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The Heroes of Greek Mythology

A hero is a son or descendant of a deity and a mortal person. Homer usually considered a hero to be a brave warrior or a noble man with glorious ancestors. For the first time, Hesiod calls a genus of heroes created by Zeus, demigods. Modern etymologists give different interpretations to the word, emphasizing the protection function.

The history of heroes refers to the so-called classical period of the Olympic and Greek mythology associated with the strengthening of patriarchy and the flowering of Mycenaean Greece. Olympic gods overthrowing the Titans in the fight against the pre-Olympic world of monstrous creatures of Mother Earth, Gaia, create a generation of heroes, marrying a mortal. Sometimes a hero does not know a father, and is brought up by a mother and goes on a quest to perform the feat on the way.

A hero is designed to carry out the will of Olympians on the Earth among the people ordering the life and bringing justice, moderation, and law contrary to the ancient spontaneity and disharmony. Usually a hero is endowed with excessive force and superhuman abilities, but he is deprived of immortality, which remains the privilege of the deity. Hence, the inconsistency and contradiction between the disabilities of mortal beings and the desire of the heroes to assert themselves in immortality. There are myths about gods’ attempts to make heroes immortal: Thetis tempers Achilles in the fire, burning in him all mortal and putting ambrosia around him; Demeter, favoring the Athenian kings, tempers their son Demophon. And in fact, in both case, goddesses are prevented by unreasonable mortal parents (Peleus – the father of Achilles, Metanira – a mother of Demophon).

The impossibility of personal immortality is compensated in the heroic world by exploits and the glory (immortality) among the offspring. Personality of the heroes for the most part has dramatic nature, because the life of one hero is not enough to realize the designs of the gods. Thus, the idea of suffering of a hero is strengthening in the myths as well as infinite overcoming of trials and tribulations. Heroes are often persecuted by a hostile deity (for example, Hercules is pursued by Gera) and is dependent on a weak, insignificant person, through which a hostile deity operates (Hercules is subordinated to Eurystheus).

It takes more than one generation to create a great hero. Zeus three times marries mortal women (Io, Dana, and Alcmene) so that Hercules would born in thirty years, who had among the ancestors Perseus, Danaus, and other sons and descendants of Zeus. Thus, there is an increase of heroic strength, reaching its apotheosis in the myths about such Greek heroes as Hercules.

A hero is a son or descendant of a deity and a mortal person. Homer usually considered a hero to be a brave warrior or a noble man with glorious ancestors. For the first time, Hesiod calls a genus of heroes created by Zeus, demigods. Modern etymologists give different interpretations to the word, emphasizing the protection function.

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100001095
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CREATED ON
August 26, 2016
COMPLETED ON
August 27, 2016
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$7
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