A hero is an individual who is brave and can struggle to achieve the best out of him especially in odd situations.
As Fingeroth (14) observed, a hero is one who “rises above his or her limitations to achieve something extraordinary.” In addition, a superhero is one who is brave, has superhuman powers and ready to sacrifice his life in order to save some people or the whole community. The only difference between a hero and a superhero is perhaps the superhuman powers that heroes do not have. In most cases, the superheroes are portrayed as being immortal. He is distinguishable from villains who can be regarded as the evil counter-parts. They are also usually described as being lucky in most instances to an extent that despite their superhuman ability no ordinary man could be. In other cases, they can die and come back to life. Some of the superheroes were described to have been born that way.
Others acquired their abilities from external sources like the sun while others were just ordinary looking people but with some unique characteristics (Levi para1). Therefore, the study of the tales of the Superheroes is essential to human beings today. The study of superheroes has been of interest to psychologists mainly due to the inspirational impacts it has on those in the neighborhood of the superhero. Often one would dream to be like this legend and would be interested in experimenting what it costs to be one. People find it more interesting if they could be associated with such heroes, and as such the superheroes act as role models in a society. The study emphasizes how individuals interpret their traumatic experiences, which is an area of interest to a psychologist (Rosenberg Para.
2). The superheroes help maintain the cultural values of the societies in which they are reflected in. All the superheroes in the ancient times reflect on the cultures of the societies that created them. In the ancient Greece, Heracles was a superhero who portrayed the Greek culture. He was a strong courageous person signifying a nation that could fight with and conquer another nation. His presence in the Olympian war against the giants would determine the winner. In the Greek history, he was the only man naturally born who became a god after his death.
The other named superheroes like Achilles, Odysseus, Ajax, and many others are still being remembered by their struggle to conquer the city of Troy. Achilles and Hector were great superheroes associated with the Trojan War with Hector being on the opposing side. He led attacks against the Greek in fight for Troy.
The continued use of such tales in the Greek literature thus helps motivate the young generation to be brave warriors thereby preserving the culture of the people. This can though be achieved in real life since philosophers have postulated the developments experienced in the science were due to a man’s curiosity to try to adventure into something that was not possible before. The need to fly, just like the birds, was early read in the ancient myths.
Later, its inspirational impact was seen when could find a way of managing the gravitational pull and go against it into the sky as do the birds. The tales of the superheroes also form an important part in the development of literature in the current literary world. Most anthologists find interesting to develop their works from the tales of the supernatural usually suitable for the young scholars. The literature work for the children helps the would-be future writers improve their writing abilities and skills.
It also helps in giving the children a position in the society (Nakojalewa 3). For instance, the playwrights in Greek used the tales of Heracles where he was described as having a mixture of conflicting characters not easily seen in an individual. On one hand, he was described as a primitive and violent leader who would hold onto a grudge and seek revenge on the opponent however costly it would be.
His poor decisions often landed him into problems. On the other hand, he was portrayed as a loving leader who gives all that is needed to save a friend in trouble. In such instances, he would endure the brutal punishments should he be in the hands of the opponents.
Odysseus was another figure in the Greek history. As early as this ancient times, Odysseus, who was also a superhero, was portrayed as being intelligent enough and would give different false names when in the hands of the enemy. This would later save him in the hands of a king who had promised to it him last, having dealt with his allies. Odysseus had given his name as ‘Nobody’ and when he blinded the drunken king while asleep and other soldiers came for the king’s rescue, the king said ‘Nobody’ had hurt him and the soldiers went back. This was interesting in those olden times when most people were not known to be cunning in any way. How he died remains a debate with some saying he was killed and others saying he naturally died of old age.
Beowulf was a Danish hero who opposed the introduction of Christianity back in the sixth century. Sir Gawain was a Latin warrior who was famous for his romance. He would support his uncle King Arthur regardless of the consequences.
Therefore, it can be seen that most of the ancient superheroes manifested their powers during wars against their enemy nations. The same is slightly different from the modern superheroes. Just as in the olden times when the superheroes were seen as those who fought out bitterly usually for the benefit of the others, the modern day heroes are the people who help their nations in the liberation from some sort of oppression. The struggle for freedom from the colonial government seen way back in the eighteenth century in America saw the rise of some modern heroes.
The scientists who have made discoveries in exploring the space are also heroes of the current times. Their ability to explore the space appears as a power beyond the human and thus qualifies the description. Various scholars like economists, mathematicians, and statisticians are viewed in the modern times as super heroes. The other groups that are considered in the modern society are those holding world records in whichever sector. This could be in the fields of sports like football or athletics, in the fields of academics or one who portrays a good leadership quality. We hereby observe some little difference of what people termed as being a superhero and what people see of the same in the current world. Currently, you do not need to sacrifice yourself to be termed a Superhero. Neither are you required to have extra powers beyond the human nature like immortality to qualify to be termed a hero.
The difference that can be observed between the ancient superheroes and the modern superheroes is that in the ancient times, these people relied much on their strength and their ability to endure harsh treatment. The modern superheroes mostly use their intelligence to help solve the current problem or even to meet other human requirements like entertainment. This can be seen as a development on how superheroes are portrayed in the modern society over the ancient times. In fact, it has been observed that in the modern days, it does not require one to exhibit extraordinary quality and skills in order to influence the life of another person especially the children (Banks para1). They are in this case called mentors. In both the ancient and modern settings, the superheroes happen to play the same role. In the ancient times, such tales injected into the minds of the youths the need and importance of being courageous in difficult situations. The inclusion of superheroes even in the current field of narrative is important in the general development of literature (Jennings 23).
In this way, it helped preserve the community’s cultural heritage especially during this period when inter-tribal wars were the order of the day. Similarly, the superheroes in the modern world act as role models in the nations they hail from or even the world over. One would always like to be named after a good leader like John Kennedy of the United States probably with a mind set that he would also be a good leader. It would please one to be named a Nobel Peace prizewinner following some positive global contribution. Being the best player of the year has given rise to several good footballers. Therefore, the role these legends play even today is worth being mentioned.
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