In "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," is Ichabod Crane a hero or anti-hero, and in what terms?

Ichabod Crane is an anti-hero in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." His cowardice, avarice, and peculiar appearance are all in opposition to the archetypal hero. Brom Bones is a much more conventionally heroic figure.

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Ichabod Crane is an anti-hero. This term sometimes confuses readers, since it sounds as though it means the opposite of a hero, which is to say a villain—or at any rate, someone who opposes the hero or is an antagonist. In fact, an anti-hero is simply a protagonist who lacks heroic qualities. He might be a likeable and sympathetic character. Indeed, since few readers are heroes themselves, an anti-hero may well be easier to identify with than a hero, which is a point made with trenchant wit by Philip Larkin in "A Study of Reading Habits."

The archetype of the hero is Achilles, a figure many readers of the Iliad do not particularly like. Achilles is notable first of all for his exceptional courage and prowess in battle. He is contemptuous of possessions, regularly berating Agamemnon for his greed. He is also handsome and noble.

In all these terms, Ichabod Crane is the precise opposite of Achilles. He is cowardly and easily terrified. He is avaricious in his desire to live in luxury on the...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 853 words.)

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