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The Characteristics of the Greek Hero




Since heroes were the offspring of gods, usually they were favored by the gods.

A child of Zeus would get help on a quest by Zeus or another Olympian

Special gifts such as helmets, winged sandals, and golden bridles were loaned to the heroes

Slide 9

Quests, Kleos and Aristea

Quests, Kleos and Aristea

Heroes made the world a safer place by defeating a monster, killing an evil king, or righting a wrong

Heroes wanted their names to live forever since they could not.

Songs must be sung that would perpetuate the stories of their great deeds

Slide 10

Travel to the Underworld

Travel to the Underworld

The hero had to confront death and come back stronger and rejuvenated

Heroes were mortal, so confronting death allowed them to face their own mortality

Slide 11

Married a Princess

Married a Princess

Heroes invariable married a princess, but instead of marital bliss, this frequently brought turmoil and unhappiness

Slide 12

Ignoble Death

Ignoble Death

The hero had larger than life attributes, but he also had larger than life flaws

Aristotle would have called this hamartia, and it was usually brought on by hybris

Very few heroes could come to grips with their gifts and their mortality, but that humanity is part of their appeal

That appeal is what allowed their societies to forgive them and is also what kept the heroes alive for thousands of years after their deaths

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