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Greek Hero Essay, Research Paper

Greek Hero?s and Their Society

The Greek heroes served society by demonstrating the morals and values of the Greek Gods in humanistic terms. All Greek heroes had similar characteristics and qualities. These qualities are an essential part of the hero?s make-up. Without them, the hero would not be able to overcome the challenges that life presented him. Along with specific qualities, Gods always played an important role in the creation of heroes. In fact, many of the hero?s fathers were Gods. Greek heroes shared the human condition of mortality. This quality of mortality made the heroes easier to relate to from a human standpoint. The quest was the heroes right of passage into glory. Every Greek hero needed a quest to become a champion among the Greek people. I believe Peruses is an excellent example of a hero meeting the needs of society by demonstrating qualities that where present in a hero.

In the story of Peruses his immortal father was Zeus. Zeus was the father of many Greek heroes. Danae, Piraeus?s mother, was locked up in a golden chamber where no man would go. Acrisius, Danae?s father, did this because an Oracle had told him that Danae?s first born would kill him. Zeus, being very promiscuous, transformed himself into a liquid stream of gold. ?Just as a shower of rain falls and becomes absorbed by the earth, so this golden shower penetrated the ceiling of the golden room. Danae found these riches pouring onto her lap.? pp.199 With out Zeus, Peruses would have never been born. Zeus then protected his family by carrying them across the sea and letting them survive their inevitable fate brought on by Acrisius. I feel that this helps teach society that your family should always be there for you when you need them.

Being mortal helps Peruses by letting him experience poverty and other human conditions. This differs from many of the gods, and helps the story relate more to the reader. ?Feeling self-conscious about his poverty in the presence of so many wealthy aristocrats, Peruses announced, ?I have no family wealth to offer you, but I fearlessly offer you my services.? ? pp.200 Later in the story, he uses his persuasive abilities to convince others to give him what he needs for his quest. ?However, they were such delightful companions that he welcomed their presence and their encouragement and did not resent their relationship with one another.? This helped his society to see that he was one of them, not a god.

The quest is the most important role in the making of a hero. This is where many of his strong points come together and are celebrated. ?Finally Peruses announced, ?Friends of mine, beware!? He suddenly displayed Medusa?s head for all his enemies to see, transforming two hundred foes into two hundred statues.? In this story he helped society by killing Medusa, evil, and fulfilling a quest that had not already been done. The quest is also usually the turning point of the story where the hero begins a downward slope towards a miserable death. ?Peruses sadly buried the grandfather he never knew. He decided not to return to Argos because he was ashamed to claim the kingdom of a relative he had killed.? pp.208

I believe Peruses is a very good example of a hero because he meets the needs society by demonstrating qualities that are present in a hero. Peruses learned and was protected by his immortal father, Zues. He had qualities that any human could relate to in his society. Finally, his basic quest pattern should have taught others how to fulfil their own quest. I think Peruses was a great hero and was a role model for all of the characteristics that are admired in his society. However, he along with all heroes is cruel and single-minded towards his enemy. I don?t think his behaviors are correct by today?s standards.


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