Cato And El Cid Analysis

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In Lucy Hughes-Hallett 's book, A History of Hero Worship: Achilles, Alcibiades, Cato and El Cid are all men that are ascribed the esteemed title of hero; yet, all only one is worthy of such a prestigious title: Cato. A prominent political figure, he achieved heroic status through his unquestionable virtue and precise following of the Roman constitution in a time where its authority was under threat. Furthermore, his intent was not to self-glorify, but to conserve and uphold all that was righteous and to abide by his absolute moral principles. This selfless and heroic intent is exclusive to Cato. His steadfast integrity generates a pure and persistent aim to serve his nation with nobility, making him more worthy of the prestigious title of…show more content…
Cato possessed absolute moral principles, and all of his actions were determined by it. On one occasion, Cato relinquished his wife to someone else because it was a belief in the Stoic philosophy that, “A beloved person or object should be ‘taken care of as a thing that is not your own, as traveler treat their inn’” (119). Since Cato practiced and abided by his moral principles, including Stoic philosophy, he followed through with heroic integrity. Achilles, another man credited with the so-called “hero” title, faced a comparable situation. When Achilles was under the impression that he was not receiving his prize of a woman from Apollo 's temple, he became extremely agitated and refused to accept the outcome. Achilles lacked the virtue and devotion that Cato possessed; Cato heroically gave up a woman he so deeply cared for without question, while Achilles would not accept the result. Alexandrian Appian, a Greek historian from the second-century, stated that Cato had a “ high-souled philosophy” and this is proved in Catos willingness to surrender his wife despite caring for her deeply. Cato’s dedication to his own principles is absolute; this heroic notion is further evidence of his deserving title…show more content…
Cato 's death was unlike other hero 's deaths in A History of Hero Worship, he was not in battle when he met his demise nor was it in a noble manner, he committed suicide of his own free will. Nonetheless, Cato escaped a sinful death. Lucy Hughes Hallett states “But Cato was exempt. Despite being suicide and a pagan he is the custodian of Dante’s Purgatory and is destined eventually for a place in paradise” (77). Cato 's suicide was a clear sin, yet by cause of his heroic status, he is remembered as being spared the inevitable rage of hell. Furthermore, Lucan, a Roman poet stated: “Cato achieved fixity, ensuring that he need never alter or dwindle…His resolution defeated mother nature” (130) Catos godlike achievement of his unchanging beliefs being preserved for an eternity is nothing less than heroic. Alcibiades, El Cid, and even the demigod Achilles all were defeated by fate or mother nature; however, Cato was exempt. Cato’s death was not determined or influenced by anything other than himself. He is the paragon of fixity, a hero who stands alone in a field of

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