In the poem, "I am Joaquin/ Yo soy Joaquin", what makes the speaker an epic hero?  Who is the hero?

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An epic hero is usually a particularized version of a people who rises to be a leader, affecting a victory or a transformation in the service or for the benefit of their people. In "I am Joaquin", the speaker is a composite of the elements of Latino culture and the historical events that have created it. As depicted by Gonzales, this generalized hero has the qualities and depth we associate with the central characters of epic literature. Rather than precisely being an epic hero himself, however, he is a kind of spirit existing in a meta-world, looking back upon the history of Latin America and characterizing his people as exemplifying the qualities of such heroes, and thus being the collective hero themselves.

In epic poetry, a struggle is generally depicted in which a hero and his people fight against another people or against forces that are intent on destroying them. Yet Joaquin has within himself both the ancestry of the gachupin , the Spanish invaders of America, and the indigenous...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 808 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 13, 2020
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