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Why do you think people need heroes, especially divine ones?How does Hercules compare to modern heroes?
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Heroes are examples to follow in our own lives. They are ideals, they are who and what we aspire to be or be like in our daily lives. We admire the possibility that heroes represent, often times forgetting that even heroes are humans and have flaws.
Divine heroes give us answers and guidance to the most fundamental questions of humanity. Where do we come from? Why are we alive? Bringing some order to such weighty questions gives us peace as individuals.
I think heroes give us hope. Whether they are mythical hereos or real life heroes they serve as an inspiration to the rest of us. In recent times I look at the Chilean Miners that were just rescued, I would have to think everyone would agree that these people could be viewed as heroes.
I think that hero stories, especially divine ones, fill up gaps in our ignorance and allow us to explain away the unexplainable. Also, I think we all need heroes to believe in, hope in and trust. I have to agree with #3 though - to me, the most inspiring heroes are the mortal variety, as they were still able to achieve incredible feats in spite of their humanity. Divine heroes are a bit unattainable for us humans - we can't hope to mimic their feats.
People have an innate need to have something greater than themselves in which to believe. That's why great causes which inspire things like patriotism and loyalty and team spirit draw people together and allow the best of who we are to surface. More importantly, we have a need to believe in someone better than ourselves--someone who is closer to the divine than we are. We need someone to admire and aspire to emulate. Cultures all have their myths, stories, and legends regarding a Creator, demonstrating this need for something or someone greater than themselves. Heroes developed as a direct result of that inherent need.
People need divine heroes as a means of escape. Everyday heroes are wonderful, but too many times they have flaws that let today's youth down. Look at how many sports heroes who have overcome adversity only to screw up their lives at a later point. Divine heroes are the pinnacle--the ultimate dream. However, many mortal individuals set hero like examples that kids believe they too could achieve. Dreams and reality--both offer something of value to today's youth.
I believe many people need heroes to use as inspirational role models for how they live their own lives. Some men look to divine heroes such as Hercules and his superhuman strength as a standard for their own achievements. Women may try to emulate the strength of the goddess Diana or the virtue of a Mother Theresa as their own perfect role model. Jesus is certainly an inspiration for hundreds of millions of Christians worldwide. Personally, I find that past historical human characters are a greater source of heroic prowess. Men such as Lincoln, Washington and Gandhi, whose personal actions have been so influential to many past generations, are some of my own heroes; they lived their lives with displays of honor and respect for mankind that few can hope to fully emulate--but which all people should attempt to attain.
There will be many answers to this question. The article makes the argument that part of the reason why the myth of Hercules captivated the Greeks was because of its awe inspiring qualities. When Greeks heard all that Hercules had to endure in terms of challenge and adversity and how he overcame such obstacles with a powerful combination of guile and strength, it served as inspiration for the Greeks. In this respect, one can assert that heroes, especially divine ones, are needed because they help to captivate one's imagination and serve as inspiration for the great feats of which one is capable. In this light, the need for heroes is one to inspire and to galvanize individuals into believing that ordinary people can be capable of extraordinary things. Even if the divinity of the heroes cannot be achieved by human beings, their legends still serve as a type of inspiration of what might be, what can be, and this transformative quality helps to bring a level of transcendence to a mortal life where banality might reign in a dominant fashion.
I think people believe they need heros and gods. The ancient cultures, such as Roman and Egyptian, more or less invented gods and goddesses for themselves based on their daily lives. They did this to explain their surroundings but also to feel less "alone". It gives most people comfort to think that someone is looking out for them.
As to heros, people need heros in order to inspire them and lift their spirits. When someone feels they are horrible at something they hear a story about a hero that over came a task much hard than that of the "normal persons" and that person becomes inspired to accomplish what they believe to be a "heros task" in their world.
We need heroes to help us explain the unexplainable. To understand why something is might be better understood if it is simply accepted that a Greek hero did it or a Roman God did it. Without them, we might feel more alone on this planet than we already feel. There is nothing like a good hero story to make us feel safe and protected.
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