Hercules And Perseus Comparison Essay

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As said by Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”. In relation to Greek mythological heroes, this quote explains that a Greek hero is superior when he repeats his heroic actions and portrays Greek values a multitude of times. Those common values include bravery, in the terms of endurance and fearlessness, and strength, in the way of a tough physique. Two well known heroes, Perseus and Hercules, both display some of those Greek values, but Hercules is the superior hero because he reflects those values more effectively.
Firstly, Hercules has consistently been seen and interpreted as “the greatest hero of Greece...He was what all Greece except Athens most admired” (Hamilton, 225). This interpretation asserts that the main ideals of Hercules are also the main ideals of
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Perseus is greatly aided by the gods, meaning that his brave acts were not as brave because he relied heavily on the gods’ support. For instance, in Perseus’s battle with Medusa, not only were the weapons he used given to him by Athena and Hermes, but in his fatal strike on Medusa’s neck “Athena guided his hand” (Hamilton, 204). While Perseus was brave enough to take up the challenge to slay Medusa, the fact that he likely would not have been able to finish the task without the assistance of both Athena and Hermes not only shows his lack of true bravery but also his lack of actual strength. Perseus also uses no weapons, only Medusa’s head that was essentially handed to him by Athena and Hermes, to kill the hateful King that threatened his mother. With these two facts, one being that Perseus seems to not be able to guide his own sword and the other being that he relied on a monster to do all the work for the murder of the King, it showcases that Perseus seems to be unable to actually fight in a battle due to his shortage of true bravery and
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