In order to be an epic hero, what eight factors must be met?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Regardless of the text being examined, an epic hero must possess specific traits.

1. The epic hero is a great leader, a warrior, and a polished speaker.

2. The epic hero must take on a long journey which typically places him in the underworld at some point.

3. Arete (Greek for bringing virtue to perfection) must be a quality the epic hero embraces.

4. The epic hero must obtain aristeia (nobility) based upon one epic battle where he must face a foe greater than himself. No valor is achieved when fighting a foe who is seen as lesser than the epic hero.

5. The epic hero accepts a challenge that no other will accept.

6. When encountering foes and challenges, the epic hero must possess the strength, cunning and intervention of God in order to win the battle.

7. The battle between the epic hero and the epic foe meet at the climax of the text and is delayed as so to build interest and suspense.

8. The epic hero is introduced in the midst of turmoil. His story prior to his entrance is told to support his ability to overcome whatever need be at the time of introduction.

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