Heroism Definition Essay

Published: 2018-05-16 23:25:10
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Sewanee University of the South
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Hero Definition Introduction

By definition, a hero is one who is admired and idealized by others for courage, noble qualities or even outstanding qualities. Thus, in this regard, the most common and most ideal definition of Heroism is derived from the phrase “great bravery.” In the words of Arthur Ashe, “True heroism is remarkably sober and very undramatic” (Ashe). For this reason, heroism does not involve urging to surpass everyone else at whatever cost, but instead, ideal heroism includes urging to serve others at whatever cost. For a person to be truly heroic, they ought to be focused on self-sacrifice and also strive, without faltering, to achieve their set ultimate objectives which are not based on glory. Thus, in my opinion, I believe that heroism is an aspect that calls for dedication to a specific quest and not giving in to despair, regardless of all the odds.

Firstly, heroism is characterized by going out of one’s way, regardless of the obstacles, so as to fulfill individual need or those of others. Thus, in this regard, heroic people can be citizens who choose to go against all the odds, to do the extraordinary things in life. For instance, in the modern day today, heroism is exemplified by people ranging from police officers to ordinary people or even friends. Through a person’s single acts of selflessness and courage, they are usually said to exemplify heroism. Additionally, heroism involves performing a noble deed out of humility and courage. This, in essence, means that heroes, unlike any other ordinary people, are usually ready and willing to risk danger, resistance, and hardships. For this reason, heroism involves learning valuable lessons relating to self-reliance and survival.

On the contrary, heroism is not despairing or giving up after several failed attempts. A true heroic deed usually has survived overwhelming odds against its quest. Most often, the pursuit of a heroic act is accompanied by impeccable unrelenting efforts whose ultimate goal is to achieve an initially set goal. This being said, a hero is not necessarily the strongest person, but instead, a person who chooses to trust their strength and courage to save the day when no one else is doing anything. In life, heroism is exemplified in the many instances where people can give up, but through unrelenting efforts, a hero keeps on trying, something which results in opportunities which were initially unimagined (Whitehead). 

Heroism Essay Conclusion

By example, heroism, as an abstract concept, is most often exemplified through characters in hero narratives or movies. For instance, in the virtual world, heroes range from characters such as Batman, Captain America, and The Amazing Spiderman, among many others. With reference to these traits, ultimate heroism involves initiating a particular quest without intimidation or the expectation of any form of material gain. In a similar regard, in the renowned hero narrative, Grendel, Beowulf is an ideal hero to the Geats since he goes out of his way to serve the needs of every other person, and always maintains a selfless character, throughout the quest of helping others (Gardner 100). In the same vein, in the real world, heroism can be exemplified by a person who puts their own life at risk so as to save other people's lives. 

In conclusion, heroism is characterized by real courage and a firm resolve of both virtue and reason. Therefore, for one to be deemed a hero, they do not necessarily need to have extraordinary physical strength, but should instead, exemplify bravery to perform a vast range of actions which are, in their deepest essence, illustrate a sense of duty towards service of not only self but also towards others.  

Works Cited

Ashe, Arthur. "Top 10 Arthur Ashe Quotes." BrainyQuote, 2016, www.brainyquote.com/slideshow/authors/top_10_arthur_ashe_quotes.html. Accessed 13 Mar. 2017.

Gardner, John. Grendel. Vintage, 1989, pp. 23-192.

Whitehead, Alfred N., and Lucien Price. Dialogues of Alfred North Whitehead. New American Library, 1964, p. 248.

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