What is a Hero? There are many ideas of what makes a person a hero. The following are two definitions of what makes a hero. 1. a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. 2. a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal. Copyright 2011 Dictionary.com
The Heroic Archetype What is an Archetype – A recurring pattern of images, situations, or symbols found in the mythology, religion, art and dreams, of cultures around the world. What is an Archetypal Hero – A hero with specific traits. Born under unusual circumstances, leaves family and lives with others, traumatic event leads to quest, has special abilities and receives supernatural help.
Born Under Unusual Circumstances Hercules – Born the son Zeus and a mortal woman. Superman – Born on a world that is on the verge of destruction.
Leaves Family and Lives with Others Hercules – Raised by his mother but not his father. Superman – Raised by farmers on Earth after escaping the destruction of his world.
Traumatic Event Leads to Quest Hercules – Hera drove him mad causing him to kill his wife and kids. He then went on to complete 12 labors to atone for his crimes. Superman – The loss of his home lead him to use his powers to try to save his new world. Copyright 1997 Mythweb Copyright 2011 DC Comics
Has Special Abilities Hercules – Superhuman strength and size gained by ingesting the breast milk of Hera Superman – Gained super strength, heat vision, and the ability to fly from Earth’s yellow sun.
Receives Supernatural Help Hercules – Received assistance from Zeus to gain his strength. Made a god after death by Zeuss. Superman – Received help from his father by way of crystals that were programmed with his planet’s science and his father’s memories.
Real Life Heroes Does not fit the Archetypal form. Generally looked up to for individual acts, or the things they stood for.
Ted Williams Known as the greatest hitter that ever lived. Considered an American hero by many who saw him play. Wrote a book called “The Science of Hitting.” He was obsessed with the idea of becoming a great hitter. Copyright 2010 Sports Illustrated
Ted Williams Lived a normal life. Raised by both parents. Remembered for playing baseball for the Boston Red Sox. Holds the record for the highest single season batting average.406 Lifetime batting average of.344 (ranks 7 th all-time) Played in 4 different decades
Ted Williams Outside Baseball Took time off to serve his country Served in the military Pilot in WWII Pilot in Korea