Heroes in ancient stories and heroes in current stories have a lot of common traits. There is a handful of examples. Heroes often have a mentor. For example, Odysseus’ mentor is Athena, and she helps him throughout his journey. We can see that kind of situations in recent movies, such as Star Wars, where Obi-Wan Kenobi mentors Luke Skywalker in his journey. Even though heroes in ancient tales are alike in many other aspects, this essay will just be focused in one characteristic.
An epic hero is the model of the idealistic person in a society. They represent everything that society believes a perfect citizen should be. In the Odyssey, that is well established. Odysseus clearly represents a perfect ancient Greek. Odysseus is a great warrior, and Greeks considered war a very important aspect of their society. Odysseus is also a clever man with leadership. I do not think any society would not want a clever leader between them. Odysseus was an honorable man. In almost every ancient society, including the Greek, Honor was the most important value. In the Odyssey, Odysseus is known all along Greece as a very honorable man. Odysseus is held in Ogygia by Calypso. She is beautiful; Odysseus could stay with her forever and become immortal. Odysseus chooses to try to get back with his wife Penelope, even though the journey to get back with her might kill him, and even when he gets home, he will not be with a goddess or become immortal. He still gets back with his wife. This shows that Greeks considered loyalty and family very important in their society.
Just as in the Odyssey, in the movie Captain America some of the United States’ idealistic characterists are represented, nevertheless the influence of the hero’s traits is not as evident. Captain America’s dream is to go to war and fight for his country. North American society considers nationalism one of the most essential aspects of a perfect North American. This society also has great pride on the citizens that honor their country in war, and everything Captain America did is honor his country in the World War II.
In conclusion, stories and societies have evolved over the years. Now a days stories, told in movies for example, don’t have the same objective that they used to have in the ancient societies. Societies have different priorities and more open minds. But Even if stories and societies keep evolving, people will always want to be identified somehow with the heroes in the stories. Societies want to see in a hero what they think a perfect human would be, that is a simple thing that would make a diverse society come together.