception or birth

Being favored by the gods

Being the subject of a prophesy

Being abandoned at birth or while very young

Performing an amazing feat at a young age

Going on a quest

Traveling to the underworld

Marrying a princess

Dying an ignoble death

Slide 4

Unusual Conception / Birth

Unusual Conception / Birth

Heroes are often called Demi-gods because one parent is immortal and the other is mortal

Most famous heroes were the offspring of Zeus or Poseidon, but sometimes the parent was a goddess such as Aphrodite or Thetis

To further complicate things, often the heroes actual births involved strange complications

Slide 5

Born into Royalty

Born into Royalty

Heroes were almost always the offspring of a princess or queen

Typically the god responsible for the hero either came disguised as the husband of the queen, or the princess slept with a god and a mortal on the same night

Invariably the hero was claimed by his earthly father as well as his Olympian one

Slide 6

Prophesy / Abandoned at Birth

Prophesy / Abandoned at Birth

The fates or the oracle often had something to say about the birth of a hero

Often the prediction so frightened the parents that they abandoned the child in the wilderness, but since the heroic child was favored by the gods, he was saved and raised by someone other than his parents

Sometimes, through no fault of the parents, the child needed to be raised away from home

Slide 7

Performing an amazing feat at a young age

Performing an amazing feat at a young age

Young heroes invariable found a way to strut their stuff when they were wee tykes.

Heracles killed two snakes as a youngster, Theseus moved a huge rock and fought what he thought was a lion

These events were a heads

up that great things were in store for our heroes

Slide 8

Favored by the Gods

Favored by the Gods

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