From Epic to Hellenic: Part One of Six

From Epic to Hellenic: Part One of Six

Connecting Tradition With Heroism

This is part one of a six part article exploring the Classical traditions of heroism. My high school philosopher teacher once remarked that one can perceive perfection as a balance. With that in mind, consider the idea that perfection in a hero is found in the balance of masculinity and femininity.

"We could be heroes" sings Alesso, "That's how a superhero learns to fly" sings the Script, "If I go crazy, will you still call me superman" sings Three Doors Down.

American culture and many other cultures as a whole are effectively obsessed with the idea of heroism. Heroism elevates one to a hero level and the word itself is associated with honor. Since the dawn of time, those who were a little more altruistic than usual, stronger than the norm, smarter than the rest were hailed as heroes. Modern day heroes, ranging from Steve Jobs to policemen, all have one aspect in common- immense responsibility. Some of the most successful television shows, movies, and comics are put out by Marvel and DC.

These stories all follow the dual life of a superhero, noting how hard it was to be one. Ancient Greek and Roman cultures are no different from ours in respect to the obsession with heroes. Greek and Roman mythology chronicles the unmatched strength, piety, intelligence, valor, achievements of demi-gods and "super" humans. Three of the most famous heroes are Achilles, Odysseus, and Aeneas. To this day, Achilles permeates our society through the phrase "Achilles's heel" and those who know nothing of the Classics generally have at least heard of Achilles, Odysseus, or Aeneas. Odysseus is hailed as the clever mastermind behind the Trojan horse while Aeneas, famed for piety, is credited with the founding of Rome. However, these men are accepted to some degree as fictional. They are icons of the Greek and Roman times. As icons, they reflect their respective societies, but to some degree, they define them. Vergil in his Aeneid redefines the Homeric tradition of heroism, distinguishing it from the Iliad and Odyssey, which contributes to the contrast of the heroism archetype that exists in Greek and Roman cultures.

The fact that the Iliad and the Odyssey were written through Homeric Tradition affects the way that the idea of heroism is perceived. Homeric Tradition and oral tradition in which the epics were written in is a very different concept than our modern perceptive. In modern times, it is difficult to understand the concept that these long poems were not originally written down, but rather performed and passed down through oral tradition. Homer uses dactylic hexameter, which to the minds of contemporary people is almost impossible to consider since that would mean that the oral composition was metered. The reason that Homeric tradition was so popular was its ability to spread. Word of mouth was the only way for messages and stories to be sent, so oral tradition was the solution to this problem The Homeric tradition or oral tradition defines the works of the Iliad and Odyssey since it adds more depth to the understanding developed from them.

Cover Image Credit: On the Screen Reviews

Popular Right Now

8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating


Trying to figure out what to do in life.


I never saw the crossroad

Where I could cross n' roam

Under an arch or dome. [1]

I just kept on the road

That was laid out,

Told to hold out

Till it pays out. [2]

Now I think its too late

Been walking too long,

Classes are all wrong

But masses too strong. [3]

So I follow with my head down

And chest up, succeeding cause

I'm too scared to fuck it up. [4]

But I have a need to lead,

Top-down and gears up

Leaving nothing to the dust.

But if I drop out, I'm a fuck up. [5]

Is it better to live and rust

Or drive till it busts

With trust you can find the way? [6]

[1] - Play on roam/Rome. Starts the poem by expressing the feeling of being trapped in my path in life. I felt like I never got the chance to figure out what I wanted to do.

[2] - I think a lot of it was I was following what people told me I should be doing.

[3] - I have a feeling that it is too late to change my course of life. I'm in a college for business, taking classes about business, and everyone around me wants to do business.

[4] - This is saying that even though I am not passionate about what I am doing I am still trying to succeed only because I'm scared of failing or quitting.

[5] - I want to leave and lead myself, do something where I'm not following but I don't know how to do that. This part starts a car reference, idk I've been watching Formula 1 on Netflix and its dope.

[6] - This is the question I've been asking myself, wondering if I should continue on with my path or follow my passion.

Related Content

Facebook Comments